Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So I had my first official vet school exams today. Suffice it to say, they were pretty horrendous.

First off, we had a "spot" exam. This is essentially where tables are set up throughout the room, and each person sits at a table, which might have a picture, specimen, or some other sort of question on it. We had 5 minutes for each of 11 stations, and each station had somewhere between like 8 and 10 questions on it.

First off. That is NOT enough time. That didn't even include a few seconds to switch tables and get our bearings and read the questions (and I am a FAST reader). Bad system, and led to hastily scribbled answers and widespread panic amongst the masses.

Anyway, so the first table I got, I was really really confident. I answered everything, and even after looking over stuff afterwards I think I got it all. Score: Me, 1; Vet School, 0.

Next table. Complete blank. I put something down for everything, and I think I at least got a bit of it right, but still, just ick. So maybe like... a quarter of a point. Me, 1; Vet School, 1.

The next table I knew a fair bit on, and the table after that was so-so.

So on and on that went for 11 tables. There was one station I got near the end that was a "sit and relax" station and I used that to look through and see how I was faring. All in all I think I did ok. I'm not going to say I did well, but I think I made it through (crosses fingers!). Fortunately again this isn't worth a whole lot of our grade.

So then was the oral exam later in the day. This part was only worth approximately 2.5% of our entire grade, so I wasn't really too fussed about this. Everyone seemed to get the same examiner we had in our "practice" exam back in August, so I had Dr. Kempson again (What a woman!). I was still extremely nervous, despite the fact that this was such a small part of the grade. Probably just cause it's a pressured situation.

I heart Sue Kempson. Not only because she is just amazing, but because she is fair. I know she's probably a harder examiner than some of the others, but when she does the oral with me I actually learn from her. So while I'm pretty sure I completely bombed the oral (I got stuff right, but it was sort of like pulling teeth), the stuff she asked me is stuff that I will probably remember for next time. The problem was mainly that she asked a lot of stuff on the nerves, which I just can't do, and when I'm flustered I say stupid things like "that's the trachea!" when we are nowhere near the trachea, and I know it's the oesophagus. But again, her questions were fair, coherent, and were things that were I not in pressure mode, I would have known.

Oh well. Totally not worth moaning about, cause in the grand scheme of the year it's not going to bring me down. Who knows, maybe I scraped by anyway? I did after all correct myself on a bunch of occasions and did manage to get a number of questions right off the bat. Who knows. Sue Kempson will do what Sue Kempson will do.

Plus this time we had a "shadower" who was another professor who followed us around writing down what our questions were. They were basically there to make sure that when it came down to grading, students were given fair grades based on the difficulty of questions asked and how it compared to what other students were asked, etc.

Also I heard that one examiner (who shall remain nameless), asked CLINICAL stuff. We are not supposed to know anything clinical, so I feel horrible for the people that had her. She was asking stuff like "what is the clinical significance of the oesophagus entering here" (to which apparently the answer was that it's prone to an oesophageal hernia), and then asking what the dog would present with if it had such a problem. WTF?! Totally unfair to those people, and I have to wonder why they let her examine students. But then again, that's what the shadower is there for, although you'd think one of them would have piped up and said, "um, they are not meant to know that yet." Lame.

Anyway, now all that's left is the crazy written exam on Friday. I'm taking the night off tonight, because I hit the wall, so to speak. Yesterday night before the exam I was freaking out and sick to my stomach and I couldn't concentrate, so I just put my book down and attempted to sleep. The stuff I was studying turned out not to be on the spot or oral anyway, so it fortunately didn't matter. I woke up about 4 times during the night because of the noise the wind was making, and then again at 5:30am when my flatmate got up for work and I heard her moving about. Normally I wear earplugs cause I'm a light sleeper, but I was so terrified of sleeping through my alarm that I didn't last night. Then I woke up 60, 40, 15, and 5 minutes before my 4 separate alarms went off at 8:30. Ick.

Tomorrow it's time to review the digestive system, and the metabolic system, and brush up on whatever else I think I need to. I feel oddly confident. I know I suck at nerves, and muscles, but those are hard to learn in a book. I had them memorised in the book (even looking back at pictures after the oral I knew them all), but the actual thing looks NOTHING like the book. Everything else though, I dunno, I feel alright. I'm still stressed out, and I'm likely going to be freaking out tomorrow night again, but for now, I'm taking a night to just chill, and maybe make some flashcards if I'm motivated enough.

Oh also, in my procrastination last week, I reorganized my room. I think it's a much better arrangement now, and it seems like I have way more space. Here's a pic:
Now my keyboard has it's own well-deserved spot! I also got a bedskirt, so that ugly blue bed base is covered by a nice white sheet now. Yay!
In addition, I got a pedal for my keyboard, and some headphones, and a cover for it is soon to arrive in the mail (my room is surprisingly dusty!).

Anyhoo, laters!


Dash said...

Good luck! Hope they go OK. I had Callie for the oral - it could have gone better! Dr K is definitely the way to go.

Tayaki said...

we had 2 minutes per spots station for anatomy.

3 minutes for micro this year.

5 minutes is very generous! be thankful you're not in dublin!

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Loving your blog - although I am confused why you, and Tayaki, are both studying so far from home?

We had 5 minutes at Massey - and I am going to bring them into the vet nursing programme I run.... sorts out those who know what they are doing :)

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Happy Xmas