**These are the exact same tricks and mnemonics I used when I was a dental student, and they are the reason why I went from barely passingoral pathology *to acing it! ***
I, being a dental student with an understanding-but-not-memorizing brain, had this enormous fear and anxiety creep through me whenever I was faced with a subject that required memorizing. I could feel it in my stomach at the first class of pharmacology- ok now that passed. BUT then came the first class of oral pathology, and oh did I feel that I had no I idea how I would be able to stuff all of these details into my little poor brain: causes, epidemiology, more common in – , less common in -, also known as xcvnxjksisdf, associated with trpdspcsmc Syndrome, and the list goes on and on. I was sitting there in the class thinking to myself: “ok, maybe I should not try studying this at all – that would be a total waste of time. I know that I wouldn’t remember anything in the exam no matter how hard I try to memorize these”. Then the first exam was coming soon, and of course my heart could not swallow the idea of not even trying to study a subject, and there I was in my dorm room repeating those totally-unrelated details at the top of my voice.
*** The exam came, and there I realized that I’ve lost my voice in vain.***
I could not remember which was where. I remember all these names but I do not remember was this the cause of x or the treatment for y; this radiographic appearance was the appearance of which of the following… It was so bad that I almost laughed. Thank God the exam was not “oral pathology only” so I passed with a fairly good grade. But let me tell you this: the questions that I got right in that dark section, I got right only by bare chance. Then, of course the final was coming. Out of nowhere, the very old memory of me enjoying memorizing English Vocabulary in high school crossed my eyes. It was a sweet, bright memory. I used to say the new word loud and try to figure out something that it reminded me of, I would then write it down beside it and then it would rarely ever leave my brain. I wouldn’t even have to memorize the meaning anymore. These moments when I invented a mnemonic, were like tiny moments of success, of victory, of pride even.
My brain: “So, why don’t you try to do the same to conquer your nemesis?”
Me: “Hmm, but there are so many details I do not even have time to come up with mnemonics”
My brain: “ok, why don’t you try this: try to come up with as many as you can but don’t waste too much time on one if you could not.”
*** The exam came, and I could not remember anything but those that I did rename and play with in a word game.***
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