How To Survive Konte Uke (Norwegian Retake Week)

It is so common to have to retake a class in pharmacy school that I don’t know a single person that hasn’t retaken one during their first year of pharmacy school. I would even go as far as saying that pharmacy school is the single hardest study in the entire world. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve said it. Prove me wrong if you’d like.
Konte Uke or ‘retake week’ are the two first weeks in august where students that have failed a class have to retake that class. In Norway, when studying pharmacy you need to have all the classes from the previous year approved to pass to the next year. If you by any chance happen to fail a class, you are forced to repeat the year until you pass that class. The total amount of times you are allowed to take an exam in a particular subject is three times. If by your third time you did not make the class you get kicked out of pharmacy school. Brutal I know.
It is essential to pass your classes the first time around. If you are lucky, generally you only have one exam to retake. Some people, like me, are extremely unlucky and have to retake several classes at once. To me – that is the definition of hell. Honestly, that was a low point in my academical career, and I was almost certain I was going to get kicked out of pharma-school. Luckily I MADE IT! and not only did I pass, but I also passed with decent marks.

Passing two exams was extremely stressful, but these are my tips on how to make it:

Say NO to work

I know. We all need a part-time job to make it. Summer is the golden time for students to work. But as soon as you find out that you have failed a class, apply for vacation and use that time to study.
I was going to backpack the south of Spain for two weeks before my school start so I had applied for a two weeks vacation. Sadly I ended up failing two of my classes, but having those two weeks to only focus on my school work was a gift sent from heaven.

Find a study partner

Even if you are studying for different subjects, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you have someone to cry with and rely on. I spent a lot of those two weeks going from “I got this” to “for fuck sakes I will never make it”. I was blessed I had friends to support me, keep me motivated and encouraged me to continue even tho the odds were against me.

Find a study space

P50-G414 was my house! Quite literally. The school was empty, my friends and I were pretty much the only ones there.. so we ended up leaving out stuff in that room and made a routine to always meet there for some heavy study time. when I pass that room I get so many flashbacks. Both good and bad, but I’m still happy it happened that way.

Cook two-weeks worth of food

Or ask your mother to do so for you as I did. My mum is a key feature of my passing. The first week I was eating pure junk. Take-away every single day. That was not keeping my mental health good. When you eat a lot of junk you tend to feel bad too, so make sure you put a little effort into eating healthy and balanced.

Breathe

Stress is going to want to take over, but don’t let it. Have some breathing time. Take a nap. Shed a tear or two. Whatever it takes, but don’t give up and don’t give in. If I did it, anyone can.

 

Good luck!
Have fun. Stay Curious.
– Tia ✨

STUDYTIPS #3: How I Use OneNote To Take Notes

First things first: Create a book for that class

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This is an obvious step. Some people like writing the name of the class (exam. organic chemistry) I prefer writing the code of the class as sometimes they have a long name ( FARMA2220 for Pharmacology and Physiology 1).

Organise your book according to subject

For this particular class, I am having right now, there are three books I have to get through. So I decided to divide the notes based on book and class notes.
On top of the three books, this class is divided into five themes that cover different chapters. So far I am done with one theme, and will start my second next week. I like classifying my notes in themes too:

 

 

Use OneNote wisely to take notes

When in class, add the lecturers’ pdf file for more effective note writing, and always remember to record your class. OneNote conveniently has a button made just for this.

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When taking notes from your textbook, make sure you highlight and add important figures to illustrate your point:

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Taking notes is a personal thing, you need to try many different methods to find the right one for you. This is the methods that work best for me.

Good luck!
Have fun. Stay Curious.
– Tia ✨