Help with A&P situation

  1. Hi,

    I need some advice on how to handle a situation. I am taking A&P 2. Currently getting a good grade. The issue is that on my last exam, I missed a couple that I feel were out of line. One of the questions involved something that was not covered, but similar to what he did cover. It wasn't exactly (as the meaning being conveyed in the notes) as covered, so it threw me off. I got it wrong, now I feel worried on the next test, what if the professor tries to do it again. Even 2 points helps in this class.

    I feel like I can't trust this professor on the next exam. This bothers me. I read the notes, and the book, this concept was covered but the wording was switched to completely change the concept and meaning. I already have a bad relationship with this professor, for early semester woes. For the most part, everything has been professional since, but just not to 100% normal.

    Should I express my concern?
    Last edit by fibroblast on Nov 20, '16
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    About fibroblast

    Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 462; Likes: 484

    16 Comments

  3. by   CCU BSN RN
    Did you go see the professor and clarify the answer they wanted? You can always tell them that you had this down a different way in your notes, and that you couldn't find it stated that way in the book. Book some time in their office hours and ask them to help you find where you should have been able to get the info you needed to answer that question.

    Don't call the professor out or flat out say that they're wrong, just say you are having trouble finding out where you should've had the knowledge to answer that question.

    We can't help you much here without specifics about the question. You're right this is an important class and every point counts. Is there a TA or free tutor offered by your school? This person would have already taken this class with this professor, so they would be a valuable resource on how to study for this particular professor's test. Do other students have the same question? If enough of you ask about the same question, the prof may spend more time on it in class or strike it from the exam.

    Always express your concerns but make sure you're doing it in the appropriate forum and a respectful manner. So, office hours, and 'I don't feel this topic was covered in lecture/book' I have my book here, I think this is the section about this topic, but I couldn't answer the question based on what was in the book, can you help me out so I know for future exams/the final/etc. ?
  4. by   NICUismylife
    I see that this is not a new issue for you. You have posted several times about this instructor and your view that his tests are "unfair." I have to wonder if you are reposting in hopes of finally receiving the answer that you want to hear. I'm actually surprised that you didn't also have this issue in A&P 1. This is a very common way of testing. These types of questions are called "critical thinking" questions.

    You state:
    It wasn't exactly (as the meaning being conveyed in the notes) as covered, so it threw me off.
    This is basically the only type of question you will see in nursing school. Consider this preparation for that. They are trying to test your understanding of the concept. Gone are the days of memorizing a fact and then regurgitating it on the exam. Every single question I had in A&P was like this. And I'm thankful that it was! Because otherwise, I probably would have failed out of nursing school in the first semester.

    Now, there are times where instructors make a mistake on an exam. They are human. Most write their own exams. I've pointed out mistakes before and they've been corrected with little issue. That said, do not ever approach an instructor and use the word "unfair." That's the best way to get on their wrong side and be labeled a "snowflake." Look up the question, then carry the book up to the instructor (or schedule an appt) and say something like "can you help me understand this concept, I got it wrong on the exam." They are usually happy to help. This provides the opportunity either for the instructor to recognize their error, or for you to understand why and how you got it wrong, and how to do better next time.
  5. by   FutureNurseInfo
    I do agree with the above commenters. Nothing is as exactly on the exam as it is lectures. Even a coma in a specific place in a sentence can make a BIG difference. So, be very vigilant! Critical thinking is your best friend!
  6. by   SaltySarcasticSally
    I would leave it be. I am in my last year of the nursing program and we have questions on the tests that having nothing to do with the unit we are in. It's just part of the NCLEX prep, they throw questions in there that on the surface we never would covered in that unit's content but that we should know how to answer based on the general knowledge we are supposed to have at the point. I will say though if a certain percentage of the class misses the question, they will throw it out.
  7. by   quarterlifemess
    Quote from fibroblast
    Hi,

    I need some advice on how to handle a situation. I am taking A&P 2. Currently getting a good grade. The issue is that on my last exam, I missed a couple that I feel were out of line. One of the questions involved something that was not covered, but similar to what he did cover. It wasn't exactly (as the meaning being conveyed in the notes) as covered, so it threw me off. I got it wrong, now I feel worried on the next test, what if the professor tries to do it again. Even 2 points helps in this class.

    I feel like I can't trust this professor on the next exam. This bothers me. I read the notes, and the book, this concept was covered but the wording was switched to completely change the concept and meaning. I already have a bad relationship with this professor, for early semester woes. For the most part, everything has been professional since, but just not to 100% normal.

    Should I express my concern?
    No, you shouldn't express your concern to your professor. This wasn't the case of you finding a factual error on the test but you just not liking the wording of the question. You should focus more on learning the concepts down cold. My professor does this as well. He is checking to make sure that you have a deeper understanding of the material than just regurgitating his notes back to him. It may seem like a giant game of semantics but the human body is very finicky in that one tiny change can throw things out of wack. Stop focusing on the professor and your perceived slights and use that time to learn, understand and apply the concepts.

    You are taking this entirely to personally. Trusting your professor on an exam? I think that is a little dramatic. Outside of factual errors, trust has little to do with you taking an exam. Take emotion out of the equation when you are taking your test.

    If 2 points will make or break you, you don't currently have a good grade. If you missed a couple of questions (as in 2) because you felt that they were out of line, did you miss questions that you felt were 'in line'? If so, why did you miss those questions? If you would have gotten those 'in line' questions right then the 2 'out of line' questions that you got wrong wouldn't matter. If you didn't miss the 'in line' questions, are you simply upset that you didn't get a 100%?

    Looking back at your past post you don't want a 'B' in AP 2 but you earned an 'A' in AP I based on a curve. What I take from that is that you actually earned a 'B' in AP I (maybe even a high 'B') and were given an 'A' based on the performance of the class as a whole. Grade curves are actually a disadvantage to the student because they give the student a false sense of security on their grasp of the material presented in the class. They do not allow the student to realize the changes that need to be made in order to meet the criteria for the grade the student was originally aiming for.

    If you wanted to earn an 'A' in AP II did you change your study habits from AP I when you were only earning a 'B'? You have posted the same problem with this professor since the first exam. Did you take the advice of the people who answered your previous questions? They are actually very helpful responses across your previous posts.

    I sound harsh but this is the reality of the situation: it is very, very, very likely that your professor will have these types of questions on your next exam. The professor has been pretty consistent in his exam format since the beginning of the term, what have you done to adapt?

    I took the same professor for AP I and AP II on purpose even though I only got a 3.3/B+ in AP I (which I was very proud of by the way). People thought I was crazy when there are 'easier' professors at my school. I switched from trying to memorize his notes word by word to actually learning the overall concepts/patterns of the system to the point that I am able to apply the concept and work my way through a tough question. I do get tripped on the trickier questions and get them wrong sometimes, it happens. But a handful of incorrects on 'out of line' questions would not make or break my grade because I am not also missing simpler questions.
  8. by   AliNajaCat
    Quote from quarterlifemess
    <<snip>> Grade curves are actually a disadvantage to the student because they give the student a false sense of security on their grasp of the material presented in the class. They do not allow the student to realize the changes that need to be made in order to meet the criteria for the grade the student was originally aiming for.

    If you wanted to earn an 'A' in AP II did you change your study habits from AP I when you were only earning a 'B'? You have posted the same problem with this professor since the first exam. Did you take the advice of the people who answered your previous questions? They are actually very helpful responses across your previous posts.

    I sound harsh but this is the reality of the situation: it is very, very, very likely that your professor will have these types of questions on your next exam. The professor has been pretty consistent in his exam format since the beginning of the term, what have you done to adapt?

    I took the same professor for AP I and AP II on purpose even though I only got a 3.3/B+ in AP I (which I was very proud of by the way). People thought I was crazy when there are 'easier' professors at my school. I switched from trying to memorize his notes word by word to actually learning the overall concepts/patterns of the system to the point that I am able to apply the concept and work my way through a tough question. I do get tripped on the trickier questions and get them wrong sometimes, it happens. But a handful of incorrects on 'out of line' questions would not make or break my grade because I am not also missing simpler questions.
    I would like to "like" this a dozen times over. If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times: Nursing school requires you to have a good working idea of concepts (not just facts) because you will-- WILL-- be held responsible for applying them at higher levels as they relate to the things you will learn later. You can't slack off and leave things behind once the course is over. Critical thinking means being able to pull in those past concepts and apply them to a current situation accurately to come up with the right solution or path or plan.

    Salty above said this well:
    I am in my last year of the nursing program and we have questions on the tests that having nothing to do with the unit we are in. It's just part of the NCLEX prep, they throw questions in there that on the surface we never would covered in that unit's content but that we should know how to answer based on the general knowledge we are supposed to have at th(at) point.
    Inability to do this seamlessly accounts for why students do well early on, but then fail to keep up and then fail later; yes, people can, and do, flunk out in their last semester or quarter because their critical thinking ability maxed out at the end of the last grading period.

    It's why people argue about exam questions "because there are two right answers," when critical thinking involving concepts not only from last semester's related class but from last year's other seemingly-unrelated classes didn't occur, and they just don't get why they shouldn't get points for that second "right" answer.

    There really is only one BEST answer. You don't have to like it, but you'd better learn to figure it out, not just for school or for NCLEX but for your working life.

    It's why people squeak by in school but fail NCLEX, over and over again sometimes. AN is littered with threads about this, started by people who study eight ways to Sunday but just don't get it. The problem is really that they didn't get it first semester, didn't get something else second semester, and then when third and fourth semester comes around they learn they don't have enough on the ball to pass fifth, much less get into sixth.

    So, friend, adjust your perspective not to how "unfair" the questions are. "Unfair" is the big issue for thirteen-year-olds, as you will learn when you take normal growth and development. Learn to fully understand concepts and expect that you will have to be applying them in other circumstances, in other courses. That's why they call them "prerequisites." It's because the knowledge is required to move on.
  9. by   Rose_Queen
    Based on this post and your previous posts, I think you are placing blame where it doesn't belong. Tests at this level aren't about being able to regurgitate information; they are about applying that information. There is absolutely no requirement for a professor to word test questions exactly as they lectured. The onus is on you to be able to understand the question and what it is asking you to do. Focus on what you can do to make sure you aren't losing points. Read questions fully. Try to answer them before looking at the choices. Be sure you're reading the choices correctly. You aren't going to be able to argue NCLEX questions- you'll need to know how to analyze them and apply the knowledge you've learned in school to answer them. Get in that habit now.
  10. by   Here.I.Stand
    Looking back at your past post you don't want a 'B' in AP 2 but you earned an 'A' in AP I based on a curve. What I take from that is that you actually earned a 'B' in AP I (maybe even a high 'B') and were given an 'A' based on the performance of the class as a whole. Grade curves are actually a disadvantage to the student because they give the student a false sense of security on their grasp of the material presented in the class. They do not allow the student to realize the changes that need to be made in order to meet the criteria for the grade the student was originally aiming for.
    Brilliant!! This is so true. (It can also go the other way... my chemistry teacher from high school said he would sometimes get a "C" with a 96% -- he was in class with a lot of brilliant people who got 100%. But I diagress...) Now for an on-topic quote from that same chemistry teacher when someone asked if he would be grading on a curve: "Grading on a curve is just a way to fudge points."

    If you got 85% of the material correct, what does it matter if the rest of the class got in the 60s and 70s? 85% is a B. It's not an A no matter what everyone else does.

    OP, I agree with the other replies. You can and should ask your prof for an explanation with the intent of improving your own understanding. Not to protest the injustice of actually having to learn, not just regurgitate. Words like "unfair" or "I don't trust" is extremely dramatic, and if you voice these ideas to your prof, I can't imagine it would go well for you.
  11. by   fibroblast
    Thank you to everyone who responded. I think that if it is appropriate, I will ask about the question. I think that professors should take some responsibility too, not only the students. But if no student got an "A", it doesn't mean the teachers methods are correct or error proof.

    Sorry but my grade (with respect to understanding the material) is business, and that's what it is, whether it's two points or not.
  12. by   quarterlifemess
    Quote from fibroblast
    Thank you to everyone who responded. I think that if it is appropriate, I will ask about the question. I think that professors should take some responsibility too, not only the students. But if no student got an "A", it doesn't mean the teachers methods are correct or error proof.

    Sorry but my grade (with respect to understanding the material) is business, and that's what it is, whether it's two points or not.
    You keep posting different versions of the same question hoping to get the answer that you want. Your failure to adapt to this testing format in a prerequisites course will come back to haunt you in nursing school and on the NCLEX. You and your classmates bemoaning the test format as "unfair" because it not verbatim from the notes is nonproductive. Go study instead of wallowing in the negativity.


    I can verify that all the advice previously given too you, if implemented, would have solved your problem long ago. I struggled with the same test format in AP I that you have described over and over again. I was sitting at a 2.4/C+, googled around and read some advice on this very site on how to adjust to the format. (The same advice, more or less, that was rehashed to you across your numerous posts.) I implemented said advice and busted my tail for the rest of the semester and brought my grade up to a 3.3/B+. This semester in AP II with the same instructor and test format, I only need to score a 40% on my last exam to earn my 4.0 for the course.

    So don't take the golden advice that was given to you over the course of this term. Do not adapt. Continue with your sense of entitlement. You will have the same issue on your last exam as your previous exams. You will be giving the grade that you've earned based on merit and not on a curve. Good luck.
  13. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    My tests are never directly off the notes. They are always a variation on a concept we've learned as it applies to another concept we've learned. Like if A is related to B in this way, then Y must be true. Even though we're only taught A and B, if we use that knowledge, we know Y, too.

    A&P is meant to be a higher level of thinking. Things should not have to be explicitly taught to you, you're supposed to be able to make those connections yourself.

    I don't think you should fight the grade. I think you should figure out how to study smarter.

    Good luck.
  14. by   Pepper The Cat
    Also remember in real life not every pt will present the same.
    I remember an occasion where diabetic pt was becoming disoriented and confused. Night shift just documented that and did nothing more.
    Day shift comes on, does the am glum. Pt's sugar was in his boots. Once we got it back up, confusion cleared.
    Reason night shift didn't do a blood sugar? He wasn't diaphoretic. So it couldn't have been low blood sugar causing the sudden onset confusion.

    I also remember a student we had. Smart girl, we were told. A+ student. Ask her the signs of hypoglycemia she would rattle them off.
    But reverse things - give he a few signs of hypoglycemia she could tell you what was happening. She never learned how to apply her knowledge in a real life setting.

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