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Anyone ever take the test SICK?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by Hurricane95, May 28, 2008.

  1. Hurricane95

    Hurricane95 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2005
    Miami, FL
    This one got me would really SUCK to have to take Step 1 sick...what to do?

    Today I took the on-site practice test and with my luck, got an allergic attack before the test. It's no cold, but every now and then I get the worst bouts of allergic rhinitis you have ever seen. I'm talking sneezing, coughing, runny nose like an open faucet, itchy watery eyes, the whole deal. It can last anywhere from five minutes to a few hours. It gets worse and is sometimes provoked by dust exposure.

    I knew the proctors at the site (and official nbme policy) are very strict about not having anything out on the table, but I figured I could at least have ONE tissue out in plain view to wipe my nose with as needed...but no. When I asked the proctor about this, he said I can always pause, come out and get a tissue, throw it away, and go back to the test. Um, yeah. So I have to "lock" my test and get an irregularity (as if i cheated or something) to go outside and waste time to blow my nose? That really sucks.

    I'm considering loading up on claritin the night before and taking some pseudoephedrine right before the test to hopefully prevent any adverse events. Funny thing is I sometimes go weeks without having a problem, but just KNOW this will happen on test day. It happened on the mcat!

    Has anyone been through this? What would you suggest? I know to some it may sound trivial, but it is no fun to take a test sick or sick-like. I spent almost the entire 3 hours today with a moist philtrum sniffing up tons of water every 2 seconds, sneezing every 3-4 minutes and staring at the screen through itchy mal-focused eyes. It could potentially screw my score by a few points....and then when I finish and walk out, it's gone....:mad:
    Our workstations probably hadn't been dusted in months I'm guessing.
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  3. synapse lapse

    synapse lapse tokyo robotic 10+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    That sounds pretty crappy, sure hope I don't have any allergies to the testing center. I would wipe my snot on my long sleeve like a kid and move on. I figure my score is more important than my hygeine in that case. That's pretty absurd you can't bring tissues.
  4. gouda

    gouda 2+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2007
    This is the worst season yet for my allergies and the only thing that has worked at this point is nasalcrom which is OTC. I was really concerned it was going to not only effect my performance that day, but my constant studying (going thru at least a box tissues a day).

    The prescription stuff and OTC stuff I have tried have yet to work. This cromolyn sulfate mix that is in nasalcrom is nothing short of a miracle for me...
  5. Hurricane95

    Hurricane95 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2005
    Miami, FL
    Thanks I'll check it out and see if it works! :)
  6. SuperMonkey

    SuperMonkey 2+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    Taking the test while ill is the worst experience. I had a bad case of the squirts and I didn't have complete focus on the test. I wish I was able to put the test off for a few days, but I had to move out of my apartment the next day, which would have killed my study time. Overall, it may not have hurt my score by more than a few points. Good luck.

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