School of Medical Sciences

MEDSCI 204 frequently asked questions

How much of the material will be assessed in the tests?

  • The mid semester test, lab exam and final exam will assess your knowledge of material covered in the lectures and labs ONLY. You will not be asked questions that require information additional to that contained within this course. However, if there are aspects of the lectures that you are not clear on then you should read further (course text book, other text books and journals etc) to ensure that you have a sound understanding of the concepts, principles and facts pertaining to each lecture or lab topic.

Do I just need to study up on the pharmacology, or will I also be asked questions on the biochemistry/physiology aspects of the lectures?

  • Many of the lectures will include information on relevant physiology, anatomy and biochemistry that you need to grasp before you can appreciate the various pharmacological aspects of the drug examples given in the lecture. While you may not need to have an in depth knowledge of this background information, you will be asked questions that will require a general understanding of all of the relevant material contained in the lectures and labs.

Will the final exam focus mainly on the second half of the course?

  • Not really, the basic principles covered in the first half of the course are important and will be well represented in the final exam. The majority of the exam questions will relate to the lecture material, with less of an emphasis on lab-based material.

There are a lot of drug names mentioned - do I need to learn them ALL?

  • You should be familiar with at least one or two (or several, depending on the lecture/topic) specific examples of drugs for each of the various topics covered in the lectures. Important drug names are usually highlighted in the lecture notes. 

How much detail do I need to learn about the drugs mentioned in the lectures?

  • This is a common question, reflecting one of the drawbacks of the course: that a lot of drug names are quoted to exemplify various kinds of pharmacological principles or applications. In general, you will be expected to be able to quote one example of a drug for each of the aspects covered in the lectures, or be able to recognise one example from a list, or be able to attribute a function or property to a particular drug from a list. In most cases one example is given in the lecture so this is the one you must learn, but at other times several names may be given (particularly if there are several similar drugs commonly prescribed) in which case the drug that is printed in bold lettering in the lecture notes (which may often be the first name in a list) is the name that may crop up in the exams. Because some lectures go into some detail on a particular drug, while others just mention a drug as an example of a class or principle, there is no hard and fast rule on how much you should know about each drug. The guide is whatever is in the lecture notes. If it isn't covered in the lecture notes then it won't be in the exam!
    Note: The long lists of generic vs brand names given in the introductory lectures will not be the subject of any exam questions.
    Also note: You will not be tested on your ability to remember chemical names or structures of drugs, although you might be expected to know whether a drug is, for example, a protein or a steroid etc

How strictly should I adhere to the assignment word limit?

  • The 3000 word limit needs to be adhered to. Failure to do so will result in a loss of marks.