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What Type Of Post-Exam Person Are You?

Newaaron_2Aaron Singh -- I’m … I’M ALIVE!

Staggering out of the last exam, which just happened to be a lab full of stinking bacteria, some of which is probably still stuck up my nose and which came from sources disgusting enough to make a cannibal blush, I somehow didn’t feel the fatigue that I should have felt, having stayed up the whole night looking at slides that showed coloured mush and trying to make sense of histological features that looked more like glorified paint splotches to me. Adrenaline, ladies and gentlemen, is your friend. Ever seen a car crash patient who’s sustained horrible injuries but is lucid and seems fine? Seasoned emergency physicians know that it’s all adrenaline, and once the adrenaline rush dies down, bad things will happen. Especially if it’s on a TV show (each show has at least one episode with an Adrenaline Rush Patient nowadays, but unlike real life, the patient can’t be JUST a patient, that’s not enough … she has to be pregnant! Or the main character’s father/mother/secret lover/retarded cousin! Or the President of the United States!).

Exams are hell, folks. Especially if they’re held every day consecutively for over a week, including Saturdays. I know Saturday exams are nothing new to many of you hardcore medics out there, but I’m a lightweight. I prefer my exams well spaced out with plenty of time to cram in between, not a marathon session that leaves you feeling like one of the extras in ‘Dawn of the Dead’.

But no matter what sort of exam-taker you are, one phenomenon unites all of us, a single common experience that affects all of us, whether nerd or slacker, rich or poor, good or bad, Jedi or Sith:

The post-exam crowd outside the exam hall.

Excited chattering, whoops of joy and relief, and sobs of grief, both from the people who just didn’t revise enough, and from the anal-retentive nerd who’s beating his hands against the wall because he forgot the alternative name for the radial groove and lost out on a bonus mark. Personally, I don’t like discussing the exam afterwards and prefer to concentrate on the next exam, but there are plenty of those who do.

What kind of post-exam person are YOU?

P.S. If your answer to the above question is ‘the kind who dances around other students whooping at them about how well I did and how easy the exam was’, send me an email but give me a few days to respond. I’ll need about 3 days to order an extra-large sledgehammer and find your address. Public transport these days…

June 8, 2007 | Permalink


hi aaron, i finished my exam about two days ago and the resulsts will be out this morning. well, i prefer not to do a post morterm of the exam but rather study for the next paper. we had four straight papers two weeks ago and man, i couldnt spare an extra brain cell to worry about the other papers even if i wanted to. jeez, arent we all glad when the exams are over?!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Dickson | Jun 8, 2007 6:18:53 AM

Heh, I'm the type who gets really hyper and starts dancing around people because I don't have to study the subject again for weeks and hopefully months. I don't like discussing the exam in question - No point. Whatever's there is there and any amount of discussion and worrying is not going to change it.

That said, I usually do end up being drawn into the pockets of conversation all around me, but what can you do. Also, I avoid the nerds like the plague. Those guys are bad for my mental health.

Also, luckily I'm still at the stage where I can afford to waste the whole day after an exam to relax, but I've a feeling that this year (1st year) was the last time I could do that. We'll see.

Posted by: Chris Giordi | Jun 8, 2007 1:26:01 PM

I've just finished my AS' today! You'll probably laugh at me because I only had 3 hour long modules a day for 4 subjects, but considering Maths is nothing like Biology, and you really shouldn't try to explain Chemistry with Physics, it was quite a challenge. And I think that was the most hours of exam a week I've ever had.

I'm sure you will have done marveously!

Relating to your question, on occasion I'm that anal-retentive nerd who beats her hands against the wall because she work about the poistron emission interaction but took it away from the wrong side from confuddling. But mainly I've just thrilled that it's over!

Posted by: esme | Jun 8, 2007 10:16:48 PM

I'm that person who immediately leaves the premises. I refuse to participate in conversations held by all of those anal students who must go through the exam question by question, asking what everyone put, and telling what they thought. My focus at the end of an exam is leaving it behind.

I always shoot for a nap, but due to the adrenaline you mentioned, I never succeed. So usually I clean up the hurricane wreck that is my home after studying for a test.

Posted by: Mere | Jun 12, 2007 11:19:02 AM

i'm the type who try to finish the exam early so i can go straight home as soon as i'm done. I've seen too many people crowded outside the hallway and it's an ugly scene: The people who passed vs the people who failed standing together. It's too scary and sometime too heart breaking for me to witness.

Posted by: victoria | Jun 12, 2007 11:49:31 AM

I hate everything about exams...I go into every exam thinking i shud have done this and that as well...but when i give my exam and walk out i just hate awnsering anyone what i wrote in the exam just to be told that I have ruined it....no matter how well i do in my scores, As a rule i come out feeling blank....Call it adrenaline or whatever...I sneak out asap...just to be caught on phone and home...like there is just no excape!!!!!

Posted by: Vidhya | Jun 12, 2007 12:05:13 PM

I hate discussing the exam afterwards.. i basically walk through/around the crowds and keep my head down so people don't ask me what i got for question so and so... I'm always hungry after exams so i'm usually somewhere stuffing my face.

Posted by: ann | Jun 12, 2007 12:27:45 PM

i walk out of a exam with the deer in the head-lights-look.....someone will ask me about a question....i just stare and say "did i have that question on my exam?" i just don't remember any questions..(thank god)

Posted by: annie | Jun 12, 2007 3:34:19 PM

After exams the material is completely purged from my mind and I do absolutely nothing until the next day when we start the cycle all over again. And yeah I hate discussing the exam afterward because instead of getting relief that I answered correctly, I find out I couldn't be more wrong and more. Too depressing for me. And what can I do now? Nothing!

Posted by: Abi | Jun 12, 2007 4:07:47 PM

Ohhhh, I'm one of the nerds. Big time. I finish my test fast and hit the bathrooms (because I drink a lot of water during exams), then wander back out and start second-guessing myself. Usually. If I feel like I did poorly on an exam I space out and then I'm no good in the post-exam chatter, so I leave. Our exams are held in blocks so ALL of our tests happen one right after the other, usually two a day all week. Needless to say, the laundry and grocery shopping doesn't get done!

Posted by: Amy | Jun 12, 2007 4:29:54 PM

Exams are such a pain. I consider finals especially pointless. An exam can be a great way to assess your knowledge, but without properly reviewing the exam, valuable learning is lost. If I got a 95% on an exam, what if the 5% I missed included questions that might kill someone?
I usually feel so angered by the teacher's asinine questions I need to go work out. Ideally each exam would include a detailed review. This may happen during the year, but usually not during finals.

Posted by: rob | Jun 12, 2007 6:45:33 PM

It's strange ussually if i think i did well, then I didn't and visa-vera. I basically zone out deer in the head lights look and go back to my place and sleep for a long time

Posted by: Angela | Jun 12, 2007 9:32:07 PM

i am a type of person who gets very hyped up after the exam.the whole world looks bright to me and i just hate discussing answers cuz there is no point.so i wish everyone luck around me and hit home after that.i donno if this happens to any one....i get insomnic after the exam and before the exam i am the most sleepiest person on earth. but i think everyone know's the inside feeling when they kick ass an exam...its a damn good feeling.anyways my exam is in 2 weeks...so i am crossing my fingers that i do good. wish me luck,takecare and all the people who r done with exams ...go have fun.

Posted by: cutedoc | Jun 13, 2007 6:33:22 AM

I have my last examen this friday, but rigth now, ESTOY SUPER CANSADO!!!

Posted by: Gamaliel | Jun 13, 2007 8:43:38 AM

i'm the one who walks out of the exam hall, into the bar and orders a hot of something strong!! can't stand the post mortem of the exm, i invariably feel stupid!!

Posted by: Sam | Jun 13, 2007 8:46:45 AM

After the exam, I have 3 opcions:
c)Study for the next exam
Yesterday I have the final test of psychiatry, tomorrow, 3º exam of surgery II (urology, traumatology and plastic), after, final test of surgery II, after, 3º exam of sport´s medicine and finaly, the final os sport´s medicine. Its horrible when we like zombies, but when the exams finished, it´s so cool, is better if pass all the exams.
I hate discussing the exam afterwards, I just "forget" all the answers, anyway, I can´t change now, jus wait for the results.
Sorry for my bad english, je je.

Posted by: Eder | Jun 13, 2007 9:04:46 AM

Totally agree. I do not like marathons i rather take my time, one step at a time. But what ca we do?? it is just the whooole week, somedays even 3 exams the same day! That is insane, i reach that level, where i do not worry anymore (like some kind of depersonalization), and just answer whatever comes to my mind. Then i stop thinking about it, avoid the post exam crowd, and try to PARTY!!!! (if that was the last one)

Posted by: Mag | Jun 13, 2007 9:17:45 AM

I'm the sort who high-tails it out of the exam hall anguishedly with the full intention of leaving, and then smashes head-on into groups of people discussing the questions. Usually the incredibly inane ones about biochemical details, or the obvious ones that I temporarily forgot.

(But results are out! And I passed! So there! :D)

((We don't actually get results results, so I might've been the worst student that passed. But still!))

Posted by: denise | Jun 13, 2007 9:38:44 AM

I am the type that likes to head straight down the town for a new top.Avoid all medic chat, then start to dissect my own answers and get others views on some difficult questions the following day, and start praying.

Posted by: jane | Jun 13, 2007 10:19:44 AM

Well... i guess that it depends on the exam. There are some that i leave cause i frankly don't care anymore - dermatology, gynecology, etc. But there are others which frighten me to death, and which i love, so there is the ocasional "what did u put in that specific question" - moments, for subjects like pediatrics, surgery, neurology...
Now, if the test is not too late at night, i love to go for some coffee... it calms me down (incredible as it may seem, but coffee has no other effect on me), and then i walk through the city for a while admiring all the things that are happening around me and then i go home and chill out in front of the TV and fall asleep eventually :)

Posted by: Patricia | Jun 13, 2007 10:57:31 AM

Hi Aaron, I personally dont like the marathon type of schedule in exams, but anyway thats not in our hand and its just backemans choice, so cant help it. hhhhhhhm......I like to leave the premises immediately without further discussion on that subject and try to concentrate on next subject. I also dont like to do post mortem of the paper once i reached home/hostel, but then get back from deep sleep to check the paper to get some relief (cant help it.... i think its obsesion for we all). And once the exams are finished I became insomnic for few days/weeks......i dont knw whether its because of hangover of exams, or because of change of sleeping habits/less sleep during my exams. finally to change the life tone I freak out and take some hard drinks to get pass of the hangover.

Posted by: Sewkani Ajit | Jun 13, 2007 11:25:32 AM

First exam today , stayed up all night , trying to improve my ECG skills . Of course...the subject was from the two lessons I skipped thinking "I'm not that lucky..." .I didn't manage to pass...
Exam tommorow and the day after...exams even Sunday .
It's funny I got this mail today , when trying to get some of the lost sleep back . I just hate sessions .

Posted by: Raicu | Jun 13, 2007 12:07:06 PM

i'm the one who forget everything what i've read last night for the exam just immediately after i hand over my exam paper..ahaha...how to be a good medical student?
just studying for get good marks..isnt it such a bad habit??

Posted by: clumsy | Jun 13, 2007 1:06:44 PM

im the type that really needs to know every question and know what i got right and wrong, it helps me predict an approximate result and i am always very close to my prediction after the real result.

i too feel quite hungry after the exam and head straight off to the nearest burger place and clog up my arteries with some more fat.

the wierdest thing is that I'm not really a hardcore study person but after finishing the exam I feel like revising even more for no apparant reason even if its the last exam!!

Posted by: kel | Jun 13, 2007 1:31:24 PM

I'm kinda person who thinks wen bout to finish the paper ,"boy 1st thing i'm gonna do today is sleep,sleep n sleep..I ll make up for all the sleep that i ve lost.." But finally after finishing i ll jus lie down flat on my bed wid no sleep even wandering my way..This continues for a day,two or more...Then comes a phase wen i remember only the mistakes i made in the papers..But publishing of results takes so long in my country (India) that at the end of it u even forget u appeared for an exam (next phase)...So I'm goin through the last phase now where i ve almost forgotten that I have answered an exam 2 months back..

Posted by: Pree | Jun 13, 2007 1:47:38 PM

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