I'm sooo discouraged right now

I’ve just failed my metabolism exam. and the worst part - I wasn’t even expecting it. I felt prepared (of course, panicked a couple of days beforehand) - but overall, I walked into that test feeling like I knew my materials. I just don’t know what happened - I walked out knowing it was hard - but I wasn’t worried since I thought I was prepared.

Then, I got my result over the e-mail saying that I scored 60%. Luckily, I did okay on my first metabolism test (80% - exactly on the mean) that I passed the metabolism part of the class. But I’m still STUNNED! I usually have a good idea what I would get in the test - I could guess my grade +/- 3% (even if they weren’t good).

I actually thought I would’ve gotten a decent score on this… but alas no… Now, I’ve lost my motivation to study at all. I feel like I have suffered some kind of brain damage. I can’t concentrate and now have a feeling that the admissions committee had made a mistake and I’m not really cut out for this medical school.

Plus, I feel like a dinosaur next to my younger memorizing-machine classmates.

I’m sorry about the difficult exam; and I encourage you to stay focused. I’m totally with you with regards to concentration difficulties, when these setbacks happen.

I’m in 2nd year, and am certainly getting more than my money’s worth, right now, academically speaking.

I walk out of exams positively exhausted - I cannot recall one question - let alone give an estimate of what I will score! When I was in university many years ago, I could forecast quite well what my score would be. But that’s no longer the case.

Things have gone Okay so far in med school. I’m averaging a 3.0 GPA, so I honestly have nothing to complain about, though I was hoping for a few more A’s. I’ve been able to keep up with the work, and although I’m always dead scared prior to finals, they usually turn out Ok.

So now, we’re ending our 4 week hematology unit. (I’m in a ‘problem based curriculum’ where we spend 4-to-5 week blocks focused on one organ system at a time). I’m literally suffocating under the onslaught of fragmented bits of information, disconnected concepts, sets of signs, symptoms and tests, cell lineages, differential counts, … and on and on. Quite honestly, I’ve not felt so overwhelmed since my adventure in med school started, 1.5 years ago. Heck, even nephrology was better for me, and not very many people in my class seemed to take too much of a liking for the tubular transport mechanisms.

I feel I’m rambling on here. Simply put, I’m so scared I could fail this one. I have to do what I’ve somehow managed to do so far. Organize those concepts. Next round of finals is in April. Let’s see if I can remember to come back and bring tidings as to how Hematology went!


Remember that motivational drive that put you into medical school in the first place, and all the other apps. that would kill for your seat! You can get through this…

It’s rough, but I’ve got a good idea that you can do it. There’s a darn good reason they let you in, yanno.

You’d be surprised how many people stumble, especially at the start. Shit, I’m still getting my feet under me. But it’s doable, for both of us.

Have your pity party and then grab and go. There is too much information and too many exams for you to focus on just this one. I know I sound a little harsh, but you are in medical school. You worked hard and got here for a reason.

What I found helped a lot was doing a lot of practice questions.


I definitely feel your pain.I was in your shoes before during my first year. And my only advice would be… not to dwell on it too much. The school is not going to stop, and the new material is going to pile up. I would agree with Gabe - repetition + lots of practice questions and test. Maybe it’s possible to get a hold of questions from previous years? If not, just use any board-review style questions. It’ll help you to look at what you know from other point of view and if necessary shift gears in time before exam.

I’m not nearly where I would like to be with my academic performance. It’s awfully hard for me to accept that I’m somewhere in the middle. But on the other hand… most people are in the middle in this ‘skewed’ grade distribution.

The thing that bothers me most is that no matter how much I study and how comfortable I feel doing practice tests, I can never judge how well/ or bed I did at the exam, until I actually see the grade. I answer most questions intuitively, without any confidence. I guess it’s good to have some intuition as a doctor, but I’m pretty sure it would help to have some faith in own abilities, too ;).

Good luck and… it’s going to be OK!