May 24, 2014 § 6 Comments
This past Wednesday was our final in Physiology, covering everything we’ve learned this year. It was the earliest I’ve ever taken an exam, with only 4 full days to study after the last day of school. The days leading up to it were a bit stressful, but we were able to stay positive and optimistic. I never got to review as much as I would have liked and instead chose to focus on those topics that I felt were my weakest: respiratory, gastrointestinal and renal physiology. Those topics alone took me about 3 full days, which didn’t leave much time for anything else.
The day of, I was actually in quite a good mood. I’d only slept 3 or 4 hours, but was feeling positive and excited to test out my knowledge. I’d mentally prepared myself for all possible outcomes and that removed quite a bit of the fear and anxiety normally associated with exams. Our theme for the days prior was, “smooth seas do not make skillful sailors”. We would either pass the exam and move on to the next one victorious or rise to challenge a patch of rough waters and grow stronger because of it.
The exam “began”at 13:00. We weren’t seated until around 14:00, which was expected since there were 85 or so of us taking the exam. The exam was split into 3 parts, 30 questions each, and we had 3 hours to complete it. If you failed any one part, you failed the exam. Normally, I answer multiple choice quite quickly (going off of instinct and not always reading the entire question – bad habit!). While doing practice tests the day before, I made several stupid mistakes and decided that on the exam, I would have to make sure I took more time to process the entire question. For the semi-final last year, I think I was done in the first 1 hour and 45 minutes. This time? Just 4 minutes short of the 3 hour mark.
Here is an example of the multiple-choice questions put out by the department. They were nice enough to actually reuse several of these on the exam! If you want to see more of them, click here.
Instead of waiting for the results, Jannie and I headed home for dinner, beer and bubbles. We grabbed carpaccio and pasta from Vapiano and set up a little picnic on the balcony off our bedroom. We congratulated ourselves on the mere feat of completing a 3-hour exam on a year’s worth of physiology and reveled on the pure bliss one feels in the aftermath of a great challenge.
Much browser refreshing was done between 19:00 and 19:30 when someone uploaded a photo of the exam results onto our year’s facebook group. That is when the panic hit.
After a hectic minute of searching for our codes, Jannie and I came across our scores – and we’d both passed! Skjalg emerged from his study cave soon after our vocal delight filled the apartment. I ended up getting a 4, for which I am very proud (even though it would have been nice to get a 5 😉 ). Here is how the results ended up:
After that, it was over. We sat there in a state of mixed exhaustion/happiness/apathy not quite knowing what to do with ourselves. Skjalg went back to his anatomy cave and Jannie and I started watching Bridesmaids, calling it a night mid-movie.
The following morning I allowed myself to sleep in and then Jannie and I rode our bikes to Culinaris to pick up some black rice. We had originally planned to take a whole day off, but with anatomy up next, we decided it would be wise to get a head start. To make the day a little more special, we picked up some picnic items for lunch and stopped off in front of Parliament to enjoy the post-exam bliss, pre-exam anxiety and 30-degree day.
Then it was home to start embryo! Our anatomy exam is in 12 days (from today) and even that is not enough time. Every hour, I have to bat away a nervous feeling that creeps up into my chest. We’re trying to hold on to the positivity we fostered for physio, but with a topic list that is 14-pages long, it’s proving to be a bit more of a challenge. It’s possible though! Just need to put one foot in front of the other…
To cheer ourselves up yesterday, we took our giant to-do list for the last few weeks of school:
and crossed out alllllll of the tasks! Sometimes it’s nice to remind yourself how far you’ve come and what you’ve gone through to get to where you are 😉