For this blog post, I am going to share to you how I prepared myself for the board exams. You might be a pharmacy graduate or just wondering how to prepare for an exam. Either way, I’m happy you’re reading and hopefully you would learn something from this.
JANUARY 12-13, 2013 BOARD EXAMS DAY
(I need to be always reminded with the Date.)
First day: Module 1-3 (Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacognosy and Practice of Pharmacy)
Second day: Module 4-6 (Pharmacology, Pharmaceutics, Quality Control/Quality Assurance)
1. Get all necessary reviewers.
This might include, but not limited to, PACOP Pink, Blue, Red, Orange, Reviewers from your review center and Reviewers from School. I had my UST Modules and I just borrowed some PACOP Reviewers from my friends from higher batches.
2. Decide if you want to enroll in a review center or just rely on self-review and in-house review provided by your school.
In my case, I did all of them because sometimes, I get too lax and going to the reviews makes me more focused.
3. Grab some inspiration.
I remember our professor telling us that we should list the top 3 reasons on why we should make it and top 3 persons on whom we should share our success. It actually did me good. At times when I feel like giving up on studying, I think about the persons and the whys and it just makes me want to study more.
4. Know what kind of learner you are and your personality in learning.
Different persons have different ways of learning. Some are visual, others are auditory and may be tactile or kinesthetic as well. I, myself, is a kinesthetic learner. I can’t learn without moving my body. I wander in my room, sometimes walking back and forth while reading things just to learn. They also say that when you use lots of senses in learning, it makes you learn more. I know some friends that does good in group studies but I personally don’t. I learn more if im by myself.
5. Work smarter, not harder.
This is already a cliché but it’s true. The thing is, you shouldn’t read and read and read the same things over and over again. Do not study the things that you already know! You always have to learn something new! It does feel good that you know things, but for the exam, you should learn as much as possible. Be reminded that you should be able to understand the concept and not just scanned your reviewers. What’s the use of having read it but you didn’t understand what you’ve read?
6. Train yourself with sample questions.
This is where the PACOP goes in. Treat the PACOP as if you’re already taking the exam. It helps you be trained in eliminating choices and come up with the best answer. My style is to read concepts then at the end of the day, I try answering some PACOP questions.
7. Do not be intimidated.
I admit that I get intimidated by my classmates at times especially on group studies. I always felt like I don’t know lots of things yet but always remember that there are things that you don’t know but they know and vice versa.
8. A sound mind is a sound body.
Don’t forget to eat healthy and drink lots of water to hydrate yourself! Some tends to forget eating because of the stress and pressure they get from studying. But please! Don’t deprive yourself of food and especially, sleep! Always remember that when you sleep, your short term memory goes to your long term memory so it’s actually very beneficial. I would admit that my brain gets exhausted and I tend to sleep lots of times.
9. Take short breaks.
You are actually more productive when you take some 15min break in between hours of studying than doing a 4-hr straight studying. You will realize that you feel more exhausted when you don’t take breaks.
10. Discipline and time management.
Say you only have 3 weeks left before your exams. Give most of the time to the subjects which you don’t understand instead of equally dividing them. The board exams have different percentage per module and you have to get 75% total percentage and not less than 50% on each module. I made my own time table and did my best to comply with it. I declined most of the outings and hanging out with friends thinking that I could always do it after my exams. At the same time, you also deserve a day off! On your days off, that’s when you could hang out and spend time with your friends.
11. Take lessons piece by piece.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the concepts that you have to learn even if its hard. It pays to understand each of it. Remember to take it piece by piece just like how you eat food. Just grab small bites until you’re done.
12. Expect each subject to appear on each module.
Students, most of the time, expect that if its a chemistry question, it might not appear on the other modules. Well, not at all! That’s why you have to be ready for the exams by the exam day because lots of questions from another module appear on this module. Hope you can get what I mean. :p
13. Shoot for the Moon! So if you miss it, you’ll land among the stars!
AIM HIIIIIIIGGGGGH and do your best to reach your goals! That’s what you should always do! Aim for a realistic goal. For example, if you aim for 100% and you did not get it, at least you’re sure you’ll land somewhere in 90s. 🙂
14. Do it for yourself and for God.
Do it for you and for your betterment. It’s not your mom, your brother or even your friend who will benefit from this but only you will. It’s your key on practicing 4 years of hardwork from your university to be able to be of service to others. Remember that God blesses each person who does things that pleases the eyes of God.
Never ever cease to pray. With God, all things are possible. Ask for his guidance and mercy that everything will turn out alright and to prepare you for the path and destiny he has for you. Trust and have faith!
To God be all the Glory! Hope this helps!
Leave a comment for any more ideas and suggestions to help everyone on passing their exams. 🙂