I hope that you are all enjoying the warmer weather and lovely spring time. I thought that I would discuss some tests that I have had recently in my 4th year (GEP3 3), upcoming tests, and how I prepare for them. Tests are always a source of anxiety for everyone, and one of the most asked about transitions into vet school. So here is a little insight into my most recent tests.
At the end of our fourth year we have had a variety of tests including practical exams as well as written exams. I won’t go too much into detail about the written exams, as they have been online for us and resemble standard exams (a mix of MCQs and Short Answer Questions). We were also examined on our ability to complete a thorough clinical examination on a sheep, cow, and rabbit. I find practical examinations particularly stressful- as most people do- since it is solely performance based and usually requires an educator observing you. As stressful as these exams are, they are definitely helping in increasing my confidence in becoming a vet in the near future.
In addition to the clinical exam examinations, we will soon be examined on practical clinical skills through a variety of stations. Although these tests are stressful in their nature, they help to nail down the proper techniques for procedures such as placing a catheter, positioning an animal for radiography, surgical draping, injections, and much more.
In order to prepare for the practical exams, I regularly practice the tasks over and over. For the clinical exams, this included practicing on a stuffed animal with a friend over the phone. Personally, I believe that if you can practice to the point where you do not have to think about your motions, it is one less thing to worry about during exams. It helps to get a bit creative with your tools at home, so that you can mimic the exam stations (such as practicing x-ray positioning on friends, making a model to practice placing a catheter, or even suturing on bananas. I also try to be organized with all of the information that is necessary for the exams, as having an organized and clear protocol helps me to feel more prepared. Lastly, having the confidence in yourself to complete the task, while also being understanding to yourself regardless of what happens. Most students walk out of practical exams certain that they failed!
I hope this sneak peak into fourth year exams helps to ease any stresses or questions that you may have about vet school, and happy test taking!