How Was Razan Able To Find Ways To Enjoy Life While Studying For Her Exam...

Even When She Was Working 10-Hour Shifts, 4 Days a Week

“At Frst I Was Skeptical…”


RazanWhen I first began studying, I was very overwhelmed with the amount of information I needed to go through before the Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist exam.

It felt like I did not have enough time to go through the material while working full time.

That’s when my hubby suggested that I would use the planner he had developed for his SE exam.

At first I was skeptical about using it and was not sure if it would actually help me or add more work for me (organize the topic and record how many pages in each section and so forth)… I used to just create a checklist and cross off topics as I finished them without knowing if I was “on track”.

To make the hubby happy, I decided to give it a try.


Putting The Skepticism Aside


First, I looked at my work schedule (I work 10 hour shifts, 4 days a week) and I realized I can realistically study efficiently only on my days off as it was hard for me to concentrate/study after a long day of work.

Then I took into account prior commitments as family/friend/work gatherings that I wanted to attend and estimated if I needed partial or full day off from studying. That gave me a very good idea of how many hours per day I would need to study on my day off in order to finish the material and have time to review.

The next part was following the plan!


How The Planner Helped


I tried to stick to the plan as much as possible because I did not want to worry about falling behind.

But in reality, life happens and some days I just did not feel like studying the full amount of hours I was supposed to or things came up with friends and family that I had to make a decision if I was going to have fun or study.

Having the planner made these decisions a bit easier because I was able to track my progress and can tell if I was “able to afford” half a day of fun or not, and then make up that amount of studying by adding extra hours or so of studying for the following week.

Also, the other aspect that I truly appreciated was the guilt free feeling I had when I was done studying for the day and had time to have fun!

In the pre-planner studying days, I constantly felt that I needed to keep on studying and fun time was not allowed till after the exam.

Also, putting in the prior commitments into the calendar was great because I attended them without feeling the guilt of “I should not be here because I should be studying”. Knowing they are already accounted for in my plan of studying and being on track to finishing the material gave me the chance to enjoy life a little more.

And probably one of my favorite parts about using the planner, was the highlighting each section that was done. It gave me a visual picture that I was getting things done.


Razan’s Result With The Study Planner


The result?

I finished studying the entire material and had time to review (as planned) and I passed my exam!

Yes it was stressful couple of months of studying, but deep down I knew that I should be OK if I keep doing what I am doing.

I recommended this planner to my other pharmacists friends to use when they took exam.

So all in all, when I thought I was trying the planner to make the hubby happy, I actually was underestimating its usefulness. But now, if I ever have to take any future exams, this is my go to method of studying because I do believe in it.

Thank you, hubby!!

Razan Lin, Pharm.D., BCPS