Microbiology anyone?

I am taking a Microbiology course this summer. I got the second highest score on the first test and then I have been getting near the average since on the last two tests. I am really frustrated because I felt really good about my last test and then I looked online and saw that I got an average score. When I looked over the answer key my professor posted, I noticed that he had a lot of (10 out of 60)

e.) none of the above

as the correct choice. I hate the way he tests. It feels like his goal is to trick you.

I am really stressed out because I really wanted to get an A in this course.

I got a BFA in 2005 and then worked on my pre-med coursework for 2 years. I got straight B’s. My med school of choice said that I need to get 2 years of A’s before I apply in order to show an upward trend. This course is testing if I can get an A and work full-time. I told myself that if I do not get an A, I should throw in the towel. I just do not know what I am doing wrong. I study a lot, record the lecture and listen to, it just seems like I suck at understanding the intention of the professor on some of his questions. I wish that I could just write down all the stuff I know and get graded on that.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I really needed to vent, it has been hard for me to move on with my day after seeing my grade on that last test.

In the next couple of weeks I will decide if I will take classes this fall or not.

Is it possible for a professor to not give anyone an A on a test? My professor only looks at the average and says that it is okay. I got the second highest score on a test and it was only a 82%. So, will I be stuck with that low grade or what?


If he curves you may be doing fine.

yeah, at times it can seem as though they are trying to trick you…but more so, they are trying to get you to think critically. Although I must say that having that high percentage of none of the above, it is frustrating.

The testing style does not change in medical school…wait until you get the question with 2 right answers, but one is more correct. It is very frustrating.

Good luck!

Rachel Yealy, DO

Hi Sallison…I can completely identify with your frustration. I missed getting an A in my Micro class this past summer by a margin. When I found out, I almost went ballistic, because I got 100% on most of my quizzes, 95% on my lab paper and 100% on my lab homeworks. However, what got me in the end were the exams. There were a couple where I got C’s. Those were because I didn’t have adequate time to finish my exams…this was because my employer would not let me off of work early to get to my exam on time. The class had an entire half hour more time than I did to take the exam. I was rushed and didn’t have time to fully read some questions and so I incorrectly answered them. I can kick myself for it, because I know that if I would have answered just a few more questions right or would have had the entire allotted time on each exam, I would have had an A in the class. What is even more frustrating is that med schools won’t see how well I did overall in the class or how close I was to getting an A. All they will see is that I got a B.

First and foremost, relax. By getting yourself upset you will not be able to think clearly. Next, don’t be so quick to throw in the towel. There are many medical schools in this country and you can still get into medical school if you wanted to.

As for microbiology and the way that your professor tests, the only thing that I can say is: It is what it is. If this is the way that he tests so be it. Medical school will not be easier and some of the answers are going to be none of the above. It appears that the professor is testing to see if you can APPLY what you know and not just WHAT you know. We would all be scholars if we can show the professor what we know. But that is not the case.

In microbiology the secret is repetition. Constantly review the material and do not just memorize. Find commonalities among the organisms. Once you do, then look at the 1 thing that makes it different. There is usually 1 clue to tell you that the answer is this bacteria, that bacteria, or none of the bacteria.

Read the question carefully and mark down the important parts of the question and then try to figure out what is the answer BEFORE looking at the answer. When you find your answer ensure that it is addressing all of the parts of the questions. If none of the answers make sense, then they are wrong and that is when you choose NONE of the Above.