General Discussions


Linda Andrews, Director
by Linda Andrews - Thursday, 31 December 2015, 10:58 AM

I know the instructions say not to try to memorize all the terms, etc., but it needs to be said again for all of you who are just starting in January.


Why? It doesn't begin to 'stick' until you start USING those terms.

Sometimes we notice a student who is failing the course and I say, "Are you trying to memorize all the terms?"  "Of course, that's what you do. I've had several terminology courses in the past and you always have to memorize the terms. That's what you do."  

I say, "Well, what does that tell you. You've had several terminology courses in the past. You memorized all the terms (rather than learning and using them the way we do in this course) and all that memorizing didn't stick. If you keep doing that, you will fail the course, because we want you to read through each chapter, understand what you are reading, know where to find it when you need it, and then start USING it in your coding assignments. Because you are using it, it will stick with you. Refer back to your book as needed. These are open-book tests for goodness' sake!  :) 

DO NOT MEMORIZE      (any comments from students and graduates on this topic?) 


Picture of Instructor Peggy
Re: New Students: DO NOT MEMORIZE
by Instructor Peggy - Thursday, 31 December 2015, 12:33 PM

I absolutely agree!  DO NOT MEMORIZE!!!  It never works.  

Just a few days ago, I saw a chart that depicted how long we retain material that we memorize.  After cramming it all in on Monday, the line on the chart plunges like a roller coaster on Tuesday!  Whomp! Almost to the bottom!  Then it gradually drifts down until a few weeks later you remember hardly anything.

The only way to do this is to USE the information.  If you're using it, you'll retain it far longer.  You have to get those neural pathways established so that you can find them again!

Remember, too, that certification exams are OPEN CODE BOOK and everything you need is going to be in your code books. If there is something you think needs to be there that isn't, you can pencil it in lightly. 

I often see Module II exams with errors that had the answers written right in the book!  Students tell me that they didn't know they could look there.  Well, you need to.  That's why the books are there! 


Picture of Tracey Pa, CPC-A
Re: New Students: DO NOT MEMORIZE
by Tracey Pa, CPC-A - Thursday, 31 December 2015, 4:26 PM

I think that's great advice-- trying to memorize all of it is a good way to overload your brain.  I think it's better to concentrate on developing a logical, systematic approach to solve problems or find information. That way you can deal with an infinite number of situations instead of just the few you've memorized.

For terminology tests, I put a bookmark at crucial points in the chapter like "Vocabulary review" or "Diseases." I may not know it all off the top of my head, but finding it is no big deal. It's what I expect to do in "real life" when I don't know something.   And you are so correct that using it will cement it into one's brain better than flashcards will!

Picture of Michelle Bo, CCS, CPC
Re: New Students: DO NOT MEMORIZE
by Michelle Bo, CCS, CPC - Friday, 1 January 2016, 10:44 AM

I agree!  I'm in Module III now and there is always that little voice in the back of my head telling me that I should be memorizing the drugs and uses from the Pharmacology book because, I think, that's how many of us studied when we were younger and wanted to do well on a test.  However, I keep reminding myself that I do not need to know all of that information off the top of my head.  Just reading the chapter carefully and working on the exercises so that I'm familiar with drug classifications and know where to look for an answer is so much better.  When I was teaching, I knew most of the elements, their atomic numbers and weights off of the top of my head.  My students would say, "Wow, Mrs. B.  You memorized the periodic table?"  And I say, "No!  Who in their right mind would want to do that?  I just use it so often every day that I now know them."  It's starting to be that way with coding.  Terms that I had no clue as to what they meant, now are much easier to remember and understand because I use them when I'm working on my coding exercises.  

Picture of William Si
Re: New Students: DO NOT MEMORIZE
by William Si - Friday, 1 January 2016, 9:35 PM

I absolutely, 100% agree.  I almost didn’t make it through my first few weeks and was going to return my books and dropout due to how long I was spending per lesson and the awful feeling I was getting studying Turley and trying to memorize every term and its definition by writing them out several times each.  What a huge mistake.  About halfway through Turley I actually came up with the idea of printing out the Turley test as I started work on the chapter and as I encountered each term that I was to be questioned on, lightly circle the answer I thought was correct on my hardcopy of my test; however, and this is super important, remember that answers may, AND DO, change as you progress further in the chapter and are presented with more information.  Once I adopted this method my grades went up tremendously and the time I spent studying went down astronomically.  I will give you another hint on Turley: the test seems to have more questions on diseases and procedures than it does on the basic anatomy presented.  That said, don’t skip it.  The little you retain will help in module II’s anatomy tests.


One final hint I will share.  Linda brings up all the time that every test you take here at Andrew’s School is open book.  What quicker way to find answers to questions from information in Turley and other books that have question and reviews in them than to actually look at your CORRECTED answers in Turley and such?  You are not in grade school anymore.  You have bought and paid for those books.  They are yours forever.  Write the answers to all exercises and reviews right in the book, neatly enough they can be read in the future, and be sure to correct any mistakes.  This way in the future you can look back at the exercises and questions and have the answers you need right at your fingertips.  I do understand it can take a little time to squeeze answers in those small spaces, but if you do it, it will make it so much easier on you in time to come rather than chasing down notebook and loose leaf paper that gets lost or separated from the books when you need them.  Of course I am talking of textbooks and not code books with this; you wouldn’t want a code book with non-germane graffiti all through it to distract you when you go to code.


Good luck new comers,


Picture of Kell Fe, CCS, CPC-A
Re: New Students: DO NOT MEMORIZE
by Kell Fe, CCS, CPC-A - Sunday, 3 January 2016, 11:45 AM

I sure appreciate all the helpful hints, especially the Do Not Memorize!  My books should be here Tuesday and I'm ready to get started and so looking forward to this new adventure!  Keep on posting these great ideas :-)