Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Diagnostic MCAT Exam

So I took a diagnostic MCAT exam yesterday to gauge where I stand before I start studying.  I realize this was premature considering I have not yet completed all of my finals for this semester, but I was excited and curious to see if all of my effort in my prerequisites was worth anything.  I made sure that I went through each section in the given amount of time.  Since I've always been a fast exam taker, I found that I was never really pressed for time; I was able to read through every passage with a firm understanding of the material, or so I thought.  I found this process to be a very humbling experience.  My score was not where I want it, nor need it to be.  However, I recognize that I have not studied at all for this exam.  That will come.

I read a post on student doctor network about a student who is going back to school and just finished up with his first semester of classes with straight A's.  He was overjoyed with his accomplishment.  I remember that feeling well.  It was empowering.  I was on top of the world; nothing could stop me.  I guess I'm struggling with the fact that as the first leg of this marathon is winding down, I feel immense pressure to perform.  I have worked so hard for this and the thought of this one exam putting into perspective what I have learned, how I think, and how well I will do in medical school is weighing heavily on my mind.  I miss that euphoria I felt as I was beginning this journey.  I no longer get the same pleasure from my success.  All I can think about is how none of it will matter if I don't score well on the MCAT.  The thought of all this time, money, and effort being in vain is almost overwhelming.

If I am to be a doctor, dealing with pressure is part of the job.  I realize that.  I have never been averse to it before.  In fact I typically thrive in such situations.  This time feels different.  This time it's not just myself I am letting down if I fail.  I have a family who is rooting for, and depending on me to succeed.  I have friends who look to me as an example of what is possible with hard work.  I guess the gravity of my situation has hit me like a locomotive, and I'm struggling to keep myself together.  I must keep forging ahead - one foot in front of the other.  Step by step, life is easy.  Yard by yard, life is hard.  Though it's hard not to think ahead, I must continue to focus on the present.  Right now I need to prepare for my finals.  I will work on the MCAT in due time.  But now is not that time.


  1. Don't worry! I'm just as nervous about the MCAT. We'll do fine! :)

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