Today, June 22nd, is a day almost every Medicine hopeful had marked off in their calendars as The Most Important Day Ever.
I say almost every Med-Head, because I rang a friend of mine this morning, about 3 hours after I’d looked at my own results, to see how he’d fared, and he didn’t even realise they were being sent out…
I explained to him that I cried when I first saw my results. Nobody understands emotional wrecks these days.
I feel better since the immediate shock, but maybe only a little.
Anyway, it’s a day that I’d very much been dreading for the last few months. Thousands of us sat our HPATs last February, with little idea of how we actually got on. It was a vague, wishy-washy, stressful exam which makes me physically ill when I so much as think of it, and I had absolutely no idea how exactly I got on.
I remember very few details about it (Mental Blockage, you see) but the blog I wrote about the exam at the time reminded me how depressing the whole day was.
That day was nowhere near as depressing as today, however.
The night after the HPAT exams I went out to my favourite club and got rather drunk with a few good friends.
Today is a Monday. The option just isn’t there.
One of my very best friends is moving to France for a year. Tomorrow. And she more than likely won’t be able to come home for visits, even at Christmas.
Another of my best friends (Who I’m heavily dependent on) has been in Germany all Summer.
I recently got a bad haircut.
I was already fragile. Already an emotional wreck. Now this has been very much so heightened.
I couldn’t sleep at all last night, I was tossing and turning until about 4am. I was tempted to pull an all nighter, refreshing my inbox every 5 seconds approximately, waiting for ACER to send me out that all important email which would reveal my results.
I eventually decided it’d be a tad ridiculous, a tad excessive, and succumbed to sleep, but I was up at 8.30am, bounding towards my computer, adamant to see the dreaded Results email. They’d been sent out at 5.52am (A somewhat odd time, yes.)
I wish I’d stayed in bed.
Without further ado, my results are as follows:
Points (Out of a total of 300): 173
Percentile Ranking: 84
Now, I know these results aren’t as drastic as I’m making out, but for me, this has come as quite an awful blow.
I’d been hoping to get within the top, maybe, 10 percentile of candidates to try and secure myself a place in Medicine in Trinity.
I only landed into the top 16.
Hope is not lost, no no no, but it’s definitely diluted somewhat.
On one hand, I know that I’m more suited to Medicine, apparently, than 84% of medicine applicants- but it’s that pesky 16% who would, apparently, be better than me who are the problem.
I say “apparently” because I don’t think a, frankly tenuous, multiple choice exam can truly determine someone’s capability as a Doctor, Surgeon, Psychiatrist or what have you.
Heck, there’s no easy way of doing it- but because of SHEER determination alone I feel as though I’d proved myself somewhat able to study the damn course next year.
I cannot describe how much I want to study Medicine, and I feel as though I’ve given it my all. I know I’d be good at it. I know it’s the only career I’d truly enjoy, and work well at.
But my HPAT results haven’t reflected this all too well.
On the CAO website, it’s possible to get a breakdown of your results Section by Section- I excelled in Section 1- So it seems I’m pretty logical and can solve problems pretty nicely, then.
Section 2- Interpersonal Relationships- wasn’t great. I’d honestly assumed this was my forte- I’d always done best here in the sample tests- but it was only mediocre on the day.
Section 3, however, is where I really got dragged down. I didn’t even score 50 points here. I’ve come up with an excuse though, of course,- I’m a girl.
It’s not much of an excuse, but I’m blaming the sexist nature of the paper- Girls suck at that kind of thing, generally speaking, compared to boys. Seriously, FACT. We were raised playing with our Barbies- they had their lego and K’nex and what have you. We learned nothing, only how to be subservient and fashionable, they developed spacial awareness.
Yeah. So I’m blaming bad parenting, then.
I thought I’d be able to tell if I got into Medicine or not today, but it’s impossible to do so, really.
Combining my Leaving Cert points from last year as an indication with my HPAT results, I get as follows:
550 + 173 = 723.
723 out of 860, seems a bit awful, right? Does anyone understand why I cried, just a little?
However, I’ve since discovered that nobody seems to have got more than around and about 207-210. That, of course, means the very maximum could be, what, 560+ 210= 770?
I’m a good 60 or 50 points off the top candidates, but I’m still a hell of a lot higher than some of the average or weaker students.
Most people seem to have gotten 150 or thereabouts in the HPATs, and I wouldn’t go as far as saying hope is lost for any of them, or for me, merely diluted.
Because all the HPAT results seem to be over such a narrow range, the Leaving Cert results are still of fundamental importance.
Anyone who thinks they’ll get into Medicine with 480 points is horribly deluded- but there’s hope for people who break well into the 500s, especially if their HPAT results were even alright.
Sigh. I don’t know.
I can’t wait for August 12th. But, more importantly, I can’t wait for August 17th- the day of CAO offers.
I’ll take Medicine anywhere in Ireland. If Trinity’s out than I’ll gladly head to Galway. I’d even take the plunge and accept CORK if I had to- even though I hate the city (nothing personal, guys) and would really hate to end up there.
For now though, I’m going to just try and forget about it and enjoy my Summer.
I’ll return in August to let you all know how I get on! Keep your fingers crossed for me, please.
EDIT: This article from the Irish Times is wonderfully informative.