The After Boards Fog

Well Boards are over, and now it’s time to get back to reality. The trimester is moving full steam ahead, whether we are ready for it to or not.

This week has felt a little like slamming into a brick wall where all of the things I was ignoring or putting off to focus on Boards and study need to get done, and I am unprepared for them. This weekend is going to be a much-needed reset. I need to actually look at my calendar and figure out all of the assignments and exams and practicals I have and when they are, do laundry, get groceries and maybe even sleep in a bit.

It has been hard to focus in classes this week. I feel pretty exhausted from studying all the time and like I just want a break to relax and not spend every minute studying. But, on the other hand, I also feel like I have so much spare time on my hands. When school is done and I don’t have to spend the next six hours in a study room cramming information into my brain and I can just spend an hour or two going over things, it feels pretty good.

I think by next week things will be back to normal, but it’s definitely been a bit of a crazy week, feeling like I don’t know what is going on and like my brain isn’t working all the way, resisting putting more information into it.

A Reflection on Part 1 Boards

National Boards is about studying, studying, studying.

National Boards is about studying, studying, studying.

The weeks before Part 1 Boards were pretty crazy. Fifth trimester was just starting up, and our class load that tri was fairly substantial. At the same time as this, we were all feeling pressure to review everything we have learned over the past year here at Palmer so as to prepare for Boards.

The days were long. I would be up at 5 or 6 a.m. to get ready for the day, sometimes going for a run or heading to the gym to clear my head before a long day of school and studying. Classes this trimester start at 7:30 a.m. and go until 4 p.m., so the day was long already and then after all this I would find a study room and start reading through review material until about 10 p.m. each night. This was a pattern for the first three weeks of the trimester.

It felt like there were so many concepts and details to go through, and the more you dove in to learn something, the more information there seemed to be and it was almost overwhelming to think of all the questions they could ask.

It is a bit of a game studying for Boards. There are things you focus on because professors and other students and even review classes will tell you certain things that boards will focus on and that you should know a certain thing really well. So the entire time you are studying, you’re trying to learn all the exceptions and rules and trying to guess what things seems more important to know that they would ask.

The stress was high for sure, but I think it’s good to be a little stressed about doing well, I think this means you care about it. You want to do well, and it’s important to you, so you worry and you stress, which helps you to focus and move through all the review material.

Overall the studying was good. Going over some things made me feel really smart, and it helped me to start putting things into a bigger picture instead of just small details. It has proved to me how much I have learned and how far I have come in a year and made me really proud of myself.

I hope all my classmates feel that way after taking Part 1 Boards. And if you haven’t yet, I hope you feel like that when your time comes.

-Kailey

 

 

Part 1 Boards – The Exam Process

National Boards security is serious business ... well, not this serious, but serious enough!

National Boards security is serious business … well, not this serious, but serious enough!

So a lot of people were right–they tell you Boards aren’t that bad and that you are going to be fine and that you are a good student and you know more than you think, so you will survive. They were right.

When you arrive at the school in the morning, you need to make sure you aren’t wearing or holding or have in your pockets anything that the NBCE has on their “not allowed in” list, which includes everything except the clothes your wearing, two pieces of ID and a key (but the clothes can’t have hoods or baggy pockets, and the keys can’t have a key fob on them).

You come to the test zone and go through a security checkpoint, and then you find the room where you are supposed to be writing the exam. Once you go into the room you check in by showing your two pieces of ID, and they give you a lanyard with your picture on it, which you are expected to wear all the time. The seats are assigned, so you go find your seat at which there is a name card, a mechanical pencil and some ear-plugs.

Once everyone has checked in and found their seats, the proctors hand out the exam (which is sealed) and you are not allowed to open it until they have read through the entire instructions and allowed you to open the exam. They read through these same instructions before each exam so you get used to the process pretty quickly. Once the instructions have been read through and you have filled out your exam scorecard, you wait until the proctor says you may begin the exam.

Once the exam has begun (90 questions to be completed in 75 minutes), they will only allow you to leave the room during scheduled breaks or escorted by a proctor. If you have finished your exam by the time there is 30 minutes remaining, you may leave but if you haven’t, you must stay and wait until the 15-minute remaining mark at the next allowed break.

When you have been let out of the room, you can go do whatever it is you want to until the next exam start time. Then you have to go through the entire process again, starting with going through security.

It was a pretty crazy few days!

-Kailey

Part 1 Boards – The Exams

test timeSome were hard and some were not. There were definitely questions that I knew on all the exams, but there were also questions that I didn’t know on the exams, too. I was really surprised by spinal and general anatomy at how straightforward and easy the questions were. These exams were the ones we had on the first day. And I felt really good after finishing that day. I was thinking to myself, “If only they were all that straightforward. I can’t believe I spent so much time stressing out about a lot of little details!” But the next day was a little harder.

I thought general anatomy and spinal anatomy were going to be the hardest exams because they cover the most material and seem the most pertinent to being a chiropractor. But they were, in my opinion, by far the easiest exams, and it was physiology and microbiology that seemed to ask the most random information instead of the big concepts.

That was the most frustrating part about the exams. You would think that they would ask you questions relating to the things that are the most important to know or that will be information you will use every day. For example, plexus information or cranial nerve information or even facet orientation and receptors in the skin. But none of that stuff was heavily tested. One or two questions were asked about things that I thought were going to be a large portion of the exams.

But the end of the day on Sunday, I was definitely burnt out, and I could tell as I was writing the exam that I was being a little impulsive. They would have questions about things that I didn’t review or that I didn’t remember anything about, so I would just choose an answer I thought sounded right by breaking down the word or going with my “guess letter,” which is a letter we all decided we would pick if we didn’t know the answer.

But looking back on the day, I think it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, And it was a bit of a relief to see others felt the same way that I did or that I did know some things in the exams.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens when the scores come out in a month, because there is nothing we can do now!

-Kailey