Since becoming a pharmacy student, I’ve found that I learn and study differently than I did during my undergrad. No longer is it about memorizing facts and details to ace a test (which would be nearly impossible with the masses of information flying at me from all directions), but to understand the big picture and to have the ability to solve problems on the spot. For example, I wouldn’t memorize that the specific potential side effects of a particular drug are increased blood pressure and heart rate, anxiety, nervousness, and heart attack; I WOULD, however, remember that it is an “alpha-adrenergic agonist” which stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”-like response) which could lead to these types of side effects. This type of studying has its ups and downs. On the good side, I can study and understand a larger amount of information in a shorter period of time with greater retention. On the bad side, specifics (especially unusual ones) can sometimes be missed or forgotten; likewise, some professors still seem to promote straight memorization (which means having to accept less than favorable scores when a specific word doesn’t come to mind during an exam).