Did you have a math competency test? (rant)


After the end of our first semester, we had to take a math competency test. We were told that it would be graded but would not affect our grades at all. However, those who failed it would not be able to give meds until they passed it. We were given a book and told to study for it. We also had to take our finals that same week.

Because I did not want to get behind in learning to give meds, I studied for this test. I took time away from studying from my final in order to study for it, because I felt that they were equally important and I did not want it hovering over my head. Others did not study for it AT ALL because they said that since it didnt "count" as a grade they didnt care how they did on it and they didnt care that they couldn't give meds right away.

I got a 100% on the math test (I'm generally good at math so this is not a surprise to me) Unfortunately, I failed my final. It was ok, as my grade for the semester was high enough already that I ended up with a B for the class. It was the first test I ever failed.

Those students who did not spend ONE MINUTE studying failed the math proficiency. At clinicals this week, I was informed by the teacher that our students were ALL giving meds and it did not matter that some did not pass the math test. There is no negative what so ever to them not passing it. NONE The first injection that was given by anyone in our program was someone who had failed the math test.

I feel very frustrated and very much like our program is not a very good program, for these inconsistencies. It feels like excellence is expected, but they're afraid too many people are not going to pass, so they keep making allowances for them. Test questions are repeatedly thrown out ALL the time (why not just read the exam before hand and make sure all the questions really make sense and then stand by your tests?) Generally its the squeeky wheel that gets their wrong questions thrown out. Not only does this undermind those who work harder but it contributes in a very big way to the half a class long debate that some students participate in, arguing every question on every test and quiz EVERY single time. Its at the point that I cant even ask a question for clarification without it becoming a 20 minute debate about how it applies to our last quiz (we quiz on the material we will learn that day as their way of making us do our reading and workbook pages)

Last year's class only had 8 students at this point in the year and we have 14. It seems like bonus points and thrown out questions come out of the woodwork every time people start getting close to failing out. (we had an efficiency exam at the end of fundamentals that counted for nothing, but suddenly the day of the test we found out that we earned up to 15 points on our FINAL EXAM for taking the test - 5 for showing up, 5 for getting an 80-89 and 5 more for getting a 90+)

I dunno. I'm just ranting because I have so little time and study my tail off and people walk around bragging about how they didn't do squat for studying or how bad the questions they failed were. I just wish that there were a more direct correlation between effort and result. Maybe i need to take a class on whining for grades. :)


283 Posts

Our program does have a dosage calculation test that we will take in week 8, at which point, if you passed the test you can begin to pass meds. I have known others who were in this program and they are very strict in the fact that if you do not pass the exam, you do not pass meds.

Is there a program facilitator for you to go to and speak with about your concerns? I took a class for dosage calculations (not required, only optional in my program) because I wanted to be prepared and wanted to have at least one thing that I wasn't stressed over. The math itself is very basic, like 5th or 6th grade math and algebra. As a patient, I would not want someone who could not pass this exam to administer ANY medication to me - not even as aspirin.:no:


55 Posts

I, too, am in a similar situation. I feel like I could have written your post! Test questions being thrown out, modified, grades being dropped or ignored/not counted - even to those who pass. For example, there was a fundamentals test where I got a 98% and everyone in the class failed. The instructor threw the test out completely and made everyone - including me - take it over. This is one of many examples. I take my grades seriously any study A LOT, however, lately my motivation is failing because I am tired of grades being thrown out and people who are failing and 'magically' passing with no study efforts when I am studying my brains out to pass fairly.

It's really sad. So I commiserate with you completely! I don't have much advice to offer as I have tried everything myself to fix this, but nobody - not even the dean - will listen to me. They are all 'in on it', whatever 'it' is! Good luck!!

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