I thought it was a joke hearing that one week had been removed from the two weeks of our self-study for MB 2— Pelumi Ala, 2K19 MBBS Student
The sweetest times for students of the Ibadan medical school are probably the ones which follow the completion of the almighty “MB” Exams— considering the bliss, tranquil and liberty that accompany and distinguish such times.
Members of the 2K19 MBBS/BDS Class, having completed their 2nd professional exam (Path and Pharm), were seen beaming with joy all over the premises of ABH on Tuesday, 22nd February, 2022, as they were about to enter one of the most relishing and restful periods of their stay in medical school.
Shortly after the exam was brought to fruition, ABH Press met with one of the members of the 2K19 Class, Mr Oluwapelumi Ala, who expressed delight and gladly relayed his experiences during the period of the nerve-racking exam.
Below contains an account of his discourse with ABH Press. Sit back and enjoy!
How do you feel having completed your 2nd professional exam?
I feel very free and happy. I feel like I’m closer to the end of my stay in this school.
What was your experience like during the period of the exam?
It was very tough. The fact that there was little time to put a lot of things in one’s head made it quite difficult. It would have been easier if we had had more time. Initially, we thought we were going to have 2 weeks of self study but it was reduced to 1. So, I had to push myself to get ready. But I thank God I gave it my best and I’m sure he’s going to make it fruitful.
What specific challenges did you face during the period of the exam?
Just the volume of things I had to cover. Imagine when you want to sleep and all that is on your mind is “What will I read as soon as I wake up?” or “How far will I go if I read this when I wake up?” The volume of the things I had to cover was the major challenge plus the little time I had to cover all those.
But were there external factors like availability of food, money etc. that impeded your progress?
No, actually. The only thing that could have been a challenge was that a lot of people used to come to my room when I wanted to study. So I knew I had to move to the reading room, instead of staying in my room. That would have been a challenge but I was able to circumvent it.
Compared to your Part 1 Exam, what comments would you make concerning your Part 2 Exam?
Preparing for my Part 1 Exam was quite easy. I did most of my reading in my room. But preparation for Part 2 was much tighter. You can’t compare Pharmacology to any of the courses we wrote in part 1. You can’t compare Histopathology alone to all the courses we did in anatomy.
The fear associated with this exam is another thing. A lot of people will say this is probably the toughest exam you’re going write in medical school.
The distraction from clinical postings is another thing one might want to consider. You have to read other things which are not relevant to your next exam, and you must do well in them because they matter for some other professional exams; unlike in preclinicals where all we were reading months to the main exam was just what we would do in the exam.
How did you feel when you got the news that one week had been removed from your self study?
I was very scared. I was initially in denial. I told myself that it was all a joke, until I saw the memo. In response to that, the first thing I did was to sleep. We had three tests that day and I didn’t rest well the night before. The second I woke up, I picked my bag, went to the reading room and told myself I would keep going there, even till the morning the exam would start. I was scared but I took up the challenge because I knew it was going to be a rough ride. I accepted the fact that I had just one week to prepare and that I had to make the most of it.
You said earlier that you feel free and happy that you have completed your second MB Exam. How do you plan to spend this short break?
To relax and enjoy my time. There was a series I started before the exam that I had to stop about 4 weeks to the exam because it was taking out of my study time. I started the series again the day we finished our practical exams. Apart from that, there are some articles and essays which I have to write.
What other things did you put on hold for the sake of the exam?
The essays I talked about and things that have to do with my personal growth, self development and also enjoyment.
What are your hopes for the outcome of the exam?
I’m very positive that I will do well. More importantly, I hope all my friends do well. I’m not worried about myself. I’m thinking more about my friends. I hope they all do well.
Looking at the peculiarity of how everything played out for your class, do you think having a 100% pass is feasible?
I’m a very optimistic person but to be realistic, I actually don’t know. I believe we might have a 100% pass in pharmacology but I’m not sure about pathology.
Why do you think a 100% pass in Pharmacology is very likely?
Because of the buildup to the exam. The department made mustering marks for the continuous assessment quite easy— through assignments and practicals, unlike when everything depends on written tests.
What advice would you give the next class going to write the “path and pharm” exam?
I will start by saying that you can do it. This is not going to be the first MB you will write. If you passed that one, you can pass this one. Start preparing early. Study now as if you’re studying for the exam, so that by the time the exam comes, reading will be a lot easier. There are many things you won’t have the time to go back to, but the residual knowledge you’ve had from studying seriously when you had time to will come in handy when the time comes. So, start very early. It’s not going to be easy but you have to be intentional about it and you’ll be fine.
Thank you very much. It’s been nice having this session with you.