It is finally here. The day I have been dreading since September. We have all been working so hard though, and I could not be prouder to belong to my year group!
We sat our SAQ today which is a series of 15 STEM short answer questions. STEMs are small papargaraphs at the begining of a set of 10 questions that give us some clinical context to the patient.
I was terrified about this one as SAQ’s mean you HAVE to know your stuff. There is no logicing it all out, you just have to do it. I got to the med school early and had some breakfast and a coffee whilst flicking through some notes to try and absorb some last minute things.
We started at 9:30 and I was so nervous I nearly could not bring myself to open my paper, but I eventually had to because , well I had to sit the exam. I was releived to see that the first question was something I had practised a lot so I felt a bit more relaxed and trundled my way through.
I broke out afterwards and chatted to a few people but I was adimant I did not want to talk about the exam , which is why I found myself chatting about the exam on the way to treat myself to some lunch at the dirty duck ,:).
I had a lovely lunch , caught up on some admin and walked with Dan back to the MTC to do a bit of chill study making sure I had some small detailes nailed. I went home at 6:45pm and had a relaxing evening binging Big Bang Theory and Sherlock, as well as writing this blog !
I woke up today feeling a slight more happier about the prospects of the day. MCQs were not the exams I was worried about. I did the same routine as yesterday and ended up having a moan about some of the questions in the SAQ that we had the day before. However, I should have been so much more on it. The exams were …. hard. I was struggling to piece things together and we were tested on some of the less talked about aspects of the course.
I felt horrible coming out but thankfully, I quickly realised everyone felt the same so that calmed me down a bit. I cycled over to the post room to pick up a surprise parcel of mine and found that my best friend from my undergraduate has sent me a little exam survival pack and my birthday present So that was a very much needed cheer up.
I ended up not revising and going home just lying on my bed feeling a bit sorry for myself in the evening bracing myself for the next day.
Tonnes better than yesterday. We were all pretty nervous about what was to come. I was panic revising some neuro anatomy but inside I just wanted it all over and done with. I was now sick to death of revising and preparing for these so I was pretty happy to enter the exam room and sit down. Thankfully , the exam today was better than yesterday and I felt like I could use everything I had learnt to get through it.
We came out and it was STRAIGHT down the Dirty Duck. However, we were all slightly early because of how early the exams had finished So we decided to get some “refreshments” and sit on the parade. Everyone was in such a good mood ! We had finally finished the writtens!
Wednesday to Monday
“Hello my name is Abbie and I am a first year Warwick Medical student, can I take your name and date of birth?”
These words would be said hundreds of times over the next coming days. It was OSCE prep time and although there is a small amount of theory that goes along with it, the best way to revise for these things is repeating it over and over again. We were also using Geeky Medics videos and the WMS ones to make sure we knew what we were doing.
I was pretty sick of them by day three but the second years organised a OSCE prep day for us so I was up there practising. However, through all the exam stress I had semi forgot I had an interview so I had to leg it down to main campus and quickly change (wiping off the mud kicked up from my bike).
OSCE Day 1
So the big day had arrived and we had to be there by 8:30am. I walked up to the med school, grabbed some coffee and sat waiting. WMS had started to keep first years in isolation so my slot was at 11:45am so it was a LONG wait. The actual OSCES could have gone better, I made some silly mistakes because of the nerves but I am hopeful some might have gone well. I pretty much went home after and tried to do some more theory revision. However, I was really worried about the next day. I was fully convinced I had mucked it up and had failed. I struggled to get to sleep and I was just a bundle of nerves for the next day.
THE FINAL EXAM DAY. I woke up feeling good but also, I could feed my heart pounding in my chest. I got to the MTC and prepared myself for the long wait. However, it turns out they switched the groups around and I was in at 9am. My heart lept into my throat and I could feel myself becoming slightly dizzy. We made it over to the circuit and began. THANKFULLY , it was a lot better than the day before. I only screwed one station up (anatomy). As soon as the last buzzer went off after my final station (cranial nerves) , I developed the BIGGEST grin on my face. I had done it. I finally, finally made it to the other side. I HAD COMPLETED FIRST SIT FIRST YEAR EXAMS!!!! My official final station was a rest station so I was just sat there grinning and hardly sitting still.
We spent the next three hours in isolation playing games such as Mafia and Organ Attack and just generally celebrating. After we were FINALLY released we headed to the dirty duck but not before I had cracked open the little bottle of bubbly my best friend had sent me. We all then had a few pints and some food before crashing so we would be ready to party the night away !
It has been a ridiculously hard ride. Im saying this before the results come out but that was the most intensive two weeks of my entire life, to to mention the 7 weeks before hand.
Seeing everyone dressed up at the ball, I was so proud of us all. We had done it, made it through exams. Whatever the result on the 24th June, everyone should be so proud of ourselves. We did it !