Twitter: @malamawks | Instagram: @malamawkin
As you know, Imperial gives all of us medical students an iPad which we use to get a whole range of resources. This includes eBooks for modules, we complete our sign offs for hospital placements on it and even have revision tools on it. However, this was the first time I have completed an actual end-of-year summative exam on the iPad and it was really interesting.
So the exam was the Pathology exam (5th year exam) on Monday which covered Microbiology, Immunology, Haematology, Histopathology, Chemical Pathology and Ethics & Law. It was 175 questions with 50 of them being very short answer questions (vsa).
Twitter: @malamawks | Instagram: @malamawkin
It really is that time of year again…the stress levels are rising and 5th year exams are approaching. We have about 6 weeks left until our first exam and although that sounds a while away still, there is a lot to cover. On top of this, we are still attending our hospital attachments daily.
I wanted to share with you a few resources that I am using to help me through this revision period this year, hopefully it can help anyone else revising for clinical exams and not sure where to start!
- Brainscape: Imperial Medicine students past and present have made flashcards on this amazing app that is a great revision tool.
Summer term’s just around the corner, and what does that mean? That’s right! Endless episodes of exams. Over the years as a student at the RWTH Aachen, I have collected various tips on how to survive the intensive studying phases – all without jungle hair and mental suffering.
First, schedule your free time
Even if you plan to study 8 hours a day, I always take the time to plan my private things first in my weekly schedule. Fitness and relaxation times are a must, and there are even studies that recommend such a planning. In the critical phase time naturally gets a bit tight and sometimes your exercise suffers, but one should always strive for a balance.
Firstly, a disclaimer. I am in no way trying to slander Imperial College London and the Physics department. They are being very supportive and understanding of my newly developed situation. This is more of a personal account of what’s been happening in life, because answering the question ‘Hey, you’ve not been around…what’s going on?’ gets tedious a hundred iterations in.
Around June, I had my last two exams of first year postponed to the September re-take period. I spent a healthy chunk of the summer revising and felt on track to do just well enough to be ready for second year.
You can find the official stuff on horizons here, but I’ll try to give an idea of the experience behind it. Either way, I’d recommend the course, as it’s a nice non-course-related thing to do with your life.
Background: as part of the Year in Europe part of my degree, I have to study the appropriate level of the appropriate language (as well as a special language course which I’ve mentioned elsewhere). For me, this was level 4 German, since I had studied it up to A-level. The course outline, assessment details and learning objectives for this particular course: bam.
So much for blogging a bit over the past couple of weeks to keep me sane. Life has consisted of revise, eat, sleep, repeat for the past couple of weeks, and I think I may have gone (more) crazy. I’m still slightly in shock, both that exams are over and I can stop revising, and that I’ve finished my first year. Things are starting to wind down now – most subjects have finished exams, and although some still have projects to finish, everyone’s taking time to relax a bit. Just went down to the kitchen to get some lunch, and currently it’s pancakes and loud music.
It’s about 1am, I can’t sleep, so I thought I might as well blog.
The blog’s been a bit quiet lately – the opposite of everything else in my life. I can’t believe it’s been over two months – it feels more like two minutes.
Since then, ICSM will have made all their offers to potential Freshers. So, to all of you who received offers…. CONGRATULATIONS! Welcome to the best medical school on the planet (I’m not at all biased…)
For those of you who didn’t, don’t give up. I didn’t get into med school first time round, so I took a gap year and worked as a healthcare assistant.
Last Thursday was my last exam for the year.
Sadly I still have two assignments to hand in this Thursday, and I must say, this exam season has been an all-time low in terms of stress. It’s like the stress was so much that I literally shut down and my mind couldn’t concentrate on anything. Usually I’m the annoying one who’s still reading right up until the last minute. Yep, I’m that person who enters the exam hall still trying to get some last minute information in, prepared to keep reading until the examiner says, “Put your flashcards away!” That’s me.
So, some people might think it’s weird for me to post about this on a blog that anyone can read but meh, to me it’s not something I feel I need to keep a secret and it could probably be helpful for me to talk about as I’m sure there are some amongst you lucky offer holders who do or will experience similar circumstances. So this blog is about my year leading up to my CFS/ME diagnosis.
What is CFS/ME I hear you ask? CFS/ME stands for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. They are two names for the same condition and it’s up to the sufferer which one they use… I personally prefer to say that I have CFS as it’s less confusing and it makes it easier for other people to understand.
Exams are only five weeks-ish away. The year is enarly over (HOW. HOW HAVE I BEEN HERE FOR A YEAR?!) The weather has (of course) improved drastically just as I chain myself to my desk. Courses are drawing to a close. Oh wow.
So revision. I am terrible at revising, I’ll put my hands up and say it. I just find it very very hard to get started and I inevitably end up taking a lot of tea breaks. And biscuit breaks. And food breaks in general. And of course I need an appropriate spotify playlist for my mood. And the temperature of the room has to be just right – is the window open too wide?