Formative Exams

We have been getting results back from our formative exams/tasks over the past couple of weeks and I recently received this question:

“Dear Mala, I heard that every first year medic fails January exams at Imperial. Is this true because I don’t want to fail. Do first year medics even do any work?”

In short…the pass rate was around 58% in our year. For those of you that don’t know, formatives are basically “mock” tests that we have to gauge how well we are doing so far. They are supposed to give everyone a metaphorical ‘kick up the aorta’ and thus work harder. However, considering we are a month into the term it has been funny to see that this has just not been the case. The never ending excuses we all seem to find to avoid work have built up even though we all “promised we would work harder” this term.

I am sitting here right now procrastinating doing a piece of work that should in theory take me about 20 minutes to finish but has totalled up to over 2 hours so far because I keep getting distracted. This is probably my own fault. I have positioned my laptop in an ideal distraction position- to the left of me lies a box of Lindt chocolates which is perched next to a box of Belgium Marks and Spencer Biscuits. To my right is my nail varnish and the debris of post it notes from my game of post it note snap I played earlier…with myself.

I am also sitting on a swivelly chair…this is disastrous. I spin slightly in the clockwise direction and I am facing…the mirror. If my music is playing loud I may transform abruptly into a professional singer/performer when I catch myself in the mirror. If I swivel on my chair 180 degrees I can make eye contact with my pillow. If we stare at each other for a long enough time then taking a nap will only be a good idea. I also somehow have managed to accumulate a few newspapers that are great to read when you’re “not busy” (cause I can’t say no when Amrit the Metro Man offers me a Metro at Gloucester Road station).

So, anon, even if it may not sound like it… not every medic fails formatives. (I managed to pass formatives. I have even done some work too.) Getting a balance between working and having fun is hard so you should probably go shopping before you come to Imperial and grab yourself a box of post it notes too so that you keep working ‘interesting’.

…And maybe work in the library.

P.S. This was procrastination too.

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