So that last week up to the Semester 3 test was pretty manic. My friends and house mates all came back from their respective home cities and the stress kicked up yet another notch; something I did not believe could happen by this point.
I tell you what though, I employed a new tactic that last week. Something I have never done before. I worked with others. I am notorious for just needing to be on my own to crack on with revision, too-easily-distracted by the prospect of chatting about shit. I was apprehensive about employing this alien concept into my revision... and whilst those hours were definitely not as "progress" productive (aka it can takes three times as long to go through a topic when there are three of you) as the one's where I am on my own, it really helped cement some things in my mind. Moreover, things that I'm sure I wouldn't have remembered had we not discussed them suddenly came floating back to me in the exam.
I would work on my own all day to 6pm, sometimes popping to my friends' for a quick fag break, to remind eachother that we can do this and generally to keep sane, i'd then drive us to university, take up a PBL conference room and use that big ass white board and 4 peoples' brain power to understand what in holy water the basal ganglia even is.
Working with others not only helped me understand topics, it helped me remember key facts, it helped me keep my sanity, it helped me feel better about where I was at, it helped me help others. Thank you friends!!!
Of course this may as well have all been for nothing. The semester test was horrific. I don't think I know a single person who came out of there thinking they did OK. It wasn't that we couldn't remember things (a major issue I had in semester 1) it was that they had tested us on things that we wouldn't have even thought to look up in a million years. Even if I had come across what bacterial organism was linked to schizophrenia I didn't think it would have been relevant to an exam?! Following on from this, why oh why was the test not representative of our teaching and learning? You cannot make us spend weeks going over all of the different nervous system tracts only to ask 2 questions out of 125 on it. What about all the clinically relevant stuff? I am sure testing us on how we see and hear would have been more relevant than asking us what some unknown freaking bacteria is linked to a disease in 0.05% of the population???
The only positive to thing to come out of this was; last time when I knew I had failed and walked out of the exam after 40 minutes - I had only failed by 1 mark. This time I tried to make a solid guess at all of the questions, went back over the paper (although did that super stressful thing of changing all of your answers; and then while you're changing them thinking "oh god why am I doing this, you should always go with your gut") and spent a solid 2 hours on it.
I have to have passed. What more could I possibly do if I failed?!
2 days later I had that notorious progress test. The test where the same exam paper is given to every student in the medical school, year 5 or year 1. Bless my kids, that would have been their first exam and it made them shit bricks. I, at this early point in my degree, don't care for the progress test one bit. I've passed the last two, so theoretically I could fail this one and still progress to clinical years. Was out of there in 35 minutes to flee home to do some revision for an exam that I would actually need to pass.
The dreaded OSCE's this week.
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