Cumulative Exams Suck

We took our final on Monday for Micro I. That was probably the single most difficult exam we’ve taken so far. It wasn’t just that the questions were a paragraph long, or that they gave us a case and then asked a secondary question about the organism, but it  was the first exam we’ve taken in med school that has been cumulative. And honestly, a class like micro is the worst class to have a cumulative exam in. Our Immuno packet was ~115 pages and on top of that, we had to know 7 packets for virology and bacteriology. Seven packets! That’s over 300 pages of pure text that we had to memorize cold with over half of it being stuff that we haven’t looked at since the first half of the semester.

The exam was worth about a fourth of our final grade, so it could potentially make the difference between passing and failing. I felt like crap after I left the exam room. I needed ~50% on the final to make sure I didn’t fail the class, and when I turned in my test I couldn’t tell if I had reached that. There were too many questions where I had narrowed it down to two things and had to make a guess on which one to pick. It was really just the worst feeling. If I failed this class, I would need to remediate it over the summer and all my plans would get screwed. Then if I couldn’t pass the remediation, I would have to take it the following year with the incoming M1s. There were so many thoughts going through my mind as I left campus. “How could I have studied for it better?” “Is there going to be a curve?”

The key was posted yesterday and my heart was  racing as I carefully compared my answers.

Verdict: I passed the class

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This was the first class I’ve taken where I didn’t give a crap about my percentage; I just wanted to pass!

We’re waiting for the final grades to be posted and if there will be a curve, but it’s nice to know that I don’t need to depend on the curve to know if I passed or not. There wasn’t a curve last year, but there was one the year before, so we’ll see what the professors decide. Anyway, it’s a huge relief…..

….and now I need to study for our Micro II exam coming up in less than a week.

This is never-ending.

-NB

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