Thursday, August 11, 2011

Samplex Mentality

We just finished the first leg of our two weeks-long shifting exams, hence the lack of posts.

Shifting exams are like midterms although a lot harder (which I guess is already a given). My friend and I realized that part of the reason why we’re having such a hard time getting used to this school is because the students here also have a different way of studying. Another friend of mine introduced me to what may seem like a lifesaver for some med students – Samplex (Sample Exams).

Sample exams are the test questionnaires used by upper batches back when they were in our current position as freshmen. It takes some skills to actually get to hold of these pockets of sunshine, especially for us who don’t really know anyone from the upper batches. And the idea is, the more samplexes you have, the better. The logic behind sample exams is pretty simple; the questions they give in the sample exams are more or less similar to the questions the professors will ask in the actual exam. And if you’re lucky, some subjects actually use the SAME question they used one or two years ago. I realize it’s hard to explain further what sample exams are because well, sample exams are sample exams.

But my issue here is not really the sample exams, but the kind of mentality that med students are so prone to have, something that I simply call the samplex mentality.

For a whole week, it has been my constant dilemma whether or not I should read the actual lecture notes or simply rely on the sample exams. A bajillion pages on origin, insertion and action of muscles or five pages of samplex? The answer seems so easy, especially when you only have less than a day to study for two months-worth of lecture. I’m usually the type who likes to read the book twice then review through my notes. This was back in college, by the way, when time seemed to go by so slowly when it’s study time.

But in med school, studying doesn’t involve just reading the book because there’s really not enough time to read the book. I guess UST students are (un)lucky because our professors provide us with handout prior to the lecture that most students don’t even bother to listen more so write notes during the lecture. I, too, have become one of these students. What sucks though is realizing that lecture writing really iz ze way to understanding, but I digress.

What I’m trying to say is that samplex mentality is this tendency to take the easier and somehow more risky path. Easier because we all know it’s a lot less difficult to read five pages of a questionnaire than a hundred or so pages of Gray’s Anatomy. Risky also since there are subjects which are supposed to be samplex-based but turns out to be a lie, and this therefore makes it really sucky for someone who relied so much on sample exams.

I admit falling prey to this samplex mentality when I’ve given up studying for Biochemistry, and my God, you don’t wanna know what happened there. So yeah, sometimes it works, and sometimes it sucks to be me when samplex questions never come out.

But on a deeper level (HAHA I feel like I’m pushing it), this samplex mentality isn’t really limited to taking exams. I can give you situations when I’ve chosen what seemed like an easier and maybe a little risky path, and well, what seemed easy at first is no easy shit at all. I mean, when faced with a situation when we can choose between a short cut with a bit of a rocky road and a long and winding path, isn’t it human instinct to choose the former? Because gets, bakit mo papahirapan sarili mo di ba? I hate saying that, “don’t be so hard on yourself”. It seems like the perfect excuse to be lazy and complacent about things, but at the same time, I hate telling myself those words just to give myself some artificial comfort.

Where was I?

Easier path… Ssamplex mentality… Longer path… My trail of thought got screwed up somewhere along the way, but what I want to say really is, shit’s not easy and I realize med school or life if you want to sound poetic is really not about taking the easier “path”. I think it’s about pushing yourself to the longer path, throwing yourself into that mob with nothing but your own self to guard you, and choosing to be hard on yourself because girl, life’s no tea parties and Mickey mouse shaped waffles. But again, take this with a grain of salt, because I’m the kind who likes to be hard on herself most of the time.

1 comment:

  1. During my Econ days, we relied heavily on samplex knowing na it was too risky. Hindi siya effective, you tend to forget stuff after the exam. It's like you just study for that moment (through the samplex)and retain nothing. No explanations and elaborations, just concepts. Huhu. Don't get used to it, wag ka gumaya sakin!! Hahaha. You know you'll be needing stock knowledge once you're already a doctor. KAYA MO YAN!!! Stick to your habits. Mwah! :-*