First Year

Summer Midterm Exams

So we had one exam on Friday, and then three exams last week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. This led us to not much time to study. I thought I had been doing well with keeping up with the material, but I hadn’t been learning the material in the best way.

These exams were more difficult than previous classes. They were all really focused on whether you actually understood the material, rather than if you just memorized information like most of our classes in the Fall and Spring semesters. We also have 4 new professors, so we didn’t know the best way to prepare for each class except for what was recommended by the upperclassmen.

The Acute Care exam and the Intro to Examination exam were probably the most difficult, because they were more subjective than the other two. You had to choose the best answer when more than one appeared to be correct. We all knew the information well, but being able to apply the information is difficult and is a skill that will take time to improve.

We were all expecting the Neuropathology exam to be absolutely terrible based on what the 2nd year class had warned us about. The exam actually seemed to be fairly written, with only a couple “WTF?” questions, but most exams have some questions that everyone is confused about. I spent too much time reading the textbook instead of learning the Powerpoint slides, so I’m not sure how well I did with this class. It’s nervewracking because this class only has two exams that are both 50% of your grade, so you really can’t mess up.

I felt the best about the Tests & Measures exam, but I still don’t feel strongly about it. Those exams are usually  obvious if you know the correct answer or not, but it is very difficult to get an A for this professor. There were 8-9 journal articles, 4 powerpoint slides, and a multitude of handouts and lecture notes that we were responsible to fully understand. It’s a lot of information, and it’s basically impossible to learn the weekend before the test, like I tried to do.

So, I’m not thrilled with my performance on these exams. I’ve only gotten one grade back, but I’m nervous about the others. I should have passed everything so I’m not expecting the worst outcome possible, but I didn’t do as well as I expect myself to do. It’s challenging to keep up with the material in every class. I felt as though I was doing a good job because I kept up with most of the readings and would review the information sometimes, but I didn’t try hard enough to learn the information until right before the tests.

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In other news, applications for being a Teaching Assistant next year have been sent out. I finally decided to apply, after being unsure for a few weeks. I’ve thought about being a TA since Fall semester, but it’s still a tough decision to make.

Four TA’s are chosen each year. They work a maximum of 20 hours per week for the entire 2nd year and get a lot of really cool responsibilities, not limited to holding weekly review sessions for Anatomy, helping with dissections in Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Neuroscience, helping prepare for exams, grading some exams, and giving tours of the program on interview days.

Three references are required, so the toughest part of the application will be for me to call up people that I haven’t spoken to in at least 1 year and ask if I can put their information down. I’ve never had the strongest references, so I’m always anxious when references are required for any sort of application.

I believe that at least 5 students are applying to be a TA, so I’m not sure how they decide who to choose. If I don’t get chosen, then I’d like to get a job somewhere else so I won’t need to take out so many loans.

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