Saturday, October 14, 2006

First Midterm response: Conflicting advice from the second-years

Apparently by not giving us take-home work in the first five weeks (in my naïvety, I actually wrote a post entitled "Med School is So Slack") our school was giving us lots of time to prepare for the first midterm.

I should have taken advantage of that time.

After the midterm, our school gives us an Exam Review Session. When time is up, we hand in our answer sheet and test booklet; then everyone goes into the same lecture hall where we sign out our exam booklet and a sheet of paper with the correct answers. If you were bright enough to mark your answers in the test booklet you can find out how many you got wrong; the point of the session is not only to find out how you did but they want us to learn from our mistakes, so they encourage us to discuss questions in small-group format. If we're not satisfied with a correct answer, we can go to a 'master test booklet' and voice our concerns; "it only takes one comment for a question to be investigated." There were actually one or two questions on the midterm that everyone was convinced that the provided answer was incorrect.

All that to say that barring the administration changing around the correct answers / the values of some questions, I know how I did. I didn't fail. I passed. Not by a whole lot, though. I was a little surprised, especially since the second-years were offering advice along the lines of, "Don't be afraid of the first midterm - it's SO easy! EVERYONE gets like 85!" I shouldn't have listened to them.

Okay, it's only pass/fail, and it is worth only like 3 percent of our term mark, and because of those factors combined, in the days preceding I didn't take it that seriously and probably could have studied a lot more. But I'm the type of person who needs pressure deadlines for motivation, and frankly, there was not a lot of pressure with this midterm.

Because this midterm isn't worth a lot, I'm not tearing up or traumatized from not doing better than everybody else in the class. In fact, my inferiority complex is telling me that I am lucky to even be in med school, so I should expect to get ranked at the bottom of the class (those thoughts are always accompanied by that little voice in my head, "You can't fail med school!")

However, this test was really beneficial. It will change the way I study from now on in. All of the second-years before me told me, "Keep up with the work," and unlike their comments about the midterm, I should have taken this advice more seriously. I'll pass on that advice to aspiring medistudents. I plan to devote more of my evening and weekend time to reviewing the preceding week's content. I'd rather study all throughout the semester than cram all at once before the test; apparently, the second method doesn't get you really good marks, as I found out.

I know I didn't give it my all for this midterm, and I'm not too worried beacuse I could have done better if I sacrificed spending the preceding thanksgiving weekend for studying instead of hanging out with friends & family. From now on, if I fail a test, I'll have to go to the committee designed to help students, and then take a remedial exam. I'd rather not partake in that sort of thing. I'll definitely be taking the tests a bit more seriously from now on.

1 comment:

CharleyBrowne said...

i DEFINITELY hear what you are saying. i wrote exactly this same thing in my post! hehehe. well i guess we shall learn (hopefully)