In order to succeed, there must be sacrifices. It is unfortunate, but that’s how the world works most of the time (for those who are lucky…well, lucky you!). I have never pulled an all-night for college (nor do I plan on that), but I’ve begun to average 3-6 hours of sleep each night just to study for the MCAT and finish homework or studying for my UIC classes. It’s tiring, and my eyes are becoming like that of a panda’s.
So my grades for biochemistry and homeostasis came out….if you recall I had both of those exams on the same day! I had a couple of other students in the same position as me, but I think they put in more time for homeostasis than biochemistry, whereas I did the opposite with the assumption that studying for the 4-credit hour class would be better than studying for a 3-credit hour…
But I should have probably studied more for the 3-credit hour because my grade was quite poor (most of the energy I had in me that whole week was biochemistry), and even though I did review the few first weeks of the material before the rest for homeostasis, it obviously wasn’t enough. I think the overconfidence prior had been superseded by the fact that the sample exam the instructors posted online was incredibly easy (I answered every question correctly), but when it came time for the test it was completely nonidentical. While the content may have been the same, the questions and answered were worded so obscurely that I almost didn’t have time to finish the test! It was almost as bad as MCAT questions (but the MCAT people don’t want to trick you as much as you think, whereas this class definitely wanted to make sure you were paying meticulous attention to every detail). The instructors even said to not worry about the test because “If you came to class every day and took notes, you’ll be fine! It’s not a hard test.” Can you believe the average was 66.9/102? I personally would not be proud of a score like that. I only scored a few points above average and I’m probably at a C right now.
On the bright side, biochemistry rocked! I got 10 points above the average so I’m probably at an A or super incredibly high B! I’m very happy I did well, so all of my work probably shows the correlation between amount of studying and actual performance on a test.
I’m curious about how people are studying in these kinds of situations. My roommate’s boyfriend had three exams last year on the same day (a Friday) just one after the other: biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, and genetics. Talk about STRESS! Thank god he’s naturally smart but of course he still had to study a great deal. Thankfully, the most I have ever had to deal with was two exams in a day in any circumstance (be it during the year or during finals week). Exam piling is so unrealistic.
Well, there’s a month until spring break at least! Before that happens, I will have taken my first genetics exam and my second biochemistry exam (in addition, I will be with HAC presenting health presentations to nearby high schools, yay!). I hope to improve my homeostasis grade by infinity for the second exam that is post-spring break.
March and April are always the most intense months of the semester, so gear up that hyperlearning switch in your brain because you’ll need it! Even though we might have to lose a few hours of sleep, you can use the weekend to recover (it’s been proven that this does help a lot) and take micro-naps in between the day if possible. Some people may rely on caffeine or smoking, but I just eat a banana in the morning to get me awake and ready for the day! Of course, the afternoon classes tend to make me sleepy…but that’s why we have to push ourselves to keep our eyes open, our ears alert and ready.