COMLEX Debrief

So, a couple days ago I completed COMLEX Level 1. The number on question I received after finishing it was, "So, how was it?" At the time, I didn't really have a very good answer, but now I've got a small something to say

In many ways, I expected something far bigger and far worse. I say this, because, for something titled the "Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam", it didn't feel all that comprehensive. Instead, to me, it felt like I was taking some kind of Family Medicine shelf exam - which doesn't exactly help the reputation that DOs are only good for primary care. There was a lot of OMT, general Cardio, Micro (mostly common things, with some curveballs), common genetic disorders, etc., and what seemed to me to be a lot of common, basic complaints. There was the occasional question about some rare disease or a rare genetic condition, there were the occasional Pharm interaction questions or non-mainline drug questions, but, by and large, the test wasn't that bad. Honestly, if I wasn't also taking the USMLE, I'd kinda be regretting spending all those hours trying to memorise the specific genetic diseases by their chromosomes and translocations. Of course, that doesn't mean there weren't curveballs and stumpers, but thankfully most questions were think-through-able.

That being said, I know that having studied all the basic stuff probably made it easier to take the test and handle the harder questions. After all, I remember taking the COMSAE a couple months ago and being immensely frustrated by it, that everything was straightforward, but just slightly out of my reach.

Regardless, it was a long exam. Taking a test in two four-hour blocks is very mentally fatiguing. I know I chose not to use my 10 min breaks to break it into four two-hour blocks, but hour three in each block, especially, was rough. I remember reviewing over the questions and thinking, "Was that in this block? I thought that was a block ago." And it definitely doesn't help that your only sense of the passage of time is your mental awareness of what time you went in combined with the "time remaining" counter on the screen, because all the windows were covered and I wasn't allowed to bring my watch in with me.

All in all, was it a rough exam? Kind of, but not as much as I was expecting.
Was it a tiring exam? Most definitely?
Would I do it again? ... gee, thanks for reminding me I have to.
Do I know how well I did? Not at all. When I say it really is all in God's hands at this moment, I mean it. I have no real self-indication of how well I did.

So, please pray as I continue to study, this time for the USMLE, and please pray that I performed well - better than I could have done alone - on the COMLEX.

Thank you, also, to all who were praying for me while I was writing the COMLEX. I definitely both appreciated and needed it.


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