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10 Top Tips for AP&P Revision
I don’t know about you guys but I find it hard when I have an exam and the nerves always get me, which in turn makes my mind go completely blank
I have friends who can revise by just reading through their books and making notes. I admire anyone who can do that, it works to an extent for me but I can only take on so much before my mind wanders and I loose focus.
The following tips I have found really work for me, obviously everyone works differently so they may not work for you but hopefully some may or at least will give you some ideas.
1 – Get hold of some old exam papers
Talk to your tutor or look online and see if you can find some past papers, this is a great way of seeing how the questions are laid out and chances are they may repeat some questions. Take note of how much a question is worth, if a question is 1 point you will only need a one or two word answer – if its 6 points you will need a bit more information.
Work through the papers with your notes to make sure you get the answers right. You could think about the answer before checking to make sure you know it.
2 – Posters
Make drawings or bullet points and put them up somewhere you will see them often. I found the kitchen worked well for me. Everyone else in the house also read the notes and quite often would ask me a question about it or would test me (without being asked to) whenever they were in the kitchen.
Being visual every day meant I didn’t need to open any books to revise, I could revise when I didn’t have time to sit and study.
3 – Explain it to someone else.
If you have a friend who doesn’t know the AP&P you are studying, ask if you can explain it to them. Possibly explain a system for example. The nervous system can be nice and complicated. If you can explain it to someone and answer questions they raise you will know that you understand it fully yourself. If they ask questions you don’t know the answer to it gives you the chance to research more and understand it better yourself.
4 – Make revision cards
When away from home I had my revision cards with me. Some were made from the past papers I had. One side would be a question and the other was the answer.
I had them all in a small bag and picked them out randomly. Sometimes I would see the answer and have to decide what the question was. For muscle revision one side would have the muscle name and the other would have insertion, attachment and the action. It made me realise what I thought I knew and what I really knew.
5 – Study in groups
Get social and invite a few friends from the course to meet up and quiz each other. Discuss what area you found hardest. Chances are someone will understand it better and by getting them to talk to you about it can help both of you.
You can also use your revision cards to make a game – make revision as fun as possible.
6 – Use aps.
There are some amazing aps that help with AP&P but the best ones are not cheap! So choose wisely. It is handier to carry around on phone or tablet for reference rather than books.
There are some fun games out there too.
These were my favourites for muscles and bones revision and my kids enjoyed playing them too.
Whack a bone http://www.anatomyarcade.com/games/WAB/WAB.html
Poke –a-muscle http://www.anatomyarcade.com/games/PAM/PAM.html
There are various levels to work through and it gets harder – learning while having fun is always a good idea.
7 – Word association
With things you struggle with try and find something to associate it with.
For example when I was learning bones in the body I kept mixing up the metacarpal and metatarsal. Then someone said, the metatarsal grip the TAR on the road and the metacarpal are used for steering the CAR.
Also when looking at valgum and varus I kept getting confused. Then we realised if the knees were coming together it was like GUM sticking them towards each other therefore valGUM!
8 – Mind dump
When you go into the exam generally you will be given scrap paper – this is a great opportunity to scribble things that are fresh in your mind that may be useful. Things that you often forget or get confused with. Don’t spend too long on this as it just a two-minute job to quickly make a few notes before you open the paper. Remember the things may not be on the paper so don’t waste time just few quick words to remind you then get on.
9 – Relax
Night before the exam make sure you have good food and rest, read a book or watch a film and get a good nights sleep. Don’t stay up late cramming – it may lead to confusion at this point. Visualise yourself passing and getting your certificate – keep your eye on the prize!
Maybe book in for a massage!
10 – Keep calm
When you’re in the exam try your best to keep calm. A tip I found useful was when I got a question I couldn’t think of the answer I put my pen down and rested my hands on my knees, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. With my eyes closed I looked right and left, I visualised my kitchen where my notes were and I was able to visualise the paper I needed with the answers on. It really worked. It calms the mind and helps to focus.
If you are unsure it’s always best to write something. If you don’t put an answer you will know it’s wrong – if you take an educated guess there is more of a chance it’s right.
Most of all remember it’s not a one off exam, if you don’t pass this time you can always retake. Yes it is disappointing but also not the end of the world. Don’t put yourself under too much stress as this will lead to mind fog.
You have the skills to be an amazing therapist and exams don’t always show this, so remember it doesn’t define you. Just do the best you can and with these study tips you will be fine. You got this – believe in yourself!
If you have any more tips you would like to share please let us know in the comments below.
Also if you have any topics you would like me cover in the blog or ideas for a podcast please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org