Monday, 22 June 2009

Battle time! (4)

Part IV. CRL Paper 1, 3 hours, 12-SAQ, 35%.
"The Speed of Thought"

It was 10 days into SWOT VAC from the Saturday when it began. More than 50% of my time was spent in uni, rotating between Frank Tate and ERC. I like the background music in the reading room. My bedroom was only for sleeping.

One of the most useful equipment I recently bought is the earphones from Harvey Norman. Media Player + imeem = a new study method for me. Audio stimuli helps memory. But when I'm sleepy and tired, even Lectopia isn't that useful.

Other ways of studying:
  • Test drive - doing the actual past papers. I surprised myself the 1st time by doing the 3-hour paper in 2 hours. And did it again a few times after that (2004-2007).
  • Discussion - letting ideas bounce off from head to head. Good way to approach the PBL-style questions (30 marks each), and to get the minute details I don't remember that others might. Joined Brian and gang once upstairs in Frank Tate, and with Syarul and gang for a couple of sessions at uni and at home.
The test day was a Tuesday morning. If I had a philosophy for this paper, it was: Write at the Speed of Thought (sounds a bit like Bill Gates' book). No time to waste. Because I'll only get marks if I get the written ink down on the paper! Not good enough to think of the answer to a question, gotta write it out.

I felt happy with the questions on the pressure-volume loop, vitamin D3 activation and lung anatomy. The ones on the smoking patient, including the differential diagnosis, and the "neuro-related changes" of sarcopenia were a bit challenging. But overall I felt satisfied with the paper. It could have been harder (glad it wasn't).

Best part was, I was ahead of time, with 30 spare minutes at the end of the exam. This preparation felt better than semesters before this, though it probably could have been more productive. Regardless, I can't really talk about making preparation without giving credit to God, who directed my path throughout the study break, from the beginning until the actual paper itself. It was a real battle with decent practice sessions.

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