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    Hey guys. I just wanted the (ex) med students' input on some of my questions.

    - Roughly how many topics did you cover in the first year?
    - How is the exam system set out (Exams in January and in May? or yearly exams?)
    - How difficult was studying everything?
    - How do they grade your exams?
    - What if you don't pass?
    - Are they all lectures? What is the practical work that you do?

    I was contemplating whether to apologize for being an idiot or you guys would have come to that conclusion on your own. (A) LOL.
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    (Original post by RollerBall)
    Almost all of those questions will vary from university to university. The only one I can answer more or less for all universities (even though I'm an applicant) is that if you don't pass, without extenuating circumstances there's a 9/10 chance they'll chuck you out.
    really??? i thought that if you failed an exam you get one chance to resit it you fail the resit they will decide weather you are suitable for the course. my doctor frind tod me this, however saying that it could be different at different unis.
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    (Original post by ballerinabetty)
    really??? i thought that if you failed an exam you get one chance to resit it you fail the resit they will decide weather you are suitable for the course. my doctor frind tod me this, however saying that it could be different at different unis.
    I thought it was you got a resit if you had dodgy circumstances.

    Maybe this highlights that it's different at different universities too. Since I'm only sourcing this from 4-5.
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    (Original post by RollerBall)
    Almost all of those questions will vary from university to university. The only one I can answer more or less for all universities (even though I'm an applicant) is that if you don't pass, without extenuating circumstances there's a 9/10 chance they'll chuck you out.
    that's simply not true... I don't think a single person got chucked out of last years first year hear - plenty failed and had to resit, 1 lost his permission to proceed but is now ressiting with our year next term. They try their best not to chuck you out..
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    (Original post by Confusing_Chem)
    Hey guys. I just wanted the (ex) med students' input on some of my questions.

    - Roughly how many topics did you cover in the first year?
    - How is the exam system set out (Exams in January and in May? or yearly exams?)
    - How difficult was studying everything?
    - How do they grade your exams?
    - What if you don't pass?
    - Are they all lectures? What is the practical work that you do?

    I was contemplating whether to apologize for being an idiot or you guys would have come to that conclusion on your own. (A) LOL.
    Well this is for St Andrews but is probably quite universal except remember we are lecture based not PBL..

    Exams twice a term, mid-semesters and end of semesters. An OSPE and written element - so 4 sets of exams a year for us, equates to a total of c. 9/10 exams a year.

    Studying everything is quite ticky since there is a huge amount to learn but it depends on how well organised you are etc - the subjects themselves with a few exceptions are rarely complicated.

    They grade our exams by ranking the year.. also by percentage and a grade point system which I think is unique to here. Well the large majority of the course here is lectures, but that's cus this is a lecture based course. We also do practicles which frankly suck, usually consist of watching a rather **** experiment or something. Then there are dissections which are awesome and clinical skills labs which are ok imo. In addition we have very very long histology labs which are quite grim but i can imagine some would enjoy them..
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    (Original post by Sambo2)
    that's simply not true... not a single person got chucked out of last years first year hear - plenty failed and had to resit, 1 lost his permission to proceed but is now ressiting with our year next term. They try their best not to chuck you out..
    Really? So if you fail a year without extenuating circumstances you can just resit the year again without any questions asked?

    Christ, sounds like a bit of a piss take to me. Ah well, I'll delete my earlier post regardless.
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    (Original post by RollerBall)
    Really? So if you fail a year without extenuating circumstances you can just resit the year again without any questions asked?

    Christ, sounds like a bit of a piss take to me. Ah well, I'll delete my earlier post regardless.
    well not quite that simple - you do have to plead with the dean to be allowed to resit the year but as far as im aware most people will be given a second chance as long as they show willingness to improve to the required standard

    edit: but remember to get to that stage you already have to have failed twice.. having said that I believe the 3rd year is less about 20-30 people from when it started for one reason or another so I may be incorrect
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    (Original post by RollerBall)
    Really? So if you fail a year without extenuating circumstances you can just resit the year again without any questions asked?

    Christ, sounds like a bit of a piss take to me. Ah well, I'll delete my earlier post regardless.
    Usually you have one shot to resit the exam on its own, without having to retake the year. If you fail the resit exam then you're looking at having to ask very very nicely to be allowed to repeat a year. I guess it all depends on your reasons for failing.
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    (Original post by Confusing_Chem)
    Hey guys. I just wanted the (ex) med students' input on some of my questions.

    - Roughly how many topics did you cover in the first year? Loads. We have exams after every 9 weeks of teaching which means you've got to be on the ball all year round. There's loads and loads to remember considering you're literally learning your basic science (the scientific foundations for your life as a clinical student and beyond) in just two years. What you probably cover in a days worth of lectures is equivalent to what you would have learnt over a week or maybe two weeks at A Level.

    - How is the exam system set out (Exams in January and in May? or yearly exams?) Exams (SAQs, EMQs and anatomy/histology exams) every 9 or so weeks (equivalent to A Level 'module' exams), PBL write ups every 9 or so weeks, two SSC posters a year (in year 1), end of year exams in May (based on pretty much everything - again SAQs, EMQs and anatomy/histology exams), OSCEs in May (based on the clinical sessions you've had throughout the year including the ones at your once a fortnight GP visits), 2 more SSC blocks (each lasting two weeks), a data handling exam in May and some form of assessment (usually a poster presentation) you have as part of your fortnightly visits to the GP practice. So yeah, there are loads and loads of exams in year 1 at Barts, but every university has its own system.

    - How difficult was studying everything? Very difficult - thats where all your time management skills you write about in your PS comes into play! :p:

    - How do they grade your exams? Graded A-E where an A is 70% or more, a B is 60-69%, a C is 50-59% a D is 45-49% and an E is below 45%. Your %'s are rounded to the nearest whole number and a C is classed as a 'pass'.

    - What if you don't pass? Resit in the following September and if you fail those and don't have a valid enough reason, you are kicked off the course. With a good enough reason (extenuating circumstances such as a family death) you get to resit the year.

    - Are they all lectures? What is the practical work that you do? Depends on the uni. Barts has a mixture of lectures (probably about 2/3 a day in year 1), practicals once a week, anatomy sessions 1/2 a week, histology tutorials once a week and PBLs twice a week (each session is 2 hours long).


    I was contemplating whether to apologize for being an idiot or you guys would have come to that conclusion on your own. (A) LOL.
    ^^

    Your questions are very university specific and myabe I'm missing something here, but I've answered them based on what its like here at Barts.

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    (Original post by Medicine Man)
    ^^

    Your questions are very university specific and myabe I'm missing something here, but I've answered them based on what its like here at Barts.

    hey thanks for the info. I found this quite useful even though I am not applying to barts.

    I got a suggestion for the medicine forum:
    Why don't we get current medical students to answer questions like these specifically for their uni. You have have this as a sticky to perhaps as a wiki page. It can cover things ranging from how many exams they do a year to how many parties they attend a year. It'll give a feel for the university life as a medic. Most importantly, it'll help someone pick out a uni based on aspects they find attractive. It'll also be a big help for the interview too!
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    Hey, sorry I've not been on to reply but thank you guys! It's really great to know that there's people who can answer questions specifically =)

    I also agree with the post above, I think it would help loads of wannabe med students to gain more knowledge about specific unis and what they can expect.
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    (Original post by New Username)
    hey thanks for the info. I found this quite useful even though I am not applying to barts.

    I got a suggestion for the medicine forum:
    Why don't we get current medical students to answer questions like these specifically for their uni. You have have this as a sticky to perhaps as a wiki page. It can cover things ranging from how many exams they do a year to how many parties they attend a year. It'll give a feel for the university life as a medic. Most importantly, it'll help someone pick out a uni based on aspects they find attractive. It'll also be a big help for the interview too!
    Have a look at the 'developing the medicine forum' sticky, this is something that has been suggested and is a good idea. Quite how it will work is not clear yet but it is likely to happen in some form or another.
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    (Original post by Hygeia)
    Have a look at the 'developing the medicine forum' sticky, this is something that has been suggested and is a good idea. Quite how it will work is not clear yet but it is likely to happen in some form or another.
    :tsr:
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    (Original post by RollerBall)
    Really? So if you fail a year without extenuating circumstances you can just resit the year again without any questions asked?

    Christ, sounds like a bit of a piss take to me. Ah well, I'll delete my earlier post regardless.
    This year i technically could have 6 chances without an kind of circumstances. They REALLY don't want you to fail at this point!

    (Original post by Medicine Man)
    ^^

    Your questions are very university specific and myabe I'm missing something here, but I've answered them based on what its like here at Barts.

    wow ours is so different...

    (Original post by Confusing_Chem)
    Hey guys. I just wanted the (ex) med students' input on some of my questions.

    - Roughly how many topics did you cover in the first year?what's a 'topic'? The course is divided into biochemistry, organisation of the body and physiology. Each is composed of loads of aspects of the human body in many cases about each part of the human body (e.g. embryology of the liver, embryology of the heart, embryology of the GI tract are all fairly big topics within embryology, which is part of OB... you get the idea)
    - How is the exam system set out (Exams in January and in May? or yearly exams?)
    - How difficult was studying everything?pretty difficult - certainly more than A-levels. Some people go crazy and work seemingly without drawing breath, others spend most of their time wasting it :dontknow:
    - How do they grade your exams?merit, pass, fail
    - What if you don't pass?if its close they give you a verbal exam (viva) a week later to decide if they can pass you. If its not close or you still fail re-takes are in september. This affects your clinical placement chances even if you then pass and clearly a second fail = kicked out
    - Are they all lectures? What is the practical work that you do?Lots of lectures - perhaps 12 per week. Tutorials (between 2 and 5) for which you will probably have work (where most work comes from), perhaps 3 practicals per week including dissection room, clinical attachment is like twice a term (bit pointless), the occasional seminar (like once a fortnight, maybe?)

    I was contemplating whether to apologize for being an idiot or you guys would have come to that conclusion on your own. (A) LOL.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    wow ours is so different...
    It seems it won't quote the quote... but as I have an offer from Oxford, I though I'd ask - in between all this do you get a reasonable amount of time to pursue other interests? - And is the work from tutorials usually essay-based?
    I know it probably varies by college, but roughly how many essays a week do you do?

    Thanks for any help.
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    (Original post by buchaneyes)
    It seems it won't quote the quote... but as I have an offer from Oxford, I though I'd ask - in between all this do you get a reasonable amount of time to pursue other interests? - And is the work from tutorials usually essay-based?
    I know it probably varies by college, but roughly how many essays a week do you do?

    Thanks for any help.
    You definitely do have loads of time to do other things! Very few medics don't have a good social life, and those that don't are the ones that really value and enjoy their work and get the top results.

    By no means is it easy - other subjects have seemingly endless free time and you actually don't - but if you get in and keep yourself motivated then you really should pass.

    Yeah a lot of college variation - sometimes every tute there is an essay for, whereas for us that isn't the case. The number of tutorials is also very variable. For example, last year we have 3 tutes and about 1 1/2 essays per week whereas colleges like christchurch/hertford have loads! and they seem like they are on the most vague things too...
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    You definitely do have loads of time to do other things! Very few medics don't have a good social life, and those that don't are the ones that really value and enjoy their work and get the top results.

    By no means is it easy - other subjects have seemingly endless free time and you actually don't - but if you get in and keep yourself motivated then you really should pass.

    Yeah a lot of college variation - sometimes every tute there is an essay for, whereas for us that isn't the case. The number of tutorials is also very variable. For example, last year we have 3 tutes and about 1 1/2 essays per week whereas colleges like christchurch/hertford have loads! and they seem like they are on the most vague things too...
    Thanks for that - it really helps!
    Can I assume that you have 9am lectures most mornings??
    And is there a university-wide medical students' club or society or does each college have their own?
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    (Original post by buchaneyes)
    Thanks for that - it really helps!
    Can I assume that you have 9am lectures most mornings??
    And is there a university-wide medical students' club or society or does each college have their own?
    9am lectures on about 95% of mornings in first and second years, yeah.

    There is a university wide med soc that organises club nights, a ball, and a few other events. In most cases each college also has a society for medical students which organises a yearly dinner (posh food, black tie, and lots of alcohol usually resulting in drunk tutors...) Ours also does a yearly medics curry and garden party.

    Remember that most social events/groups come from the college system though - medics socialise abnormally much with other colleges and other than law soc (which get thousands in sponsorship) no other subject really has such a uni-wide society - its not really needed.
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    The answers depend on the uni, but I'm at Bristol and I know Cardiff has quite a similar layout and a couple of other unis,
    - Roughly how many topics did you cover in the first year?
    Science elements: Biochemistry, anatomy, histology, embryology, nutrition, metabolism, immunology, cancer biology, pharmacology.
    Sociology, ethics and whole person care.
    Epidemiology.
    Cardiovascular System in the summer after exams.
    - How is the exam system set out (Exams in January and in May? or yearly exams?)
    Practise anatomy spot test before Christmas.
    A biochemistry exam in January (only worth 10% of one of five modules and it doesn't matter if you fail.)
    Then after Easter there are 5 days of solid exams. Hardest week of my life so far! A levels are nothing in comparison.
    - How difficult was studying everything?
    The material wasn't as difficult as I expected, it's more the volume of what has to been learnt. After my exams I (sadly) counted over 1000 pages of slides which we had had to learn for only 2 of our 5 exams! And sometimes the questions are quite mean and the whole answer could have been on one slide. It's pretty crazy, but the pass mark was 50% so it's not as bad as it sounds! Still, A levels really don't prepare you for that amount of learning.
    - How do they grade your exams?
    Just give you a percentage and you can work out your rank (which is the most important thing)
    - What if you don't pass?
    We have one chance to resit in the summer and unless you have valid extenuating circumstances you get chucked off the course. They're pretty strict here at Bristol, about 20 people got booted off in my first year.
    - Are they all lectures? What is the practical work that you do?
    This is highly university dependant but at Bristol it's very lecture heavy with weekly anatomy practicals and other practicals every other week. We have quite a few tutorials as well, especially for sociology, ethics, WPC and biochemisty.

    Hope this helps!
 
 
 
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