How to approach medical university exams?
As we all know that we are nearing the completion of your academic year and; the big day is coming up – ‘The Examination’. It is indeed a method to evaluate how much you have learned about the subject and how efficiently you can use it to take care of your patients in future. Yes, I said it correct. That is the primary intention of keeping all these exams and considers this as one of the stepping stones for your successful journey. Hence unavoidable. So, don’t be so tensed about it as there is no use in being dithery at this moment and it never going to help you. It is time to act. Always keep one thing in your mind that these tensed moments are temporary and you all are going to have a joyous life ahead, and it is your decision; whether you need to sit back and relax and have an awful experience or to change the future.
Let me come to the point. After correcting your answer papers, I felt to write to you about the presentation, and it is a crucial part of getting towering credits in your examination. I have listed few points for your consideration. I have already mentioned many of these during the class hours, but still I expect some more improvement with that.
1. Always keep all the required stationery and other documents ahead of the day of the exam to avoid any last-minute hiccups or chaos.
2. Have a balanced breakfast and eat nothing risky (probably not the best day to have a super-hot curry!).
3. The person who is going to correct your paper will not have any clue about your learning skills, your fonts, your presentation or in short ‘who you are’. It will sound a little odd, but you are indeed going to explain something to a stranger. So, first impression is always helpful as an icebreaker.
4. As soon as you fill up all the credentials in your answer script, take a short pause before receiving the question paper. Relax and think about the kind of happiness you are going to have once you complete the exam. Keep your minds relaxed and do not mess up with things that you have learned at the last moment. Just pray to have the privilege to remember everything at the right moment.
5. Once you receive the question paper, skim through it and have a master plan about how you are going to start or with which question.
6. It is always advisable to start with an answer that you are so confident.
7. Don’t worry about your friends and how fast they are filling the papers. It is your exam; your life and you are going to rule it. Keep focused on your answers.
8. When you are writing an answer keep the following points.
- Give proper and legitimate numbering, and that should be outside the margin. Make sure that the question number is correct.
- Before committing the answer, have a plan about how you are going to structure the answer and act according to it.
- If you wish to make subheadings; try to give alphabets instead of numbers to avoid any confusion for the evaluator.
- If you must give numbers for subheadings or sub-topics; try to keep it inside the margin within the brackets.
- Always start with giving an introduction or definition for the question being asked and underline the headings.
- Blind answers without any introduction or definition will never impress a strict evaluator (it is a matter of luck about the person who is going to correct your paper).
- If you are giving any definitions, try not to manipulate it with your own words as it is a universally accepted combination of words. So be sure about it.
- If any diagrams are there in the answer, try to keep it in after the introduction or in the initial paragraphs, and it is the best method to galvanize your evaluator.
- Diagrams can be drawn on the left-hand side of the paper (preferably) and don’t forget to label it properly.
- If you are trying to explain any mechanisms; for example, mechanism of Type I hypersensitivity, keep the mechanism in a diagram and give short explanations on the right-hand side of the diagram. This will reduce the time you will be spending on each answer, and the answer will look more imposing.
- If there is any possibility of flow chart, make use of it.
- If there is any comparative explanation, always use a table with proper heading.
- Decide on the weightage of marks and should add more points and illustrations if you are writing a long essay question.
- If possible, try to underline the important terms. Yes, I said it correctly important points and not the entire paragraph.
- Do not try to split your answers into short forms that are going to be continued after some other answers. If you are not sure about the complete answer, you have the provision leave a specific amount of space and can fill it once you complete other answers. Always strike out the unused sheets or pages.
- Do not waste too much time on a single answer so plan according to the weightage and your presentation.
- Once you complete your answer, go to the next easy one and follow the same procedure.
- If your brain freezes, start thinking about the class/session you have heard about the topic, and you will soon start remembering more details.
9. It is always advisable to have a quick look at the answers before you submit it. This will correct any silly mistakes you have made during the presentation.
10. Avoid notions like ‘PTO’, ‘Please Turn Over’, ‘End of Answer’, and ‘Continued’.
11. Once you have done, keep calm and if you have any immediate exam on the coming days, better not discuss what you have done or presented with others because if you realize about any possible mistakes; that will be haunting your brain and time.
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