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Level 4: 4th year exams – how the f*ck do you get through them?

This is not an advice blog. I don’t know how to tell you how to study for the 4th year exams because I’m still making it up as I go. My midterm. My final. I never know how to study for these things, because its all scenario-focused. You study the content, and the exam makes you apply it in a scenario that has very little contextual information because it’s not actually real. It’s not the most fun.

What I can tell you is how I get my confused little brain through an exam.

Most of the questions are things like, “What is the first, most important action?” While others are matching … or even fucking worse, true or false (my arch enemy).

These questions always make me want to bash my head against a brick wall. What is the most important? What would I do first? Is it true, or not?!

What is the right answer?

To solve the riddle, I usually close my eyes and try to imagine the real-life me in this situation, but suddenly all I can think of is how I meant to clean the cat litter that morning. Refocus, Sonia, refocus! Would I first call for help and then do something to address my birth concern, or vice-versa? Will Gemini wait 3 hours before using the litter box? Would I give the medication first or rub a client’s uterus? Is my house going to smell something-awful when I get home because Gemini is the stinkiest cat in the world?

Then there is the time-old debate of REAL LIFE versus what they want you to answer on the exam. Theoretically, I would first want to set up my birth equipment if I came in to a bombing birth where the head is visible, but in actual fact, do I have time to even get gloves on? No!

So what do I put on the exam? What I would actually do or what the book says I’m supposed to do? Because you bet your perineum I’d be deep diving down below that baby, glove-free … but is that the right answer!?

How do I combat exam exhaustion?

The questions are all like this and the tests are long, so I always reach an interlude where I sink my head into the desk and sigh a great big sigh. I then flutter the pages to determine how many are left, only to be inevitably disappointed in the thickness of the flutter. Then, when I realize I can’t read while lying down, I sit up and force myself to carry on.

To combat ennui, my strategy is usually to flip to the back of the exam and do half of the true/false (T/F). The problem with this strategy is that I always reach a point of feeling annoyed at how vague/poorly worded the T/F questions are. So I flop back to the front of the exam for inspiration, thinking that maybe somehow I will be triggered to have knowledge by reading the rest of the exam, or, that maybe the magical exam fairy will come by and remove the other page of T/F that I have yet to conquer. I’d be pleased with either, really.

Should I go over my exam again?

Finishing the exam is a great moment, but arguably the hardest part of the whole testing process. I’ve circled several questions that I was unsure of … should I go back and go over all of them? This age-old debate usually lasts at least 5 minutes. Why? Well, what if I change a question that I got right initially based on gut-instinct, but changed because I stupidly went over my exam again? OR! What if I go over the exam and change 5 answers to the right ones? What if I misread a question and picked a totally wrong answer? Oh, but what if I misread the question the second time and then picked the wrong answer?

Inevitably, I always go back over the circled ones. I’ll never know if that helps or not. The only feedback I get is my exam mark. Good thing I spent so much time overthinking it?

Is there a way to tell my grade before I leave the exam?

If you can tell this, then I think you should drop midwifery immediately and pursue being a psychic. No jokes. I do not have this skill, but I try to pretend I do by tallying the total number of circled questions and dividing that by the total number of exam questions. The percentage is what I assume I would get if I got all of the circled questions wrong. If I’m satisfied that I got 70%, I close up the booklet and get the heck outta there. (Also, let’s be real, even if I don’t think I’m getting a 70%, I still get the fuck out of there in order to clean the cat litter and initiate my 18 hour post-exam nap.)

When grades come, sometimes they give me an A, sometimes not, and I set myself up to do it all again.

Midterm for MNP is on October 20th. Then there are “only” 5 more exams left before graduation … I can’t wait!