Guest article by Dr. Sumit Seth
Introduction: This book ("Review of Forensic Medicine") has been written to inculcate students with a robust study technique called Retro-Analysis.
Retro-Analysis ensures active learning and builds up “cognitive muscles” that help students separate confuzers (incorrect choices that resemble the correct answers) from correct answers, thereby providing the fundamental skills required for taking any multiple choice exam successfully.
The One-Two-One Sandwich Regime: The best way to study this book, or any subject, is to follow this highly rewarding study regime, where Retro-Analysis plays a central role. A student should study each topic, chapter, or module in three stages, creating a “sandwich” formation in terms of assigned time, where the ratio presents the sequence 1:2:1 for steps I, II and III, as described below:
I. First Stage– Anterograde Reading, a first sequential reading of the text.
II. Second Stage–Retrograde Analysis* (see below).
III. Third Stage–Speed Revision, reading the text again, along with one’s own handwritten/highlighted annotations.
For example, if it takes one hour of anterograde reading to cover a chapter, that first reading should be followed with two hours of retroanalysis of that chapter, followed by speed revision for one hour. This is the One-Two-One Sandwich Regime.
What is Retro-Analysis? Retro-Analysis is a reverse study technique, used not only for finding the correct answer, but also for understanding why the other three choices are wrong. This study technique involves adding handwritten annotations in the text to help create Concept Maps. Using MCQs as a yardstick, this means solving MCQs not by looking at the key but by actively searching for the correct answer. This is facilitated by reverse studying the text of this book and any textbooks studied for graduation. [Statutory Warning: The key given in the book has some deliberate! typos, so don’t rely on it!] Remember that the closer the confuzer resembles the real answer, the slipperier! the MCQ, becomes.
Advantages of Retro-Analysis :
1. Active learning;
2. High retention and recall;
3. Development of time-saving confuzer spotting skills;
4. Crystallising concept maps for long-term memory vault;
5. Prevention of careless errors in exams.
Conclusion: Once this Sandwich Study Regime becomes second nature, the students would be treading the path of great insight and gain a decisive advantage vis-a-vis candidates who continue to Read More but Study Less. This is the Game-Changing Mantra, I give to you ::: Read Less, Study More.