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mandyshine

Post exam ruminations

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Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone was feeling as anxious as me regarding the paper 3. I had a week of study leave prior and Im beginning to think I 'overworked'. I spent the week learning neurophysiology ,  psychogenetics, psychopharmacology  neuroimaging etc a la Manchester Course. By the time I sat the exam, I was exhausted and was desperately trying to hold onto all the useless facts Id accumulated etc. As a result my clinical judgement was totally clouded and I made so many stupid mistakes. This was all compounded by lack of time to think each question through.

I am due to start an ST4 post in August and would feel so ashamed to start without my mrcpsych. (I undertand that run through trainees will progress regardless of their exam result but if they fail they will be on an ST3 contract - what ever that means) I feel I am crumbling under all the pressure and am spending my time ruminating over ll the questions I got wrong.

I just wanted to share my worries with you all because I have drawn a lot of support from Superego over the last 2 years.

Id be interested to know what everyone thinks. (I apologise if it seems like Im bragging re ST4 offer- I only posted this info because I feel its adding to the pressure not the otherway round- I know there are plenty of people out there who are not in this 'fortunate' position')

MT  :o

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Don't worry, you are definitely not alone!

Your first paragraph described exactly what happened to me as well, used all my annual leave and study leave to sit holed up in one room with hardly any contact with the outside world, learning all sorts of facts and figures which were useless for the exam and I have already forgotten! I think I would have performed exactly the same if I had gone on a nice relaxing holiday and just learnt critical appraisal, cos that's the only revision I found useful.

You are in a really good position to have a job to go into, so just try not to worry, take some time to yourself, relax and just see what happens. You probably didn't make lots of stupid mistakes, it's normal to feel negative after such a random exam!

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I was in a different position in fact. I practiced some American Questions and i did not exhaust myself in birmingham and manchester. I decided not to abuse my mind with all these useless facts and numbers of chromosomes which make no sense. I was happy to see the paper like this, not because i did well but because it is a good exam worth respecting. The only thing I regret is not doing EMIs from past papers.

Regarding ST-4 jobs, I am in a stage of 'Learned helplessness'. If you can remember the college initially said that you will rogress to ST4 and have till end of ST-4 to pass membership, then this has changed. Then we were told we have to go through an interview and application to determine where we going for ST-4. The situation about those who will not pass is still not formally clear. We do not know what will happen next month or the month after. We do not even know if we can resit MRCPsych in this second year remedial ST3 or not. The College Regulsations states that candidates will not be allowed unless a formal review of training happens !! Alot of We Do not Know stuff

If you ask me how I feel now, the only answer i have learned is 'I do not know'. This has been the case for the last 18 months..............

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I know exactly how you feel Miss Tickle, I am in the exact same position.

I have been a 'bright student ' all my life, never failed an exam (as per God's grace).

I passed my Part 1 in the first attempt. I have been offered an ST4 post as well.

I started preparing for this exam with great enthusiasm from end of December '07 only to realise that i was pregnant. I struggled with the morning sickness but still continued to study only to end up having a miscarriage, 5 weeks before the exam.

I still tried my hardest to study and to keep going on. Read Birmingham, manchester, CA, American questions (thanks to a very kind friend), adn thought maybe I could manage in the exam. Then had a terrible bout of flu in the last crucial week before the exam.

In the end, the actual exam was so stressful and short of time, I got confused over simple things, and now I feel confident that I will fail.

I dont think I would be allowed to move to ST4 and considering how few ST4 posts are there this year, I think it is a dream to even think of getting ST4 later on.

So it is now or never for me. I feel I have missed the bus. One might say I had valid reasons as I was not entirely 'well', but in the end, what really matters is, did I pass or not?

I have been feeling miserable since the exam and I dread the result day.I just dont know how i would cope then.

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Doc,

I am sure I edcho everyone on this forum's condolences about your miscarriage, and the stress and difficulties you faced.

Just remember that thru all of this, u did amazingly well even to sit the exam and hope all the best for you.

I am in similar position worried about progression, we were told that we couldnt progress to st4 without MRCPsych. When I pointed out that this would give me only one shot at it due to the time frame permitted to sit exams, they didnt care...

Never forget there are other important things in life too- friends/family/, just life itself should not let these exams drag us down too much.

Good luck to all, especially you Doc

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Doc,

I am really so sorry to hear about miscarriage. The very fact that you attended the exam in such a situation shows that how motivated you are. Hard work pays ultimately. I have been worrying since I came out of the exam hall. I have done so many stupid mistakes. That too I have only got this year to complete this exam as I am in staffgrade position. Thats why I really worked hard but dont know whether I will pass this time. I dont even know whether I would be able complete this within this year. Otherwise I just have to die one day without MRCPsych. At least you are in a training position and with your level of motivation I am sure you will be fine. I wish you all the best.

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Doc, sorry to hear all this. It is not the end of the world this exam. Why you assume that you failed already. You do not know what happens in these exams. Sometimes they take some questions off from the whole mark, some other times they modify the pass mark. You are putting yourself under so much un-necessary pressure because exam is over. All what we need to do is wait for the results with some hope. In the event of failure, which no body knows how likely or remote it is, there are some good things to look forward to:

1- You have an experience with Paper 3 and know how to prepare for it

2- Paper 3 is much easier to prepare for than the Old Part 2

3- You will be offered another training post, take it as an opportunity to taste another subspeciality

4- Passing Paper 3 is not the only requirement, those who will pass will have to sit this CASC !! It will be much less stressful scenario to watch how his new clinical will be

Try to Relax Doc. It is this system who put all ST-3 in particular under so much stress of having only one attempt !!!

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Thank you drych, LOVE and NY....

I just hope it works out for all of us in the end...

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Oh Doc- how awful. :-* :-* :-* (We need a hug emoticon, Webmaster!)

Don't worry about the clinical judgement thing- I felt the same when I read the first lot of questions. I was panicking so much feeling that there must be all this esoteric research that I didn't know about that all my basic stuff went out of the window. I've got a horrible feeling I may have put the depressed post MI gentleman on amitriptyline (out of a choice of 5 antidepressants!!!!!!!)......I'm really hoping I didn't, or I may have to send a hit squad to the college to find and burn the evidence :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[

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Thanks Stewie, Doc etc for all your support.

Doc- hope things get easier- you really deserve it given what you've been through.

I think a fail wont be all too bad as it really shouldn't be too difficult to prepare for the next sitting in August. I think I have also learnt from this the importance of a good night sleep pre 3 hr exam and a good breakfast both of which I denied myself.

I am hoping to be given opportunity to do another ST3 job in August so maybe that will take the pressure off somewhat.

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Ros, I know what you mean! I was genuinely worried after an interview last year that they would contact my supervisor/ college tutor/ employers to tell them I was completely incompetent - it went THAT badly! Luckily any stupid answers you may have put down in the exam you can explain away as a 'slip of the pencil'!

It's really nice that everyone's been so supportive in this thread, and that people feel comfortable to share stories of their difficult times - v helpful both ways I think

Have you seen the paper 1 and 2 'countdown to doom' clock on the college website? Scary! :o

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Ummm... is anyone else feeling a little...er....concerned about the 3rd of April?

Find myself on the SEC, gaming, watching lots of movies - it's been weeks!

Just want that awful list to come out already - the waiting is INTERMINABLE!

F_S

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Doc, Miss Tickle

I dont know why, but I am sure that you are going to be ok!!!

Maybe because I see two people who set very high standards to themselves, and obviously this has taken you so far to where you are now.

Relax and try not to think about it until that day, hard work usually gets rewarded!!! ;)

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I can't believe it's NOT this thursday.

Seven more days and nights!

How do others cope?????????????? >:( >:(

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Personally I am keeping myself busy by trying to get a job for after August. Being anxious about shortlisting results and interviews makes me forget about the exam. Or the other way round, at times. In other words, I dont know what to worry about first!!! :o

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I am lucky that I have a job after August but I have been told that if I fail my exam the job is probationary and will also be unbanded. I would rather take 6 months off the rotation and locum/trust-grade then be faced with this. I dont think the latter is an option though as filling gaps in service is the priority as far as the deanery is concerned- so we have to progress regardless of whether we are ready.

:-[

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I am lucky that I have a job after August but I have been told that if I fail my exam the job is probationary and will also be unbanded. I would rather take 6 months off the rotation and locum/trust-grade then be faced with this. I dont think the latter is an option though as filling gaps in service is the priority as far as the deanery is concerned- so we have to progress regardless of whether we are ready.

:-[

Do u mind telling us which deanery you r in?

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to be very honest I am not worried about the result at all. 2 reasons......I know I wont pass so am not really bothered with teh whole result issue....secondly there is so much more to life than having sleepless nights over an exam result

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I was shocked to see the questions, i even considered walking out, I didnt get chance to do last 20-30 emi's, I think I know enough about psychiatry, manchester notes were not as useful as they are normally.

I think we were used as guinea pigs for piloting exam, I am not sure even to check my name in the list on the 3rd cos i am confident i will fail!

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Just for the record- I am not staying in on a Friday night ruminating about my likely exam failure- I am actually on call so I am allowed to ruminate. ;)

Peechoo- I do agree that exams are not everything and there are more important things that could keep us awake at night. However, matters are made complicated by the fact that a failure for ST3 candidates has financial and job security implications.

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Miss Tickle I agree with u too but always pray n wish for health n life and the health of your loved ones

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I have started having nightmares about paper 3 result ,

I didnot do so bad but these results are always unpredictable & this is my utmost fear .

I wish best of luck to all of you

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My sixth sense tells me the cut-off mark will be better than Paper 2. :)Hope thats true. BEST OF LUCK TO ALL. ;)

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Just for the record- I am not staying in on a Friday night ruminating about my likely exam failure- I am actually on call so I am allowed to ruminate. ;)

Peechoo- I do agree that exams are not everything and there are more important things that could keep us awake at night. However, matters are made complicated by the fact that a [highlight]failure for ST3 candidates has financial and job security implications.[/highlight]

You r lucky u hv a job to have implications!!!!!!! :)

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