Guess what – I managed to do well for the first semester! 😀
Those too simple, too brief alphabets you see under “Grades” is all there is to summarize all the hard work I put in for not just my exams, but all my other coursework throughout the semester.
The coursework I’m referring to includes two formal presentations, which took many nights of toiling and video-chat discussion with my assignment coursemates (which I have promised you I would blog about soon), all the full lab reports, one biological drawing which took a whole day just to draw (I’ll attach a photo of the drawing below!), a research essay and a cited chemistry poster.
Alongside that of course, we had to handle the 1st round of tests, then the 2nd round of tests, then our final assessment. We took 5 courses in our first semester, which adds up to around 15 theory-based test papers, based on the breakdown I did for you.
On top of that, all the exam papers this round has been deliberately made far more challenging, due to the fact that exams are open-book (with information from our lecture notes and the internet at our fingertips) during the Covid-19 crisis.
The biology experimental design video presentation we worked on for days was converted to a total of only 5 effective marks. The biological drawing which took hours of concentration, which I will now attach below, is only 6 effective marks.
My wrist hurt a lot after drawing this. Haha! But it’s still my masterpiece.
As you can see from the 2nd photo I attached at the top of the post, I got a overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.8511. That is well above the requirement to get into a medical degree, which is a CGPA of 3.50. However, if you notice from the first photo, I obtained below average marks for Chemistry, a GPA of 3.33. This is because my better marks in the other courses pulled my overall grade up.
Now, for the 2nd semester (which has just begun!), I am resolved to work hard and smart to obtain a 4 flat (GPA of 4.0). Admittedly, I had my father’s help in the first semester as he guided me using the printed lecture notes. His insight and intelligent input are priceless and highly appreciated, however, I had only half the burden to carry back then, and perhaps the training for stamina was much alleviated. This semester, he has helped me get a head start as well, but only in Mathematics.
The truth will prevail now, if I truly can manage to take on the responsibility myself and be competent enough to study, and learn, intelligently.
This is because to do well in exams these days, diligence is not enough. You need brains, you need to be able to think out of the box, and not take too long to figure out the concepts. It is an undeniable fact that to be a doctor you cannot just be hardworking, you have to be able to think intelligently as well. Dumbness and slowness is not welcomed in the healthcare industry, especially during your medical training. Both of which, unfortunately, I have a bit of in my nature. It is difficult for me to rush things, or else I will not be able to reap information properly.
Now, I must get back to studying for Biology! This semester, our biology course is known as Modern Biology (as opposed to Fundamentals of Cell Biology in our first semester). I find Modern Biology quite exciting, as it dabbles in the absolute basics of molecular genetics and biotechnology, which is particularly relevant to the COVID-19 virus mutation, and a very contemporary topic.
I am struggling to understand it for now, but with my determination I will do my best to overcome it, and make learning it fun.