Today’s Yesterday (Part Two)

I have gone two nights in a row without enough sleep.

Both nights for completely different reasons.

When I arrived at the exam hall for the test (Physiology, Anatomy, Histology and Embryology only), I was already so over it. I hate to say it, because I hate it when people use that phrase, but there’s no better way to describe it. All I could think was, “Can we write this thing already?”

Did I think I was prepared? Not as well as I could have been. Although I’d pretty much gotten over my weird depression from the other day*, I still felt under-prepared for the Anatomy and Embryology sections. Histology, I was positive I could wing. Physiology was the only thing I knew I knew. So, even with this 50% chance of failure looming, I still think I was pretty darn positive. I said a prayer with a friend, gathered my stationary and marched into the exam hall, expecting the worst and hoping for the best. The result?

Well, it certainly was a interesting paper.

The Physiology section comprised most of the paper. The first part (which was worth 50% of the entire paper) was true or false. Our lecturer was very sneaky about the way he asked the questions, so mere parrot-study would have gotten me absolutely nowhere had I gone that route. I was instantly thankful that I’d gone through my Physiology despite feeling confident about it–especially when I reread the instructions and saw that the true/false was being negatively marked.

That’s right. HALF OUR PAPER WAS NEGATIVE MARKING. So if you only knew half of that section, you’d get no marks for it And then you were basically screwed, as you’d need to get every other section perfectly correct in order to simply pass.

Evil, I tell you.

The next section was still Physiology and made up another 25% of the paper. It was a more ‘explain this’ or ‘illustrate this by means of a graph’ type of question. I really enjoyed it because, not only was it Physiology but, it was a prove that you understand question. Those get me excited.

Sad, I know.

The following section was Anatomy. I tried to calm myself and believe that I knew something. Except, they only asked one question that I was absolutely positive about. There was one about muscle origins that I’m sure I’d read about, if not studied, so I made that up. There was another about that dratted diaphragm–and it wasn’t even about the apertures. Something to do with thoracic levels. Like I can memorize pages and pages of things at T12, T4, T789. Please.

But–and this is the shocking thing that made me almost giddy–overall, Anatomy only counted a measly 15%. That’s right. All those notes, all that parrot-studying, and they asked 15%’s worth of questions on things that weren’t even all that substantial.

It was actually kind of ironic.

Histology somehow ended up counting almost as much as Anatomy, with a random one-mark Embryology question thrown in for good measure.

I swear, there is something wrong with the entire assessment system. I mean, I don’t mind that my favorite section counted the most–if you ignore that evil neg marking thing–because it means that at least I know now that I’ll pass. Which is a huge relief. I really don’t care that a tiny section like Histology (sample question: Tabulate three differences between the histological appearances of a bronchiole and the trachea. Be specific. |6 marks|)  counted as much as that monster of Anatomy. That just means that even if I don’t get a single answer right in for Anatomy, I stand a chance of passing pretty comfortably. I’m cool with it, you know.

But they just dogged us so hard.

Did they somehow forget the vast volume of Anatomy that we were required to cover for this system. All those funky-named innervations and vasculature, all those organs and structures. I mean, the breast people. I know the anatomical position of the nipple, so why did no-one bother to ask about that?

I feel worst for my classmates. Personally, I’d long resigned myself to the reality that Anatomy would not be my thing for this test, so I’d just played to my strengths. Most others decided to torture themselves with trying to memorize that section, which was the smart thing to do but only counted for 15%. (The spot test couldn’t have been passed on memorization. That’s what the dissections were for.) Which, in a way, is unfair. Why give us one thick stack of Physiology notes, four hundred stacks of Anatomy, a few sheets of  Histology and then weight the paper the way they did? It worked for me, I’m not complaining. But it still feels somehow wrong.

Anywho, maybe I should just shut up and count my blessings. Because…


Now, to start studying for Clinical.



*I’m sorry I subjected you to all that. I really don’t know what came over me. I’m usually a very optimistic person. I must have really been tired. Oh well.


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