Friday, September 14, 2012


So, this happened today:

I took a Biochem exam. I thought I did just fine, not quite as well as I'd done on the three most-recent practice exams I took yesterday - but still fine. Note: the practice exams are actual exams from previous years. Here are the practice exam years and my scores from yesterday:

2011 - 90%
2010 - 90%
2008 - 92%

2012? 68% Unfortunately, that's two questions beneath the pass/fail mark. No clue how it happened, other than that apparently the exam was harder than I thought. The questions were different, but I hadn't thought they were that different. I missed 10 out of the 32 questions, when the most I had missed on those three previous practice exams was 3. 

I spent half the day today feeling terrible. I haven't scored that low on an exam since Quantum Theory - and I still have no clue why it happened, as we don't actually get to review the exam for almost a week; we get our scores after taking the test because we are allowed to write down what letters we put on the scantron sheet onto a separate piece of paper and take it with us. Then, when they post the answer key (just the answers, no question content), we can see how many we got right/wrong. I plan on meeting with a prof to figure out exactly what the heck went wrong. I've got a solid base in Biochemistry, and the practice exams show that I understand the material. We'll see what I find out after I meet with her.

I spent the second half of the day bucking up and muscling my way through a ton of Anatomy - which I'm still doing, and will continue to do until I sleep tonight. It's 10:21pm right now. I took that Biochem exam at 8:00am.

It's been a long day.

All I can do now is try as hard as I can to make sure nothing similar happens when I take my two Anatomy exams this Monday. Wish me luck.


*Note: Today, I put up my actual scores. I probably won't do that in the future, regardless of if I do well or not. The simultaneously great and terrible thing about blogging publicly is that sometimes when people meet you, they find your blog - and read it. I'd rather be defined / judged more by my attitudes and reactions to events than by my test scores, regardless how negative or positive those scores might be. 


Sam said...

Maybe they will throw some questions out, leading to a pass!

Justin said...

One can only hope!

A Doc 2 Be said...

What do you use for review of biochem?

I know I'm only a wee undergrad, non-trad premed but I used a review book to go along with my notes, and then drew. A lot.

The review series is for USMLE - so rather than digest an entire post here, I can tell you that using it helped me with heme/myo and various ailments that occur because of improper binding of Fe and how that causes...

You see where I'm going. I also see that you're done with biochem. :(

Justin said...

@A Doc 2 Be - I used a slew of different materials, but mostly the coursepack that the school supplied. I also used a USMLE review book. In the end, it wasn't the materials I was using as much as it was the style of the questions and my own test-taking abilities. In my opinion, the test questions did a better job of assessing your ability to logic through multiple double-negatives ("Which one doesn't negatively directly inhibit the activation of phosphatidylcholinesterase?"). Also, I ended up scoring better than shown here after the faculty regraded the exam, and did MUCH better overall in the class.

Anyway, all that to say that I loved (at least usually enjoyed) Biochem in undergrad, but in med school it was something else entirely. Glad it's behind me.

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