Issue 7: March 23, 2018
Student Experience Survey: The AUC Spring 2018 Student Experience Survey is now open! Please take 5 minutes to share feedback on AUC's academic programs and student offerings. The survey will close at midnight on Sunday, April 1. You can find the survey link in an email sent on Monday, March 19.
Easter Holiday: In observance of the Easter holidays, several Sint Maarten campus services and facilities will operate under limited hours, including:
- Library: Closed on Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2. The Library will be open on Sunday, April 1 from 8am-11pm and the 24/7 room will be available the entire weekend.
- Cafeteria: Open on Friday, March 30 from 8am-12pm; closed on Monday, April 2.
- Security Office: Non-Emergency Medical Transports will be unavailable on Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2. The evening courtesy shuttle will be available.
- Business Services: Closed on Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2.
- Testing Center: Closed on Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2.
Construction: In preparation for midterm exams, AUC has suspended construction work during the following dates and times:
- Building 1: No construction between Wednesday, March 21 and Monday, March 26 (with the exception of LH1 and LH3).
- Building 2: No construction between Friday, March 23 and Monday, March 26.
- Campus Housing: No construction between Thursday, March 22 and Monday, March 26. Outside of the exam period, work will be limited to take place between 8am and 3pm.
Movies in Medicine (Sint Maarten): Our Movies in Medicine series continues on Thursday, March 29 with the film Milk. Join AUC Wellness Counselor Jerry Ciffone to watch and review the film at 7pm in LH2.
Orientation to Clinicals (Preston): The Office of Clinical Student Services will host an orientation to clinicals for all 5th semester students on Thursday, April 5 from 10am-12pm in UCLan's Greenbank Lecture Theatre. This is a required meeting to introduce 5th semester students to AUC’s clinical program and review information about our hospital sites, the process to request and schedule rotations and electives, the Transition to Clinical Medicine virtual mentoring program, and steps to report USMLE Step scores. Following the presentation, students will be able to video conference or meet in-person with clinical advisors in Eden Hall.
UK Hospital Fair (Preston): All students and family members are invited to learn more about AUC's UK clinical sites during our UK Hospital Fair on Saturday, April 7 from 1-4pm in UCLan's Greenbank Lecture Theatre. Join UK Clinical Dean, Dr. Stephen Ash, and representatives from all seven of our affiliated UK hospitals to discuss the UK clinical experience, available rotations and extracurricular activities, and 2018 schedules. Following the fair, students can reserve a conditional clinical spot for July and August 2018. Sign-ups will begin at 11:00 am on Sunday, April 8 in the Greenbank Lecture Hall.
Additional Tutoring for Midterms: Between midterms 2A and 2B, the following additional course group tutoring sessions are available on Saturday, March 24 in LH2:
- Anatomy: 11am-12pm
- Histology: 3-4 pm
- MCB 1: 7-8 pm
Workshops: The Director of Academic Support in collaboration with the Counselling Center, will be conducting a series of workshops to introduce students to study skills and test-taking strategies, that can help to reduce stress and improve test and quiz scores. Upcoming sessions include:
- Boost Your Exam Performance and Reduce Stress: Thursday, April 5 from 3:45-4:30pm in LH2.
Time Management and Scheduling: Time management is critical, since time is the most valuable resource you have as a medical student. Build a schedule of all your tasks and use a planner to stay organized. Planning daily and weekly tasks allows you to set aside time for fixed academic activities such as lectures, quizzes and tests. Setting regular study blocks is the best way to ensure that you are spending enough time on your studies every day. Prioritize study material content based on yield by using the this schedule planner, or an online app on your tablet, computer or phone. Do not be afraid to revise your schedule–it's there to help you develop good study habits that work for you in medical school. Once you have developed them, schedule building becomes easier. Get rid of distractions such as social media, and put your cellphone on silent before you begin. You will now be able to study more efficiently, and finish up faster–thus you avoid the guilt and use these activities as breaks and rewards!
Course Group Tutoring: Course group tutoring sessions are available in LH2 for 1st and 2nd semester courses. No prior sign-up is required but attendees should plan to bring pertinent books, notes, slides, and questions.
- 5pm: Histology
- 7pm: Immunology
- 5pm: MCB II
- 7pm: MCB I
- 5pm: Anatomy
- 7pm: Physiology I
- 5pm: MCB II
- 7pm: MCB I
- 7pm: Physiology I
Peer-to-Peer Tutoring: Individual peer-to-peer tutoring is available for certain subjects taught in semesters 1 and 2. Interested? Please contact Academic Support at [email protected].
Academic Coaching: To maximize your learning and exam strategies as you prepare for your quizzes and exams ahead, the Medical Education Department also provides individual study strategies consultations that have been shown to improve students’ academic performance, by focusing on study skills and strategies. For St.Maarten campus students, if interested in making an individual appointment, please email [email protected].
Preston Academic Support: Students in Preston who are interested in making an individual appointment, or obtaining more information about tutoring and other available Academic Support Resources, can contact our representative Ms. Sue Keenan at [email protected] for more information.
Carib Swim Team: The Sint Maarten Carib Swim Team is looking for students, spouses, and other community members to teach swim lessons at their Cole Bay location. The team needs qualified swim coaches who can help teach a growing waitlist of eager students. If interested, please contact the team at [email protected] or by calling 1-721-581-7637.
Orientation Advisors: The Orientation Advisor application period is now open! If interested, please read and complete this application and submit it to Graham Dersnah at [email protected] by 11:59pm on April 16.
New 24/7 Study Space: We are excited to announce that the new 24/7 Quiet Study Space in the library is now open! The room can be accessed from the library reception area during the day and from the corridor by the Dean’s Suite after 11:00pm. This bright, comfortable room has study tables, chairs that can be used as rocking chairs when you need that extra comfort, and several couches when you need a little break. Computers and wifi are also available.
Now that the 24/7 space is open, the main library will no longer be open until 2:00am the night before exams. Print services and reserve books will not be available after 11:00pm. Reserve books must be returned by closing time.
Setting Boundaries: A healthy relationship starts with good communication and mutual respect, including respect for each other’s emotional, physical and digital boundaries. It’s important for partners to know each other’s concerns, limits, desires and feelings, and to be prepared to respect them. Setting personal boundaries can be an ongoing process in a relationship. People and relationships evolve, and everyone has the right to change or adjust their boundaries as they see fit. Creating open conversations about boundaries in a relationship can help ensure that all partners’ boundaries are respected at all times.
Click here for some helpful questions to ask yourself when considering boundaries in your relationship.
Managing Test Anxiety: Has this ever happened to you? You’ve been studying hard for your midterm, but when you walk into your exam, your mind goes blank. As you sit down to start your test, you notice your heavy breathing, pumping heart, sweaty palms and/or a pit in your stomach.
If these classic signs of test anxiety sound familiar, your grades and test scores may not reflect your true abilities. It really helps to learn ways to manage test anxiety before and during a stressful test.
What is “test anxiety”? Racing thoughts, inability to concentrate, or feelings of dread can combine with physical symptoms like a fast heartbeat, headache, or nausea. While it’s completely normal to feel a bit nervous before a test, some students find the anxiety they feel just before or during the test is debilitating.
10 Test Anxiety Tips
Our brains are instinctively wired to protect us from danger. The “danger” our brain may be reacting to in a test situation is the danger or fear of failure and all the potential ramifications of failure. In addition to physiological reactions, test anxiety can be experienced as unwanted racing thoughts. Test anxiety can arise from a static unwarranted belief. For example thinking; “I’m not smart enough”, or it can manifest itself as random negative thoughts or intrusive memories perhaps of a bad experience when taking a test in the past. Here's what you can do to manage your anxiety in the days leading up to and during your test.
1) Study the material you believe will be on the exam.
Yes, this seems obvious, but it bears repeating. If you feel confident that you’ve prepped thoroughly, you’ll feel more confident walking into the test …and feel less anxious. The best preparation begins with getting the information into your memory. It’s best to preview the lectures, attend the lectures and to review your notes, your textbook and other printed materials. Use Echo360 to help you with recall for information you might have missed at the lecture. In addition to studying alone it may help to study with a partner or study group.
2) Get a good night’s sleep.
Cramming is never the answer, and pulling an all-nighter throws off your circadian rhythm. Having adequate rest (about 8 hours per night) is more beneficial than rereading a text until dawn. For some advice on how to get better sleep, click here.
3) Fuel up.
Hunger compromises executive functioning. Eat a nutritious breakfast before the test. Since you are not allowed to bring in a snack or drink get the right things in your system so that you don’t become hungry during the extended period you are in the Test Center. If you’re not allergic to eggs consider eating a couple of those and other proteins. Pair some proteins with some complex carbohydrates such as a banana or an apple. Both of these will give a boost to your system for an extended period of time. Avoid foods or drinks laden with sugar as they will cause a brief spike in your system, but you may become rather hypoglycemic within 30 to 45 minutes.
4) Get to the testing site early.
Feeling rushed will only amp up the anxiety. Pack everything you need for the exam the night before and set the alarm, so you can get out the door on time.
5) Have a positive mental attitude.
Form a mental picture of your happy or calming place and pair it with a morale-boosting mantra like “I can do this” or “I worked hard and deserve this.” Visually think of your happy place and recite your mantra, right before the test begins.
6) Read carefully.
Read the directions thoroughly and read all answers before making a choice. Slowing down can help you stay focused. Consider the following syllogism …but before you respond make sure that you are not tired or hungry (two things that compromise optimal executive thinking):
-All roses are flowers.
-Some flowers fade quickly.
-Therefore some roses fade quickly.
A study reported by Daniel Kahneman showed that most students endorse the syllogism as valid. But “the argument is flawed, because it is possible there are no roses among the flowers that fade quickly.” While “a plausible answer comes to mind immediately; overriding” the intuitive answer requires extra thinking. The intent here is not to reduce your confidence in selecting a correct answer, rather it is to show that you may be one of “many” who rely on intuition in selecting the first answer that comes to mind when taking a test. Those voices in your past, that have told you not to second guess on an exam, may have given you bad advice. When we take our time, and read carefully we are more prone to put in the extra effort necessary to consider other less obviously appearing answers.
7) Just start.
After you’ve read the directions, dive right in by making an outline for an essay answer. Or, find some multiple choice questions you can ace to build up your confidence and momentum. Flag questions you’re not sure about and return to them later.
8) Don’t pay attention to what other students are doing.
Everyone else is scribbling or tapping away? What do they know that you don’t? It doesn’t matter. Pay attention to your own test and pace, and forget about the other students in the room. If you tend to be distracted by the sound of mouse clicks or the taps on your classmate’s keyboard wear ear plugs or try to sit where the bothersome noise is less distracting. And just because someone else seems finished way before you doesn’t mean they are smarter than you or that they’ll get a better score than you.
9) Be aware of the time.
Stay on pace by scoping out the whole test before getting started. Mentally allocate how much time you’ll spend on each section. If there’s time to recheck, even better.
10) Focus on calm breathing and positive thoughts.
Deep breathing can slow down a beating heart or a racing mind, so practice these techniques at home. The very act of concentrating on breathing and thinking can biometrically alter those anxious feelings. You can try to recreate body reactions similar to the sensations you feel when in a panic-like state. For example running up several flights of stairs or some other high intensity training type exercise. Once you are in that heightened physical state just practice calming yourself down by breathing deeply, etc. and paying attention to how your body is calming itself down both through your efforts and how it naturally calms down. We expect to have physiological reactions at the top of the staircase, so we’re not bothered by those sensations. However, when these sensations occur without any apparent precipitant it’s understandable a person would feel debilitated by this. It may help to think of those expected physical sensations everyone has after a high intensity exercise as being similar to your panic-like sensations. Embrace them as your brain’s reaction to the “danger” of failure. Remember that it’s just a little extra adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine pumping through your system by a brain that is trying to protect you from what is really unwarranted “danger”.
The list originated from: https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/test-anxiety. It was modified by: Jerry Ciffone, Visiting AUC Wellness Counselor on March 12, 2018.