Day 87: …but this rerun has an alternate ending

Today’s inane image of the day:

I absolutely *love* when holiday cups reappear at coffee shops. Especially when they have corny statements on them like “When we’re together snowmen come to life” [what is that supposed to mean, anyway?!]. Oh yeah, and that’s Robbins behind my cup…

I will start by saying that as of this morning, I officially passed my BFCP2 Midterm exam.

Now, I’m sure you’re going to ask me if I was making that last entry up… well, obviously not [I wouldn’t lie about that!]. There were a lot of tears shed and self-doubt on Monday evening while I was recovering from the news.

But at the same time… I had hope that this status might change.

The last exam that I [still] failed, I missed the mark by 3 questions. Generally after BFCP exams, we go through our own exam packet and grade them against the key. Administration is still trying to come up with the best way to go about doing this… but for the first two exams, we all sat in our O’Dowd classroom with our packet [NOT our scantrons — important point here!] and watched the screen as Dr. Sabina scrolled through the master exam packet. This was quite… painful. Furthermore, it tended to be inaccurate since I found that sometimes I forgot to circle in my packet the final answer I decided to fill in on my scantron.

After we grade our own exams and have an idea of our performance, we have an opportunity to challenge questions for numerous reasons. Sometimes we feel that the question isn’t backed by a session objective, or that there were two correct answer choices. In the end, it’s incredibly difficult to come up with a challenging but fair USMLE-styled question… so it makes sense that there will be some duds in the mix. This being said, I do want to say that the overwhelming majority of our exam questions are really well-written and fair.

The first examination set the standard that it was indeed possible to get points back using this question challenging method… so there were students who failed by 1 question and were relieved to discover that  they passed after the challenge period. By no means did we get a substantial number of points back, but for those of us straddling the border, every single question matters. Unfortunately, I only got 1 point back on the second exam, so it wasn’t enough to bump me up.

But for Monday’s exam, I missed the mark by 2 questions.

This time, to allow for more privacy in grading our exams, they changed the protocol again so that we each received a copy of our scantrons. Furthermore, an answer key (but without the questions!) was posted on Moodle so that we could grade our exams when we were ready. Being the somewhat impatient person I am, the moment I received my scantron, I sat down and started grading.

The first thing I noticed was that I got the second question [which, for some reason I distinctly remembered] incorrect… this seemed extremely odd since it was a very straightforward question. After asking a number of my classmates, we came to a consensus that there must have been a mistake in the answer key. With that, I went home with an inkling of hope that maybe, just maybe I’ll get lucky this time and get back the 2 points that I needed.

Well, I confirmed this morning that 2 questions were mis-keyed and I had indeed earned enough correct answers to pass [2 more questions were then thrown out, so everyone gets points for those — bringing me to a total of 2 questions over the number of questions I needed to pass the exam].

Because I barely scraped by this time, I remain determined to make progress for the last exam of the semester. I have been a lot better about studying after school and unplugging myself from technology so I can concentrate. Furthermore, I have been printing all of my lecture notes and writing out notecards to help with memorizing facts. As someone with an engineering degree, this rote memorization thing has really been the hardest thing for me to get used to… but I’m learning.

Anyway, time to get back to the books [with a much more enthusiasm]…

Today’s medical school fact of the day: “Bilirubin is a potentially toxic waste product derived from heme degradation.” — Dr. Sabina’s lecture slides

2 thoughts on “Day 87: …but this rerun has an alternate ending

  • November 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I LOVE alternate endings =) Seriously, the best news ever. Keep at it, you got this under control.


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