How to Pass 2nd MBBS Exam at the University of Nigeria (UNEC)

Second (2nd) MBBS they say does not just require a good knowledge of Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology but also a sound mind, emotional stability, consistency and smart work.

Yes! 60% smart work and 40% hard work. You have a very large volume to cover with a very limited time so it’s practically impossible to remember everything but very important to have an idea of every area. Remember, CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY!

In a bid to get you oriented in a bunch of things you need to know to make life easier for you, below are advice(s) from some well-meaning/ distinction candidates in my class.

This piece in no particular order featured:

  • Dimson Justin Chinonso – (Distinction in Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology)
  • Okoli Tochukwu – (Distinction in Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology)
  • Onyia Adrian – (Distinction in Biochemistry and Physiology)
  • Eze Chinelo Yves – (Distinction in Biochemistry and Physiology)
  • Odenigbo Malachy – (Distinction in Biochemistry and Physiology)
  • Odokoro Obumneme Michael – (Majority Leader 022 Constituency )

I wish you all God’s grace and favour as you prepare for your 2nd test/2nd MBBS exams. God’s speed my dear colleagues!

Anigbo Stephen C (Steve)

Welfare Chairman MBBS ‘022                                                                                                                  

2nd MBBS Exam

Not too long ago I was in your shoes uncertain of how the future would play out, how 2nd MBBS was going to be like… well I must say, it wasn’t easy but God is faithful.

So I urge you not to relent in your hard work, it may take sleepless nights, cups of coffee, long hours of studying, but trust me in the end it’s going to be worth it. 

There’s what I term “active learning” … this is where you’re learning wherever you are.

Surround yourself with medical students whom you can discuss with, in your practice groups, study groups if you have any or with yourself, try to always discuss what you’ve learnt or listen to what your friends have learnt.

Have them quiz you while you also quiz them, even as your lecture is going on, try to reason out what you’re being taught.

That way it sticks better, you get to cover a lot more and medicine becomes very interesting for you, if you form this habit, it’ll help you a lot, even in your clinical. 

Also, try to always ask questions concerning the test or exam you’re about to write from your senior colleagues.

Of course, this helps you know what you might expect in the hall and strategies for answering different questions

For example; You should know that your approach to answering physiology essay questions is very different from that of Biochemistry. 

May God be with you as you prepare for your 2nd test and ultimately, your first professional exam. 

Hon. Odokoro Obumneme Michael                                                         

Anatomy

For each topic I read in Anatomy, I tried as much as possible to be very thorough in it.

I try to take my time to completely assimilate it, what it did for me — it helped my revision.

When a topic is read well, revising it, is way easy… After reading in the textbook, I read my materials (sometimes, I do vice versa) after the materials, I go over past questions. Yes, past questions help a lot to make points stick, makes reading precise and gives you confidence that you are doing the right thing.

I also use visuals a lot. What I mean is that sometimes I check Netters, Grants and browse online for pictures of the anatomical structure. If I meet a topic that is difficult to understand, I download videos for it. 

Histology, I read both Indebir Singh and Wheaters… But preferably Indebir Singh without neglecting Wheaters (do you understand?). 

Embryology was quite tough for me… I had to try and read it over and over again. Taking and organizing the dates in sequence. 

Biochemistry

Metabolism was over-hyped when I first heard of it. So I decided to break the jinx of Metab… I concentrated more on Metab during the 2nd semester but then after the exams, I barely crossed 50 (i.e. 55) or I almost reached 60 (i.e. 55, optimistic view).

Now, the knowledge wasn’t my problem, the approach was. I didn’t know that writing BIC is way different from writing a Physio essay.

The keyword in the BIC essay is to be as brief and straight to the point as ever. Oh, don’t try to put down all the details… (You wouldn’t finish) go straight to the point.

For example, if you are told “Outline the steps in fatty acid synthesis” don’t speak too much grammar just give them (CRDR) Condensation, Reduction, Dehydration and Reduction. (This might probably give 3 or 4 marks), if you write all you can, you wouldn’t exceed that Mark.

So precision takes pre-eminence in Biochemistry. Also, I used structures to learn (it made it easier for me), 90% of students don’t and some also got distinctions. I just want to encourage those who will like to use structures, it wouldn’t attract many marks but it does help. 

Physiology

One of the things that helped me a lot in Physiology is that I read with Outlines, reading with outlines makes reading Physio much easy because it helps you organize the points you’ve read.

Also, in Physio understanding is key…

Let your aim be to understand and not to finish. I think I only finished Physio for main (I’m not sure), but in 1st and 2nd test I didn’t but the ones I read I did understand and the Lord blessed my efforts. 

Finally, Finally, Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding, in all your ways acknowledge He and he will make your path straight.

Don’t let Medical School burden you too much.

These are some tips that’ll be beneficial to you as you prepare for your first professional examination:

DIMSON, JUSTIN CHINONSO (DISTINCTION IN ANATOMY, BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY)

Anatomy

You should have an overflowing knowledge of each topic to tackle your MCQ’s and viva with ease.

Attend your lectures, take your dissection and osteology sessions seriously… If possible, be the person teaching.

Read your slides very well…. those studying with the last anatomy, look at your atlas well while studying.

For my Embryo and Histo, I read them multiple times using the Slides & textbooks and before entering the exam hall, I made sure I revised every topic.

Past questions are okay to practice with…. once in a while, conduct a personal assessment.

Physiology

  1. Pay keen attention in class, and try to understand what the lecturer is Saying.
  2. Reading your slides alone is enough to get you a distinction.
  3. Concerning the above, as you read take note of the intrinsic details for MCQs and practice essays.
  4. Practice with past questions.

Medical Biochemistry

I will stress metabolism:

Firstly, attend all the lectures and note the areas being stressed by the lecturers.

Try to understand the concept while reading.

For carbohydrate and Lipid Metabolism, I’ll advise you to read both the slides and the textbook. Take keen note of the pathways, regulatory enzymes, etc.

For amino acid metabolism, the slides are enough. You could look up some pathways in the textbook

For nucleic acid Metab, a lecturer recommended a textbook for us called Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry.

So I read her slide and together with the textbook and some YouTube videos, I drafted my note….. reading Fundamentals of Metab text may not be necessary here.

For Molecular tools, read both the slide and the hardcopy material…. they are both different.

You can use the textbook together with your slides to read up on nucleotide metabolism.

How to Answer Questions in Metabolism

  1. When you are asked to “outline”, please you are required to just list. BIC is not like physiology.
  2. Always remember to put down the deficient enzyme and the reaction it catalyzes in any metabolic disorder you are discussing. Eg: Galactosemia
  3. Please put down the chemical reaction catalyzed by a rate liming enzyme, its stimulants and inhibitors when asked to write on the regulation of a metabolic pathway.
  4. Try to give direct answers to the questions you are asked because you may not have much time.
  5. Try as much as possible to use a schematic representation of pathways where necessary. It saves time.

All in all, Make God your priority and success will be a reality.

Prov.16:3 says “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

 OKOLI TOCHUKWU (DISTINCTION IN ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY)

Hey everyone, 

First of all, 2nd MB is an overly hyped examination and the fear developed towards it has been one of the biggest problems students (I for one) faced. So here’s a gentle reminder to keep fear far away! 

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you in your study. After all, it should be more smart work than hard work. 

Anatomy 

The trick to gross anatomy is to try to visualize what you read while you’re reading. This could be achieved by using an atlas, life bones, cadavers during dissection, videos and models.

Having a mental picture of the subject matter or a particular topic would go a long way in helping you answer questions during tests and examinations. 

Embryology,

This used to be my Anatomy mark buffer, maybe because I have something really for dates. But then, there are quite a number of them to memorize.

An easy way to go about this is to have a “datebook”. This book, preferably a short note should contain as many dates as possible, to ease revision and for portability. 

Histology

There is no hard and fast rule on this one. I combined both Wheaters and Indebir Singh, and made notes for each topic. Subsequently, I used them to revise before tests and exams. 

Physiology

The trick to this course is understanding every topic as soon as it’s been taught because it is very bulky. More often than not, it requires an avid knowledge of a series of events that would lead to certain consequences which may alter a particular body function. Your ability to grasp such concepts is very important. 

It is almost impossible to cover every single topic in each of the 12 systems especially in preparation for MOCK and Main exams. So I’d advise you to understand every topic as they come, to build your residual knowledge before the exams. 

I would also advise the use of online videos, my favourites were Ninja Nerd and Dr Najeeb. 

Biochemistry 

This is probably the least demanding of all 3 courses but then the most volatile. The trick here is going for classes and reading lecturers materials because that is where exam questions would come from. 

Metab would really be challenging at first, but with time and constant revision, the strange words become familiar and somethings just click.

Watching online videos and discussing with a friend would go a long way in helping stuff stick better. 

Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask for help whenever you need to. Nobody would know your problem if you keep bottling it all in. If it is a thing of pride or ego, trust me, 5 years from now, it wouldn’t matter. 

Finally, trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. 

Onyia Adrian C (Distinction in Biochemistry and Physiology)

First and foremost, there’s no particular formula for passing 2nd MB. It all boils down to doing what works for you.

For instance, I have never gone for “night class” my entire life because I know it’s not for me; I am an indoor reader and that’s it!

Know when you study best and don’t joke about it. Take breaks in between studies…sleep when you feel you’re saturated.

It’s important to attend classes. Try as much as you can to eat well and sleep well (sleeping helps consolidate your memory!). 

Always ensure you read to understand; it’s easier to memorize the things you understand…always test yourself to see how much you can remember.

Finally, pray! Prayer is of utmost importance. Always remember, Consistency is key.

I wish you all the best! 

Eze Chinelo Yves (Distinctions in Biochemistry and Physiology)

ANATOMY

Note the following:

1. Try and finish all your lecture materials at least once before revision for the exams exams-lecture notes important.

2. Support your lecture materials with a textbook for better understanding.

If you’re not a fast reader, please focus on your lecture materials and master them very well.

For those who can read very fast and understand as well, you can use more than one textbook, says Last, Chaurasia (for gross), Indebir Singh, Wheater’s(for histo).

Sadler is always required for Embryology (but show regard to dates and frequencies and relate them with your lecture material).

3. Try and use your body to demonstrate what you study in Gross. In this case, knowing the origin and insertion of muscle help you know the action and of course the clinical importance of such action.

For example about popliteus

a) Laterally rotates the tibia on femur

b) Medially rotates tibia on the femur.

c) Laterally rotates femur on the tibia.

d) b and c above

e). Medially rotates the femur on the tibia

Try and reason the question because a muscle usually draws its point of insertion towards the point of origin during its action.

4) Take your practical serious. Though it may seem boring, you will value it greatly during your steeplechase exams. 

BIOCHEMISTRY

Note these points:

1). Study your metabolism very well. When you do this, the so-called almighty Metab will undoubtedly be simple for you.

However, you have to read it severally to master it very well. Understand the pathways, the enzymes and their cofactors, activators, and inhibitors, metabolic errors involved.

2). Lecture materials play a crucial role in passing your exams well (esp MCQs) – therefore study in between lines.

3). Use of textbooks – This is also important, but you must try and replicate what your lecturers taught in classes before adding extra information gotten from textbooks.

4) Give Metab pretty much time even after your Metab test. Continue to memorize the pathways, enzymes, and others so that they will become part of you before the main exam.

PHYSIOLOGY

Note:

1) Lecture materials are indispensable. You can hardly pass your physio exams without lecture materials.

You cannot perform up to your expectation without materials. Hence, the importance of lecture materials cannot be overemphasized.

2). Textbooks might not play a crucial role here. However, it will improve your understanding and for reference purposes.

It’s better not to read a textbook than to confuse yourself due to variation you may notice between your lecture notes and textbooks.

If you don’t have enough time, just study your materials thoroughly and do well in your exams.

For those that like reading textbooks (like me) do make sure it does not deter you from reading your lecture notes.

3) For your MCQs, virtually all the questions come from the materials with little or no modification. Pay a constant visit to your lecture materials, revise them well for your essay (diagrams are very important).

Above all, try to understand and do not enter the exam hall with a head full of crammed work only.

4) Start early to learn how to study with an outline. This will enable you to write a good, comprehensive and elaborate essay.

5). Choice of pencil: Use a well-sharpened and thick pencil (6b>4b>2b). Try and shade well and be fast. Many people perform poorly in MCQs because of wrong shading.

6). Try and study past questions before your exams. This is especially important in MCQs and also apply to Anatomy and Biochemistry.

SUMMARY

  • No one understands yourself more than you do. Try and understand what works for you in every setting you are in.
  • Do not allow your past failure and mistakes to weigh you down.
  • Do not also allow your past success to rule your life.
  • Do not allow the population to inflict fear on you.
  • Be confident (not overconfident) in yourself.
  • Target to get distinctions, work towards that, avoid any distraction that can cost you from getting the distinction and you will get it. Even if the distinction fails you will end up passing.
  • 2nd MBBS is difficult and at the same time easy. Therefore, do not see it as too difficult or too simple. If you failed, the first test fight very hard not to fail again. If you did well keep on moving higher. 
  • I and many others that did it are not better than you. Read without ceasing and as well pray without ceasing. 

Note: No genius ever read once…

‘Success to you all.

ODENIGBO MALACHY (DISTINCTION IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY)

Compiled by;

Anigbo Stephen C (Steve)

Welfare Chairman MBBS ‘022                                                                             

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Hi! I am a Creative Writer, Student Leader and a Lifelong Learner. I love to research and write from my wealth of experience to assist Nigerian students.

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