Progress

BLOCK TWO EXAMS ARE FINALLY DONE!!! There was so much more material on this second block as I learned how you can die from picking a pimple, how streptomycin works as an antibiotic, and how to find the vagus nerve among an entanglement of vessels, muscles, connective tissue, and nerves in the neck. But with an improved study methodology, and more time spent in lab review and group study, I can say that I generally felt pretty good about this second set of exams. This past few days had been hectic, as I studied nonstop, and stopped blogging for a few days, but I think it paid off. My Molecular Cell Biology exam score is back. Let’s just say I scored 20 points higher than my first block! We’ll see tomorrow about the rest of my scores!

My schedule everyday for the past week had been:

8:00 – 11:30am Lectures

1:00 – 2:00pm Mock Exams/Review Session

2:00 – 4:00pm Anatomy Lab

5:00 – 7:00pm Tutoring Session

7:30 – 8:30pm Anatomy Lab Review

9:00pm – 12:00am Group Study

As you can see from my schedule, I barely had time for personal study, but I think this is good because I tend to spend too much time studying on my own anyway. I’ve come to realize I learn best from talking things over with others, and that’s the beauty of having a university. I will do more group study for the next block.

I am only required to go to the Lectures and Anatomy Lab but the reviews, tutoring sessions, and anatomy lab reviews are highly recommended, and generally most people attend them. I admit I have skipped out on some of the anatomy lab reviews at night, but I think I will go to them more often. Our work load is progressively becoming heavier and heavier and I could feel it studying for this second set of block exams.

I am humbled by the caliber and the dedication of some of my classmates I’ve met here. There are those I see who dedicate long hours at the anatomy lab and is able to explain beautifully every detail of the body to me as I listen in awe. There are groups whose dissections are immaculate, and colleagues who have read through all the lecture notes, textbooks, and done all the practice questions, as well as seen all the Ackland videos. I have all the time in the world, 24 hours in each day for 21 days between blocks, but somehow I can’t seem to find it as these students have. For me, I admit, seeing these students have been a source of jealousy, a drive for competition, yet an inspiration at the same time as well as an opportunity for collaboration. But ultimately, I realize, the only person I can compete with is myself. I may not score as high as some of my classmates, but at least I’ll be happy that I scored higher than my last exam. To me, that’s progress.

**UPDATE**

I ended up getting A’s on all my exams for Block 2. So happy! 🙂

2 comments to Progress

  • Laura

    Hi Benji,

    Your blog is really a great resource for prospective students such as myself. I wanted to ask you about how your “study style” when you were freshmen until you finished basic science. I heard some people say it’s really hard to read everything, instead they just take additional notes and review on what was covered on lectures; what worked for you and what are your advise for someone that’s not a fast reader.

    Thanks,

    Laura

    • Benji

      Hi Laura,
      I agree that’s hard to read everything. I have tried, and I’ve gotten swamped in so much detail that I don’t even know what’s important detail and what’s not. The students who do the best in class tend to be the ones who can pick out what’s important and what’s not in lecture. For me, I’ve found that the classes I’ve done well in tend to be the classes that I did group studying for, and I think it’s because talking to others helps me realize what other people found important that I may have skipped over, and vice versa. That helped for me, but the preference may be different for everyone.
      Best of luck!
      Benji

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