Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Eight Labours of the Grumpy Biomed: Immunology

Hey all, sorry for the late update. I had my second end of year exam on Thursday, that being Immunology, speaking of which they finally released the coursework results, I got 68% (a B)...which is something to be very thankful about since a third of the year were done for plagiarism, so as it happened I had one of the top results, in fact I don't know anyone who got above 75%...much bitterness and anger from many Immunology students...

The exam went okay, the multiple choice section was alright, if a bit rushed, Section B was awful, I can't see myself getting more then half marks for it, if I'm very very lucky and Section C, the essay, was about the immune response to skin infections which I think went very well.

The trouble is that all three sections are worth roughly the same (i.e. 34%, 33%, 33%) which is unfortunate seeing as Section B was only one short answer question but Section C which I think I did quite well on was an essay requiring lots of detail, planning and content, though worth exactly the same as the other sections. So sadly doing well in the essay section won't necessarily make up for a bad Section B performance. I don't know, my main worry is doing well in the coursework, then letting myself down badly in the exam and getting a mediocre grade overall, i.e. a C, which would be really disappointing.

Next exam: Pharmacology


  1. Hahah. The IC biomed immunology exam is pretty similar. The coursework had a maximum mark of 75% as it was peer marked by 3 people who could only give A, B, C, D or E, A being worth 75%. The department showed it can work with decimal numbers as the sections were worth 33.3333% (MCQ), 33.3333% (SAQ) and 33.3333% (essay). As I didn't revise for this exam at all, I was very lucky that one of the choices for the essay was "Describe how monoclonal antibodies are made and their uses". I guessed most of the MCQs, left half the SAQs blank and ended up with 66% (coursework worth a quarter, and I got ABB = 68%). Luckily, my mark was pulled back above the magic 70 by Spanish.

    Good luck with the rest of your exams! (Did you come to the IC open day recently? I was one of the guides)

  2. Anonymous:

    Heh if I should be so lucky? I'd literally give my left foot not to finish the year with any grades below B!

    Also, at QMUL MCQs are negatively marked meaning that everytime you guess and score incorrectly you *lose* half a point!

    Sadly I couldn't make it to any open days, I did want to go to SGUL (even though the GAMSAT terrifies me) but revision just got in the way. I suppose I'll focus more on my application after the exams are over...

  3. reading this post reminds me of my biochemistry days, i use to come back after each exam and blog about how i felt each section had went too!

    When do your exams finish? thanks for the good luck by the way - it's much appreciated!

  4. 1/3 done for plagiarism? Wow - what a joke! Is this the TurnItIn software being extra-sensitive? Does this score them an immediate 0?

  5. Internal Optimist:

    Yep, the Turnitin software flagged any coursework which was 17%+ plagiarised. I am honestly at a loss as to how someone could copy 17% of their coursework and not realise it.

    According to the lecturers the penalties varied with most people being docked points, but a few zeros were given out...

    Tofu: Exams finish on May 27th, thank god!