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The Formative & The Summatives From a Student’s POV

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Presentation on theme: "The Formative & The Summatives From a Student’s POV"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Formative & The Summatives From a Student’s POV
Steve Tran (Year 3) ICSMSU Academic Officer (Years 1, 2 & GE)

2 Content – Updated 16/12/11 Why have this? Exam Dates Results + Resits
Type of Questions + Examples SBA – Single Best Answers EMQ – Extended Matching Questions SAQ – Short Answer Questions Year 1 Formative Graduate Entry Formative The Exams Tips

3 Why have this? Students (Year 1 & GE1) have approached me concerned about the format of your exams All the information here is taken from the Intranet ( on the 16th December so may not be the most recent. All the other information is from my own experience and point of view so don’t sue me.

4 Year 1 2012 Mon 9 Jan, 2-4pm: Formative
Results: Fri 3 Feb Tues 20 Mar: PBL in-course assessment deadline Mon 30 Apr, 10am pm: MCD Summative Mon 11 Jun, 10am am: LSS 1 Summative Tues 12 Jun, 10am am: LSS 2 Summative Thurs 14 Jun, 10am am: LCRS Summative Fri 15 Jun, 2pm pm: FCP Summative Results: TBA (July)

5 Year Graduate Entry 1 2012 Mon 31 Jan, 2pm - 5pm: Formative
Tues 17 Apr, 2pm – 4.30pm: CMS Summative Fri 27 Apr, 9.15 – 10.15am: Epidemiology + S&H Thurs 21 Jun, 10am am: Anatomy Summative Wed 27 Jun, 10am – 12pm: RS Summative Fri 29 Jun, 2.30pm – 4.30pm: SS Summative Results: TBA (July)

6 Results On the results day, you will be emailed by the FEO.
They ask you to log into the Imperial e-service: Look for them under the ‘Academic Record’ tab. Prior to the release of results, the FEO release the pass-marks on the intranet under the exam links. The Top 3 of each year AND the top of each exam paper will get a prize:

7 Resits DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THESE UNTIL AFTER YOUR RESULTS, OR IF YOU DEFINITELY THINK THE PAPERS WENT DISASTROUSLY BAD. If you do end up not getting the pass marks, you will be automatically entered into the Summer Resits. The dates will be released closer to the time of the summative exams, but they normally take place over the 2nd week of August. The percentage of those who resit is relatively normal compared to other medical schools.

8 SBA – Single Best Answer EMQ – Extended Matching Questions
Type of Questions SBA – Single Best Answer EMQ – Extended Matching Questions SAQ – Short Answer Questions EMQs and SBAs are the type of questions you will come across your years at medical school. However multiple choice doesn’t distinguish whether people actually understand concepts presented in Y1&2, so that is why we also do SAQs - they are the questions you ‘have to think about’.

9 SBA – Single Best Answer
Multiple choice questions that ask you for the ‘BEST’ answer out of 5. If they’re mean, they can put two answers that are very similar to each other. Best Method: Process of Elimination Go through each option and figure out if you think it’s true or false or a ?. You’ll most likely end up with having to choose between 2. INTELLEGENTLY GUESS IF YOU DON’T KNOW!

10 SBA example Where in the cell does the TCA cycle occur?* The Cytoplasm
The Mitochondrial Matrix In the Inter-mitochondrial-membrane space On Rough ER In the Nucleus * Taken from the Metabolism Self Test on The answer is 2.

11 EMQ – Extended Matching Questions
Similar to Mix-And-Match Questions. Normally involves definitions. 5 Questions per list of 10 options. Options can be used: ONCE, MORE THAN ONE, OR NOT AT ALL. A lot of options you can eliminate just because 1. they are from a different topic or 2. you know that it definitely isn’t the answer.

12 EMQ Example Questions Associated with CD4+ or CD8+ Contains Multi-Segmented Nucleus Widely Spread throughout the skin Secretes Insulin * Taken from the Immunology Self Test on T Cell B Cell Natural Killer Cell Neutrophil Macrophage Langerhans Cell Follicular Cell Basophil Eosinophil Pancreatic Beta Cell T Cell Neutrophil Langerhans Cell Pancreatic Beta Cell

13 SAQ – Short Answer Questions
These rely on you understand the topic than just remembering facts for SBA and EMQs More writing! Can be compared to A level Biology You get an initial 1 or 2 marker question then more expanded questions which require ‘longer’ answers i.e. a paragraph of writing Can be used test across topics – Obvious links! e.g. Immunology and Microbiology

14 SAQ - Example Name the process that makes glucose from other substrates (1 mark) List 3 different substrates that could be used (3 marks) Explain how Adrenaline and Insulin influence the blood sugar levels (6 marks) What other major hormone is involved in the homeostasis of blood sugar levels? (1 mark) Answers are not the best, because I made this from the top of head. Gluconeogenesis Amino Acids, Glyercerol, Pyruvate, Fructose etc (NOT FATTY ACIDS) Marks for where and why are they produced related to blood sugar levels, then what processes they promote, then the results of their action. Glucagon

15 Year 1 Formative Monday 9 January 2012, 2pm – 4pm Topics:
For MCD: (Advised 80 minutes) 32 SBA – Advised 40 minutes 2 EMQ – Advised 10 minutes 2 SAQ – Advised 30 minutes For FCP: 40 minutes of SAQ & SBAs. Topics: MCD – Everything including practicals & tutorials FCP – Clinical Communications, Society & Health, parts of First Clinical Attachment.

16 Exam arrangements will be sent to you by 17th Jan.
GE1 Formative Tuesday 31 January 2012, 2pm – 5pm Exam arrangements will be sent to you by 17th Jan. Society & Health: 6 items Regulatory Systems: 21 items Support Systems: 31 items Cellular and Molecular Sciences: 38 items Anatomy: 44 items Hopefully a SAQ consists of 10 items, EMQ (5 questions with one list of options) = 5 items and a SBA = 1 item Only Support System will have a SAQ.

17 The Exams SBA & EMQs are marked by machine by something similar to the math’s challenge or the BMAT. Put your NAME & Candidate Number down. Make sure you’re using the right side for SBA and EMQs (EMQ are the longer ones)

18 Stay calm, you know what you’re doing.
Tips 1 Other than a good night sleep etc… Make sure you have spare pens and HB pencils! Bring some water or some snack that isn’t noisy to eat! Wear comfortable clothes Comfort Breaks BEFORE the exam – No need to waste time during the exam unless you’re bursting. Stay calm, you know what you’re doing.

19 Tips 2 Guess if you don’t know it!
Make sure you know how much time you want to spend on SAQ, EMQ or SBA. Choose which ever you want to do first but I would advise GLANCE over what topics the SAQs are on, so that whilst doing the EMQ/SBAs your brain is subconsciously working out stuff for the SAQs, plus you can also figure out if you need to allocate more time for them. Guess if you don’t know it!

20 Tips 3 READ THE QUESTION, then read it again.
I’ve made this mistake so many times. For SBA/EMQ – Mark on the question sheet your answer, then transfer the answers to the answer sheet. If you skip a question, give yourself a note to remind you of it later and make sure to skip it on the answer sheet too! I put a massive highlighted circle around the SBAs I skipped. I know someone who lost 50% of their SBA answers because they realised 5 minutes before the end they only had 39 answers to 40 questions. In addition, they didn’t mark on the question paper what they put the answer as.

21 Need more information? If you have any more questions, please feel free to me on: Anything with regards to mitigating circumstances, please contact Neeraj, our welfare officer at

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