Could doing the same exam again and again be the best way to study?

There’s a study technique I’ve been wanting to try out for a while, and I’m thinking that now is a good a time as ever to test it out. In episode 8 of the Relay FM podcast, Cortex, CGP Grey mentioned that when he was a physics teacher, the way he would advise his students to revise for the exams was to do the same exam tasks over and over until they could do it without any help in a reasonable amount of time. I know that unlike a typical physics exam, anatomy and physiology aren’t really subjects that are based on equations and calculations. However, I imagine that a lot of the same questions are repeated, or rephrased, as the syllabus hasn’t changed much over the past few years. As was the case during both our cell biology and population medicine blocks, where I found that doing old exams was the thing that garnered me the most relevant knowledge, and was the best use of my time. Therefore, instead of putting it off until about a month or two before the exam, I thought I’d start now. That way, I have time to test out the “CGP Grey-method” with multiple exam sets, and draw out what questions or phrasings are repeated most often.

I also have some anecdotal evidence of it working for psychology students as well, and I imagine their exams doesn’t adhere to a formulaic problem-solving model either. Other than that we’re one session into our 20 part dog dissection course, where the 20th session is actually a palpation of a live dog(!). We also have the final, practical parts, of the research animal course coming up, where we get to draw blood from mice, rats and rabbits, and practice handling them in a gentle way. All this contact with actual live animals has me really stoked for the next few weeks, so be on the lookout for blog posts about that, and this Sunday entry on the enormous tumor that we found during today’s dissection.

Also, you’ll have to excuse the lack of content over the Easter holiday. I was home visiting family and friends, and recharging my batteries. Here’s an image from last week, seeing my favorite doggo.