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failed first exams..not sure what to do next.

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carolinablue

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I failed my first match of exams...badly...like 45% bad....having thoughts that I.won't make it in metal school...few thoughts of dropping out but maybe thats just an extreme thought...theres just so much information..so fast...i don't learn anything in class and attendance is mandatory...and after class I'm too tired to study hardcore...im.completely lost, very disheartened...don't know what the hell im going to do..i got two more exams coming up in a few days (different subject).
 

Barcu

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I'm sure your school has resources to help struggling students. Talk to them ASAP.
 

Go Ducks

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Buy some flesh-colored ear plugs, stake out a seat in the back of the class, and study during lecture. My sister does this all the time during law school.
 

carolinablue

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how do i get motivation to study when my first scores are sooo low that even getting 100's from here on out im still in a C range..
 

thepoopologist

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how do i get motivation to study when my first scores are sooo low that even getting 100's from here on out im still in a C range..
Think about how much medical school is costing you instead of doing the reasonable thing and withdrawing.
 

drizzt3117

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how do i get motivation to study when my first scores are sooo low that even getting 100's from here on out im still in a C range..

Do you need a tissue? Either work harder and figure out how to be successful or quit. It's up to you. No one can put in the work for you.
 

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I know I'm a pessamist, but if you worked hard and get 45% maybe you just don't have the ability. Sure starting first year was a rough, but if you can't get in the low 70s despite maximal effort I don't think you can handle it.

I would really think long and hard about your career choice, there is probably something you enjoy that will come easier to you.

Just to make clear, I'm not calling you stupid or anything, just that different people are better at different things and this might not be for you.
 

carolinablue

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I know I'm a pessamist, but if you worked hard and get 45% maybe you just don't have the ability. Sure starting first year was a rough, but if you can't get in the low 70s despite maximal effort I don't think you can handle it.

I would really think long and hard about your career choice, there is probably something you enjoy that will come easier to you.

Just to make clear, I'm not calling you stupid or anything, just that different people are better at different things and this might not be for you.

i would say i put in about 60% effort...im also currently fasting and cant eat/drink from 5am-8pm (religion)..i started doing it in august and will end next week...this has been making lecture extremely difficult to follow since i have little to no energy during the day...but its not an excuse, other people fast and do just fine. Maybe ill do better when i can drink coffee and have a real meal during lunch like everyone else, but i dont know if it really makes a difference....I will talk to the dean tomorrow and see what are the steps for dropping out. Thanks for the reality check.
 

Isoprop

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I think it's too early to start questioning your intellectual capacity. This is your first exam in medical school, and maybe what worked in undergrad isn't going to work now. If you got into medical school, you probably are hard working and smart enough to do well, but you are not using your time and effort efficiently or wisely enough.

I would make an appointment with the dean or someone in student affairs. Sign up for a tutor or a study coach if your school has them available.
 

Instatewaiter

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It sounds like you get overwhelmed and don't know where to start.

I think the first step is realizing there is so much info you have to chip at it slowly but surely. Finding a starting place is important.

The way i did it was to skim each lecture and get the organization down and what they would be taking about. Go through a second time and try and learn the material. Then I would go through a third time and make an outline/notes of the lecture. This would help me really learn the material and would help with studying before the test.
 

LossForWords

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I can't even remember how many individual tests/quizzes I failed the first two years of med school. I'm pretty sure it was shy of double digits, but don't hold me to that. I do remember each one felt like the end of the world and made me question my career choices. I never actually failed a whole class, never had to repeat a year, I did fine on Step 1, and now I'm a very happy 3rd year.

Just double down and do better on the next one. Seriously.
 
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carolinablue

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I can't even remember how many individual tests/quizzes I failed the first two years of med school. I'm pretty sure it was shy of double digits, but don't hold me to that. I do remember each one felt like the end of the world and made me question my career choices. I never actually failed a whole class, never had to repeat a year, I did fine on Step 1, and now I'm a very happy 3rd year.

Just double down and do better on the next one. Seriously.

if i got a 60 i wouldnt be that upset...but 50? 45? man are you kidding me...thats low low...not low..thats LOW LOW......how do i pass a class when i got a 45 on the first test
 
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thepoopologist

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if i got a 60 i wouldnt be that upset...but 50? 45? man are you kidding me...thats low low...not low..thats LOW LOW......how do i pass a class when i got a 45 on the first test
Part of medical school is about dealing with failure. Trust me, as someone who failed more than his fair share of exams, the key is to not self flagellate over a bad test and use it as fuel for the next exam.

The attitude you have now is one that will fail you out of school. You need to change it.
 

grdnangel2

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i would say i put in about 60% effort...im also currently fasting and cant eat/drink from 5am-8pm (religion)..i started doing it in august and will end next week...this has been making lecture extremely difficult to follow since i have little to no energy during the day...but its not an excuse, other people fast and do just fine. Maybe ill do better when i can drink coffee and have a real meal during lunch like everyone else, but i dont know if it really makes a difference....I will talk to the dean tomorrow and see what are the steps for dropping out. Thanks for the reality check.

Please don't make rash decisions!!! Seek advice from an advisor. Passing exams may be a matter of changing your study enviroment, strategies and the amount of time devoted to study. Hang in there! The year has only just begun. Find your inner fortitude and go conquer MS1!! Good luck!!!
 

Dayzie

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....am I the only one who giggled about the metal school typo and studying hardcore?

Really?
 
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adaptation1

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you are fasting from 5 am to 8 pm?!

that IS a freakin legit excuse to why you are doing poorly. your body needs material energy, not just spiritual energy. fasting is great for health and spiritual reasons, i'm sure, but your brain needs glucose right now, not any third eye openings from jesus or buddha!!!
 
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SGuttenberg

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you are fasting from 5 am to 8 pm?!

that IS a freakin excuse to why you are doing poorly. your body needs material energy, not just spiritual energy. fasting is great for health and spiritual reasons, i'm sure, but your brain needs glucose right now, not any third eye openings from jesus or buddha!!!

there have been observant muslims who have gone far in the medical field, so the fasting probably isn't a great excuse.
 

moto_za

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Part of medical school is about dealing with failure. Trust me, as someone who failed more than his fair share of exams, the key is to not self flagellate over a bad test and use it as fuel for the next exam.

The attitude you have now is one that will fail you out of school. You need to change it.

:thumbup:
 

ccmonopolies

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To the OP, you need to study more and do more repeats of the info to even pass in med school. You need to know the material cold to even pass.

For anyone that does not know the material inside and out, he/she could potentially fail.

You need to understand that everyone who is passing is working a whole lot harder than you are right now.

You need to decide whether you want to work that hard for at least 7 more years so that you get to practice medicine.

You need to get your act together because if you fail more tests and fail more than 1 subject, you will have to repeat this semester and thus will be delayed 1 year.

The ball is in your court. You can either run or hit back.
 

surftheiop

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Ignore all advice here and talk with your dean of students, their job is to keep people like you from dropping out. Our dean of students told us during orientation that its really bad for the med school to have people drop so he does everything in his power to help people succeed. They can get you tons of free tutoring (many of the tutors will even essentially tell you answers to test questions that they know will be on there) and in general having the dean of students helping you out will be a recipe for improvement.
 
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mrcmedman

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i would say i put in about 60% effort...im also currently fasting and cant eat/drink from 5am-8pm (religion)..i started doing it in august and will end next week...this has been making lecture extremely difficult to follow since i have little to no energy during the day...but its not an excuse, other people fast and do just fine. Maybe ill do better when i can drink coffee and have a real meal during lunch like everyone else, but i dont know if it really makes a difference....I will talk to the dean tomorrow and see what are the steps for dropping out. Thanks for the reality check.

I failed one of my first tests (histology) and just barely passed my first anatomy test. It was pretty discouraging, but it was also an eye-opener for me. I mainly realized that my studying habits were not at all efficient and made some drastic changes.

It's still way too early in my mind to make any rash decisions. Try to get some tutoring help. Work really hard for the next block of tests. And see if there are materials/resources (i.e. review sheets put out by classmates, BRS or High Yield books, etc.) that can help you learn the material faster. Being efficient is really key. Case in point, sometimes you can learn the same amount from reading two pages in a review book as reading 20 pages of anatomy lecture notes. Also, if you haven't already done so, force yourself to do practice questions as you are learning the material in class, and not just the night before the test. And definitely force yourself to do a short cursory pre-read before each lecture.

If you still do come to realize that you can't handle it in spite of the effort, I'm sure your school has an option to decelerate or something - where you can spread first year over two years.
 
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Muffincakes

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Ignore all advice here and talk with your dean of students, their job is to keep people like you from dropping out. Our dean of students told us during orientation that its really bad for the med school to have people drop so he does everything in his power to help people succeed. They can get you tons of free tutoring (many of the tutors will even essentially tell you answers to test questions that they know will be on there) and in general having the dean of students helping you out will be a recipe for improvement.

Completely agree with this, it's just one exam and the first one at this. Talk to the dean. And it's ok too if you can't bring up your grade with the rest of the exams and you end up failing the first module, your school can have you make it up during summer. The main thing is to figure out what you are doing wrong when you are studying; medical knowledge is rote memorization so it shouldn't be too difficult if you are studying the right way. Ask other students how they are studying. And try harder (caffeine is your friend) for the beginning few modules; it's always good to start out studying more than you need to and slack off once you've figured out exactly how much you need to study to get a grade you're satisfied with.
 

swamprat

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OP yeah its way to early to consider dropping out..

as far as the fasting thing goes, it IS a valid excuse (to whoever said it wasnt). not everyone's body is the same, some people can fast and probably concentrate just as well, others (including myself if i skip lunch) need that glucose/energy to continue studying. keep your head up OP get some help there r plenty of ppl in my class that failed the first exam and they are all still with us now in ms2
 

scummie

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Everyone goes through this point during the first year. Questioning your ability is completely normal.

You really need to be honest with yourself and evaluate how you were studying.

Get off the computer, get off facebook and go to a remote library with no internet. Bring your Netter's, Lipincott's, whatever and study for 30 mins. Take a 5 min break. Repeat for a few hours. Teach an imaginary class out loud. Sitting and re-reading your notes for hours is not going to cut it anymore.

You are playing with the big boys now. You need to studying smarter, not harder. Talk to the kids in your class that are doing well and do what they did. Tweak your study habits around until you find a system that works. Maybe you need a study group. Whatever.

You are 100% responsible for your actions. Don't blame anything or anyone else.

Talk to your dean and see what you can do so that you're not automatically set up to remediate the class that you got a 45% in. Many classes are curved, so you may get some extra points in the end. Sit down with your prof and go over the test. Figure out where you went wrong.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself. This guy on Swamp People said it best--"When the goin gets stuff, shut up and work harder."
 

g8orlife

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how do you have an exam already? when did you start?

Umm... I'm about to have my second exam this Monday (3rd quiz tomorrow). A lot of programs have started already.

Look up the start dates of all med schools if you're that interested.
 

g8orlife

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i would say i put in about 60% effort...im also currently fasting and cant eat/drink from 5am-8pm (religion)..i started doing it in august and will end next week...this has been making lecture extremely difficult to follow since i have little to no energy during the day...but its not an excuse, other people fast and do just fine. Maybe ill do better when i can drink coffee and have a real meal during lunch like everyone else, but i dont know if it really makes a difference....I will talk to the dean tomorrow and see what are the steps for dropping out. Thanks for the reality check.

1. Talk to your Dean.

2. Try giving 100% into your next exam. Work your ass off, put everything you have into it (blood, sweat tears), put the rest of your life on hold until that exam is over.

3. Kill the exam. Don't try to kill it. Believe you will kill it... Oh and take lots of old practice tests/questions if you can.
 

carolinablue

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yeah i hear what you guys are saying...dropping out or feeling like im not capable of handling school is like an automatic reaction..its instinct...you do bad, you get scared...i mean..i dunno...it is what it is.
I started school about 2 weeks ago, so we had about a week of classes before our first 2 exams. I dont feel sorry for myself, i know that i could have studied more...but it was just hard tho..i was a liberals major..i never took biochemistry before and having a major test with a week of classes was rough...but no excuses im sure people have done it before just fine.

I will try to see my dean tomorrow and see where to go from here. I like being optimistic and hopeful just like many of you...but like many of you i'm also realistic.

I've already tried doing somethign different studying wise that a professor recommended i do and it seems to be working pretty good...printing out the slides and just writing on them, not just reading but writing on them..highlighting..re-writing..talking to myself, or to my friend about the material...quizing myself. It takes me a while to get through material with this method, but the material that i do cover i get to really understand well.
I have a very minimal science background...never took biochem, micro, immuno, path...i just took the basic science classes and am extremely well at writing (or so i think). I cant spell worth crap but that besides the point here.
One of the biggest reasons why i think i got accepted into med school was because my school saw that i was persistent. I took the mcat three times..applied twice...kept pestering the school for an interview...but things feel different when a test is over and done with...and theres no way to really erase it. The second mcat can overshadow the first...but the 2nd exam and 1st exam are both 20% of the class grade...they are equal, one can only over shadow the other if its an amazzinggggg improvement. The whole fasting thing is not an excuse..i mean it sure as hell made the first month of medical school hard for me, but ive been doing it since i was 7..i cant fall back on that as a reason for not fully understanding co-factors and allosteric inhibitors.

BUt damn...2 exams after a week of classes?! Give me time to settle, meet some people..find a study routine...pick a place to study...learn the city..i mean damn, can a man get a breather before studying like crazy lol??
Drinking water out of a firehose....ppl told me this before, and i just realized what it means..what is REALLY means.

I have another 2 exams this monday...i really think that i can do better...im already starting to improve how i study, and how quickly i can study...but it takes me time to do this..im used to pumping out essays and projects for humanities classes, this is a little strange to me honestly.

Your responses are all appreciated.
 
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FutureDoc01

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You really need to eat. I snack between every lecture, or at least get a drink of tea. If I don't I become exhausted.
 

mvenus929

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...but things feel different when a test is over and done with...and theres no way to really erase it. The second mcat can overshadow the first...but the 2nd exam and 1st exam are both 20% of the class grade...they are equal, one can only over shadow the other if its an amazzinggggg improvement. The whole fasting thing is not an excuse..i mean it sure as hell made the first month of medical school hard for me, but ive been doing it since i was 7..i cant fall back on that as a reason for not fully understanding co-factors and allosteric inhibitors.

BUt damn...2 exams after a week of classes?! Give me time to settle, meet some people..find a study routine...pick a place to study...learn the city..i mean damn, can a man get a breather before studying like crazy lol??
Drinking water out of a firehose....ppl told me this before, and i just realized what it means..what is REALLY means.

Welcome to medical school. It's a tough reality. the learning curve is super steep, and you have to adapt. Everyone does it, even people like you who weren't science majors in undergrad.

Now, just get into the mentality that you WILL have an amazing improvement. Yes, a 45% sucks. Royally. But it is ONLY worth 20% of your grade. Kill the second exam, which will give you a little more breathing room. Then do whatever it takes to get as many points as you can from the remaining 60%. It really doesn't matter if you get Cs. The important thing is that you pass, and that you learn the material, so you can do well on Step 1.

If fasting is draining that much energy, then take naps in the afternoon and study late at night (after you can eat) or early in the morning (before you start fasting for the day).
 

Morsetlis

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Like many people have said, you do need to study smarter.

Different methods work for different people, and you should mix and match to achieve a combination that you like:

-Reading the book ; Pro: Can do anywhere, any time, can cross-reference with notes ; Con: Boring, book is heavy

-Reading lecture notes ; Pro: Can do anywhere, any time, can annotate without feeling guilty ; Con: Material organized according to your professor's mind, which sometimes isn't sane and sometimes notes don't contain all you need to know for exams

-Writing your own notes ; Pro: Writing is a good way to reinforce the material concepts, and you can make it colorful and re-read it according to how you want ; Con: If you learn a wrong concept or misinterpret something, it is committed to paper and there's nobody around to correct you

-Going to lecture ; Pro: Words go into your ears ; Con: Long, contain unnecessary filler times, can induce sleepiness

-Computers and quizbanks ; Pro: Can do in your room or at the library ; Con: Eye strain, computer material often either too basic or too extreme compared to books

-Group discussions ; Pro: Maybe there's a smart teacher-type student or tutor who can help you, and you can also discuss/teach other people to test yourself ; Con: Need to interact with actual humans, time constraints and transportation time cost

-Going to lab ; Pro: You get to look at real cells and dissect real cadavers, and there could be helpful tutors around ; Con: Unless you already know the material somewhat, lab isn't a good place to learn without guidance

-Osmosis ; Pro: The book goes into your head ; Con: Can't happen in real life

:cool:
 
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DrCoffeeBean

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Step #1: deal with apathy and low mood to get the energy and joie de vivre back, you will need those in abundance when preparing for exams.

Step #2: review study techniques as mentioned above.
 

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Figure out what you're doing wrong. Fix it. Don't worry about the exam grade or flunking a class. I'd say probably at least 1/4 of our class failed/almost failed a course MS1/2. They usually have you remediate it in the summer (not a huge deal unless you're shooting for a competitive residency)...

Also, talk with students futher along in medical school as to what they did when they were fasting during that unit (not sure if this is in general, but we have probably 5-10 Muslim students in every year with an active student group on campus). Some of my classmates tried to eat foods early in the morning that would keep their energy up for the longest period of time (not sure what, but other students might have ideas)...
 

gman33

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First anatomy exam, I got somewhere around 55 on the written part.
Remember thinking it was impossible and everyone must have done poorly.
I think the avergae was in the 80's. :eek:

I felt like a total *******. I did better on the next exam, but ended up failing the block by 1 point because the first exam was worth like 50% of our grade.

I felt totally miserable and thought about dropping out.

Anyway, I'm a fourth year now and that seems like a lifetime ago.

The experience probably helped me as I ended up getting a tutor and little by little figured out how to study in med school.

Get help now and just do the best you can moving forward.
Study every second you can from now until the end of this block.
Pass the class if at all possible.
Even if you don't, it's not the end of the world.

:luck:
 

carolinablue

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so i spoke with the dean of students...he was really nice actually...he told me to relax, dont stress about it too much, and to just focus on the next set of exams coming up. We're actually gonna have a sit down and discuss what i can do better since he was a bit busy with meetings and stuff. He kept pointing out that i shouldn't let my confidence go down.....the truth is, i dont really have an ego...i failed before and ill fail again in things, thats life...i just freak out when i think they there is no way to bounce back. He was like dont worry man you have like 4 more tests in the class you can pass the course if you do well on them.
It was so embarrassing tho...right when i walked in he knew who i was and my score...i never actually met him before but the first encounter we have is regarding my failing test scores..yay lol. No but he was nice and i mean, i told him...listen, i dont care about feeling dumb or whatever...i understand where i messed up..i was sleeping in class and studying the general material without learning the real details that were important...i was doubting the classes to be giving such detailed tests..now i know what to expect.
I wasn't a science major, and only took the basic pre-reqs, not saying its an excuse...actually yeah i am saying its an excuse lol, all my friends here have strong science backgrounds. He assured me that i will be ok, if i make big study habit changes i should be ok.

study habits i tried for the last test that didn't really work out too well....

1. typing notes on powerpoint during lecture
2. not writing anything and just listening
3. recording lectures on a recorder and hearing it later.
4. making flashcards
5. recording my own voice talking about the material and hearing it later
6. making outlines
7. answering lecture bullpoints
8. working in groups
9. studying alone in my room
10. reading the book

some of these are good...but none of them really hit home..i haven't been like "YES THIS IS MY STRATEGY!" yet. I haven't had that "aha!" moment...im still figuring this whole med school thing out honestly.

The anatomy professor was giving a lecture on time management and studying techniques, i came to him after class and told him everything i tried that didnt work....he said to put the computer away...bring paper and a pen, and just write things by hand in class.
So i print out the powerponits and just write on them. Im finding that i like this method much more than just staring at my mac-book for 6 hours...i like drawing and making notes...making big letters, small letters, small phrases to help me remember.
I would say that i did put the hours in...but it was not enough...i never had a chance to go over all the material...maybe just like 70% of it, there is just sooo much..not enough time...its crazy....i dont know how you guys do it...its seriously overwhelming.
I was a liberal arts major, to me..a difficult week is having 4 papers to write and a group project to turn in. They are difficult, but in a different way...its more intellectual stamina..but in med school im finding that you need pure muscle power stamina...its like the brain is a muscle and im trying to bench wayy over my max....that's actually a pretty terrible analogy but you get the idea lol.

So right now...im off social media..off my phone...off all distractions (this is my break btw)...im sitting in the libary...notes printed out...and im just reading, writing, going over them as much as i can...and im trying to REPEAT things..as much as i can, not just going over them once.

ill keep you guys posted...hopefully i can bounce back and be an example of what it means to change a work ethic in med school....or maybe ill just falter and things wont be so swell.
 

surftheiop

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]so i spoke with the dean of students..[/I].he was really nice actually...he told me to relax, dont stress about it too much, and to just focus on the next set of exams coming up. We're actually gonna have a


Your going to be fine, you asked for help and so long as your willing to keep asking for help when necessary your going to make it through. Best of luck to you!
 

The Angriest Bird

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Dude, that's like losing the first game of a 162-game baseball season. Big f**king deal.
 

Morsetlis

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so i spoke with the dean of students...he was really nice actually...he told me to relax, dont stress about it too much, and to just focus on the next set of exams coming up. We're actually gonna have a sit down and discuss what i can do better since he was a bit busy with meetings and stuff. He kept pointing out that i shouldn't let my confidence go down.....the truth is, i dont really have an ego...i failed before and ill fail again in things, thats life...i just freak out when i think they there is no way to bounce back. He was like dont worry man you have like 4 more tests in the class you can pass the course if you do well on them.
It was so embarrassing tho...right when i walked in he knew who i was and my score...i never actually met him before but the first encounter we have is regarding my failing test scores..yay lol. No but he was nice and i mean, i told him...listen, i dont care about feeling dumb or whatever...i understand where i messed up..i was sleeping in class and studying the general material without learning the real details that were important...i was doubting the classes to be giving such detailed tests..now i know what to expect.
I wasn't a science major, and only took the basic pre-reqs, not saying its an excuse...actually yeah i am saying its an excuse lol, all my friends here have strong science backgrounds. He assured me that i will be ok, if i make big study habit changes i should be ok.

study habits i tried for the last test that didn't really work out too well....

1. typing notes on powerpoint during lecture
2. not writing anything and just listening
3. recording lectures on a recorder and hearing it later.
4. making flashcards
5. recording my own voice talking about the material and hearing it later
6. making outlines
7. answering lecture bullpoints
8. working in groups
9. studying alone in my room
10. reading the book

some of these are good...but none of them really hit home..i haven't been like "YES THIS IS MY STRATEGY!" yet. I haven't had that "aha!" moment...im still figuring this whole med school thing out honestly.

The anatomy professor was giving a lecture on time management and studying techniques, i came to him after class and told him everything i tried that didnt work....he said to put the computer away...bring paper and a pen, and just write things by hand in class.
So i print out the powerponits and just write on them. Im finding that i like this method much more than just staring at my mac-book for 6 hours...i like drawing and making notes...making big letters, small letters, small phrases to help me remember.
I would say that i did put the hours in...but it was not enough...i never had a chance to go over all the material...maybe just like 70% of it, there is just sooo much..not enough time...its crazy....i dont know how you guys do it...its seriously overwhelming.
I was a liberal arts major, to me..a difficult week is having 4 papers to write and a group project to turn in. They are difficult, but in a different way...its more intellectual stamina..but in med school im finding that you need pure muscle power stamina...its like the brain is a muscle and im trying to bench wayy over my max....that's actually a pretty terrible analogy but you get the idea lol.

So right now...im off social media..off my phone...off all distractions (this is my break btw)...im sitting in the libary...notes printed out...and im just reading, writing, going over them as much as i can...and im trying to REPEAT things..as much as i can, not just going over them once.

ill keep you guys posted...hopefully i can bounce back and be an example of what it means to change a work ethic in med school....or maybe ill just falter and things wont be so swell.

I'm glad you figured out that the pen is mightier than the Mac.
 

EMDO2018

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Well, we just got the stats of our first exams back written exam worth 100 points, practical exam worth 100 points. Course director said class average is usually around 80% for all exams, and 75% for the first exams. Out of 188 people we had 20 people fail > 70%, 15 people got honors > 90%. Definitely more difficult than undergrad, how the hell do people get honors. Its so much material, I want honors now.
 

Baller MD

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Well, we just got the stats of our first exams back written exam worth 100 points, practical exam worth 100 points. Course director said class average is usually around 80% for all exams, and 75% for the first exams. Out of 188 people we had 20 people fail > 70%, 15 people got honors > 90%. Definitely more difficult than undergrad, how the hell do people get honors. Its so much material, I want honors now.

Study harder?
 

Southplains

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Definitely more difficult than undergrad, how the hell do people get honors. Its so much material, I want honors now.

Forget attending lecture, go through the class slides once but very meticulously, then answer any practice questions you can get your hands on. BRS, Pre Test, Lippencotts, do them all and read every explanation. The last thing you do the night before the test is a cursory, but complete review of class notes. Maybe highlight the things you got wrong.

For anatomy, replace reading slides with Netter's atlas, and go in on the weekend and identify each structure from the previous week on multiple cadavers.
 
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BestDoctorEver

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Well, we just got the stats of our first exams back written exam worth 100 points, practical exam worth 100 points. Course director said class average is usually around 80% for all exams, and 75% for the first exams. Out of 188 people we had 20 people fail > 70%, 15 people got honors > 90%. Definitely more difficult than undergrad, how the hell do people get honors. Its so much material, I want honors now.
Seeing how much one has to study to get an A, I just freaking wanna past now. I don't care about honors. Getting 'B' would do it for me!
 

DermViser

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Well, we just got the stats of our first exams back written exam worth 100 points, practical exam worth 100 points. Course director said class average is usually around 80% for all exams, and 75% for the first exams. Out of 188 people we had 20 people fail > 70%, 15 people got honors > 90%. Definitely more difficult than undergrad, how the hell do people get honors. Its so much material, I want honors now.
You study more and harder - writing things out, etc.
 
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smartparts

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just as a pick me up: i failed my first exam too because went about it the entirely wrong way. was smooth sailing once i figured out who i was and how i learned best (for me, it was clinical cases, not powerpoints). honored everything else and dropped a 260+ on step 1. now in my fourth year applying for a very competitive specialty. you can do it, you just need to retool your study habits and not let med school culture get to you!
 
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Helen Wheels

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carolinablue, I know it's very scary and you are feeling overwhelmed right now. I went through a similar situation in my first semester of med school. I was very non-traditional so had not been a full time student in 16 years and had basically forgotten how to study. On top of that, I was not a science major and had only taken the minimum science pre-reqs. I bombed my first anatomy exam with a 54%. What did I do? I talked to my advisor and other supportive faculty. I went and reviewed my exam and talked with the anatomy instructor about study strategies. I got a tutor and worked my butt off. I never failed another exam in that course but unfortunately could not dig my way out and failed the course by 8 measly questions. It was devastating but I stayed the course and remediated successfully that summer. To make a long story short, the first semester was terrifying but I never gave up. Second semester went better but still scary and when I came back for second year I had no further problems and did well.

You have the ability to succeed in medical school, we all have to adjust to the demands of med school and figure out what works. Try not to despair and keep your focus. And by the way, if you end up with a C in this class, thank your lucky stars. You don't want to waste any of your summer remediating. Sometimes a C is a good thing.
 
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