Difficulty Concentrating and Memorizing for Pharmacy Exams

by Pharmaearth
(Canada)

Hello I am a pharmacy student. Finished my degree, and now I am giving my registration exams. I find it so difficult to concentrate and memorise my subject.

Hundreds of diseases and their treatment management. When I read I find it easy to remember but next day its all gone. Evaporated from my brain. I cannot easily recall what I read day before.

I really want to succeed and pass my all registration exams as well as improve my memory, and I want to make my mind very strong.

For example, if I read a chapter one day I forget it the very next day. Most importantly I cannot focus even for half hour for studying. Lack of concentration as well as memory.

Doug's Reply. It's common to understand while reading but not remember it later. While reading, your short-term memory (a.k.a. working memory) holds the information in your mind temporarily while you consider it. But short-term memory can only manage a small amount of detail at one time.

Thus, if you don't employ memory-aid techniques for tagging the information (such as visualization memory systems), and especially if you don't concentrate while reading, the information may not begin the transfer to long-term memory (a process known as consolidation).

A FEW SUGGESTIONS:

1) Recite the material. Don't read straight through a chapter. Read one paragraph, and place in your mind the facts mentioned in that one paragraph. Then set the book aside and mentally recite those facts without looking at the text.

Recitation is a powerful memory technique. It forces the information into your brain and gives you immediate feedback on the quality of your studying.

After all, if you can't remember the facts from the paragraph you just read, you obviously won't remember them the next day.

2) Ask questions. In every part of the text, ask - and ANSWER - Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.

Another reason people don't remember is they are not "engaged" with the material. Passive readers remember little. Be an ACTIVE reader.

3) Join a study group. Find someone else who is studying for the pharmacy registration exams. Quiz each other on the diseases, treatments, medications, etc.

Having someone ask you questions highlights weaknesses in your knowledge. To answer questions verbally you must truly know the material.

4) Take steps to improve your concentration. Meditation, brain games, diet, sleep - all can influence concentration and memory.

I hope you find these ideas helpful. Best of luck.

VISITORS TO THIS SITE: If you have study tips or words of encouragement for Pharmaearth, feel free to post them as a comment below.

Comments for Difficulty Concentrating and Memorizing for Pharmacy Exams

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Mar 23, 2014
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Thanks for the tips!
by: Anonymous

The tips given are helpful!

Feb 01, 2013
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Thank u
by: Pharmaearth

Thank u all for your guidance!!

Feb 01, 2013
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What would Paige do?
by: PaigeCSLP

Say I hope it helps you too!

Because after I shared with you what I have found to help me, and I thought would help you too, Doug told us all about the "Voice Dream Reader" app that I've started to use. So your posting and the response has helped me too.

Yahoo!

Jan 30, 2013
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Thank u
by: Pharmaearth

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I will surely follow that. Hope that helps me. Thanks again :)

Jan 30, 2013
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Say "Thumbs Up!" to You for your response to me!
by: PaigeCSLP

I want to tell you thank you so much for recommending the "Voice Dream Reader". Because when I saw what it was, it was just what I needed for remembering what I read and/or listen to once again. And I did go for the fancier paid version when I downloaded it late last night too.

So far the only thing that I've had time to post & listen to portions of so far are sections of the instructions for using the "Voice Dream Reader Version 2.6.0" while I was laying in bed, but I'm looking forward to having time to use it again.

Yahoo!

Doug's Reply. You're welcome! :)

Jan 29, 2013
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Voice Dream Reader app
by: Douglas (MIT)

Excellent suggestion, Paige. For some people, their brain's auditory memory pathway is stronger than their visual pathway.

By the way, if you have an iPhone, check out the "Voice Dream Reader" app in the App Store. It's a Text-to-Speech app that reads documents, web pages, and e-books out loud to you! There is a free Lite version and a fancier paid version.

To save time, I'll sometimes have the Dream Reader app read e-documents to me while I'm doing other tasks.

Jan 28, 2013
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What would Paige do?
by: PaigeCSLP

I used to find that I had the same problem & have also stopped reading many books in general, because I don't remember reading more than a page. But what I have found that has solved my problem (for not only taking classes for keeping my Speech-Language Pathology license updated, but for reading information I need to remember in general) is to read the chapter out loud as I'm recording it.

And I do the same when I go to a conference and/or presentation rather than writing it down. Then I can listen to it as many times as I need to help until I feel I remember it.

I have found that I remember so much more from hearing information rather than reading it.

I hope that helps you too.

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