It’s over: An analysis of the A&P final exam (but mostly reflections on aforementioned final)

Have you ever had the experience where you’ve studied your brain out for an exam, and then it turns out to be easy, so you’re sort of pissed? I got a perfect score on my comprehensive exam, and I’m both relieved and slightly upset.

I studied a TON for that comprehensive final, of which the professor gave us no idea of what it was going to be like. I’d studied all my past tests (though, in the back of my mind, I’d decided the professor would be a total fool if he just asked us questions he’d asked us before), but what I’d spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday doing was outlining all the chapters. In fact, I used color codes so I could engage with the material as I reread all 200 pages of it (in retrospect, yeah, I know this strategy was overkill and the idiot’s way of studying, but I was a) panicking and b) feeling pretty overwhelmed by everything). I used a bunch of online quizzes to study as well, and I certainly wasn’t doing perfectly on those.

That is what sort of upsets me right now. At some point during studying (fairly early on, before I started panicking and being a selfish jerk to my poor fiance who endured a fit of crying and Kate Gosselin-esque behavior last night), I decided that I wanted to be an anatomy superstar. An anatomy superstar, an in, I wanted to know it all perfectly. I wanted to have every single, stupid detail in that book simmering in my brain, ready to be ladled out at a moment’s notice.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Maybe I’ve got a perfectionist’s ambition without having the ability to be perfect. How do anatomy professors know this stuff inside and out? Probably through years and years of teaching and getting used to the material, etc. About a third of the questions could have been answered from having taken Biology 101.

I don’t know. There’s a lot to think about, and despite a perfect score, I feel slightly robbed. That exam didn’t test anything I was having trouble with (I have a list).

See, I’m NOT of the school tht believes that younger kids have to understand concepts rather than do rote memorization. I honestly believe that memorizing times tables, etc. is good for you. However, I’m just a little baffled that at my age, I can’t figure out if I’ve just demonstrated that I know the material as thoroughly as I think I should. Or maybe you’re not supposed to thoroughly understand the material until you’ve reached higher levels of the anatomical and physiological sciences.

How well do doctors understand anatomy and physiology after taking their first A&P course sequence? I’d really like to know.

I know this is a course from a community college, but I did have to work hard and I did have to study an enormous amount. I do tend to underestimate myself, though mainly to be grounded and continue pushing myself to get better at studying (which I have to do, because outlining like a crazy person will not hack it and I won’t stay sane if I do stuff like that for every single course I take).

How well, or rather, how thoroughly, are you supposed to understand a science subject (especially one that requires more memorization than analysis or critical thinking)?

Phew, I’m exhausted and not upset anyOkay, I’m so tired. I’m going home. Good night. Good luck to everyone (especially Nurse Wannabees) taking A&P this semester.

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