twin visits from the exam fairy in 72 hrs


dont-you-love-cramming-for-finals-78469

[ Thank you very much and acknowledgment to Ms Eva Kaprinay for the use of your magnificent picture in our blog site! ]

TO BE as frank as the Senator who loves her pick-up lines, exam preparation is in universal terms a crap shoot, or throw of the dice.  You can go through the widest gamut of studying for your big test, including cover-to-cover readings of the course material, do all the exercises and drills after every chapter, and compile comprehensive reviewers that leave no stone unturned in culling all possible exam questions. . .

and STILL come up short on exam day, via a combination of entirely new exam questions, an examiner who’s been in the worst mood of his/her life, or just a mental block that prevented you from answering questions sensibly for two hours.

OR, you could cram and crib barely a few days before the big day, hardly cover the course content, and arrive harrassed and sleep-deprived, not even recognize the topic of half the exam questions, and still manage to scrape by the passing mark, and making the grade by half a whisker.  You produce the same result as someone who’d been diligently studying for the last six months.  Unfair, but passing or failing might be determined by as little as sleeping (or not sleeping) an extra hour, or grabbing an exam question from a previous exam.

For my recent guild exams, I was somewhere in between.  I started reading up on the text as early as a few months ago, but leveled off a month before the exam and held off absorbing the material until it was almost too late, with procrastination and laziness a potent cocktail to dull my post-shift inertia.

The last 10 days before the test, I was reminded of very good reasons to at least pass the exam.  Gaining another credit towards certification would help me in my permanent residency application.  Because someone else had started the next step of training ahead of me, I was no longer considered a training priority and further (subsidized) exams were no longer assured, meaning if I had plans to take the last module after this one, I had to pay the hefty exam fee.  And lastly, passing would mean another 50 cents to my hourly wage rate.

So I had all the good reasons to make good on the test, and I used the few remaining days to, like I said, cram and crib, using all the memory aids, tricks and gingko biloba available.  Plus, a kabayan brother-in-arms in Auckland told me where to look up sample exams in previous years.

[Don’t forget the three C’s of exams : cramming, cribbing, and coffee. ]

Remember what I said about late-minute heroics, a good night’s sleep, and the right questions ending up on your exam paper?   Yup, an alignment of all these planets produced an astounding result for me: an extra-high mark that went a long way in making me look good with work, my peers and of course, my boss.  A little extra effort indeed, goes a long, long way.

***     ***     ***

Towards getting ready for her full (no restrictions) driving license exam, Mahal’s plan was simple: by not telling me she was taking it a second time, she would be saving herself the stress of hearing me ask about it, and the trauma of having to tell me if she failed.

Great plan, except that in retrospect, if she had failed, she would’ve cried her eyes out, giving the result away.

Happily, as you obviously must have surmised, she didn’t, getting it a second time.  The irony was that she was battle-ready for the first time, engaging the services of a tutor, practicing a dozen hours exclusively on her weak areas, and getting a good night’s rest.  Not all of these preparations gave her a successful result.

Diagnoses : she didn’t make a full stop on an intersection, didn’t point out all the driving hazards, and could’ve shown more care on her turns.

This time, because she kept her re-take under wraps, she had no opportunity for another tutorial session, and almost forgot that she had the test scheduled until  the day before.

Miraculously, everything fell into place, the examiner asked her all the right questions, she showed the right technique, and got her full license the same day.

The best part was, we got our results within 2 days of each other.  Thank you God, and thank you exam fairy!

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