Failing an exam
So last week I got the results of our latest multiple choice exam (MCQ) which I didn’t pass (this sounds nicer than *fail*) which was a bit of a bummer really. I think it’s difficult especially when you think that you are working well and keeping up with your notes to then suddenly get a bad result which you may not have expected. As the exam is very clinical based, it can be hard for a pre-clinical student to get to grips with – but obviously everyone else in the year seems to be coping well, so that’s not really an excuse.
When I first checked the result online I just sort of felt disappointed more than anything but not particularly upset. Then I called my mother, oh dear it all went a bit blubbery from there… That made me realise just how much I did actually value getting a decent score and though she reassured me it was just the first one, it is easy to feel like you are the only one in that situation. After talking to other students, you realise there are other people in the same position as yourself and I think that is comforting (in a weird sort of way, not that I wanted anyone to fail like me).
Since pondering (what a lovely word :)) it over, I think I’ve come to realise that there isn’t anything that I would drastically change about the way I work (more like small changes here and there and a bit more perseverance) but I will definitely be more open to the value of working with others as usually I am quite happy to just work and revise my myself in my room. It can be really helpful to just ask others how they revise/work during the week to get more ideas and compare how much work you should/shouldn’t be doing and where you focus it – revising with a few other classmates can work well too. It also makes you question yourself a lot more and so I think partly you need to have some self-assurance in your abilities whilst also knowing that improvements can be made. Ultimately not doing well in one exam is not the end of the world but it does make you think a lot, and if that means you do much better next time then it can’t be so bad then can it?
So I know this is a very short post but I sort of wanted to write it because I think that students should think and prepare for not doing well in exams and not be afraid for asking for help. And in a way I can focus on the positives of this in that it should motivate me to work harder in preparation for future exams and that I failed my first official exam rather than one at the end of the year because the last thing I want is to be in the position of having to redo the year. Sorry for the ‘downer’ post but I would love to hear from you in the comments!
>What is your favourite ‘study tip’?
>Do you prefer to work alone or with others?
>How do you react to not doing well in exams?
>To any medics, how do you revise for MCQ style exams?
Thanks to those of you who have voted on my recent poll about what posts you would prefer to read – if you haven’t yet, please check it out at the end of this blog post. Much appreciated as it gives me a good idea of what to write about for my posts.