Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Test from Hell

I took my test, and it was so awful. I would rather have a tooth extracted with no Novocain than go through that again. Or a bone marrow biopsy. Or an ingrown toenail removed. Or a Barium enema. Or all of them done simultaneously. I don't ever want to take that stupid test again.

But I might have to...I think I bombed it.

I arrived to the Prometric Testing Center about a half hour early, so I flipped through some of my study materials and tried to quickly review some of the concepts (in my car). I walked in about 15 minutes before my scheduled time, and I felt fairly calm (no, I did not drink or pop any benzos, although in hindsight, that may have helped). I signed in, and they asked for 2 forms of identification. They had me put all of my stuff in a locker. They also had me empty out my pockets, and roll my jeans up to my calves. The lady waved a hand-held metal detector up and down my body. I wasn't throwing up or anything...So far so good.

The lady walked me into the testing section, where there were various computers and multiple intense-looking individuals already taking some test or other. There were also video cameras monitoring each person. The lady showed me my computer, and also held up some headphones and whispered, "These are for you to use if you need to block out the noise." I looked at her with confusion and said, "What noise?" (Seriously, it was so quiet that I thought I heard someone's stomach growl). She just laughed, and walked out.

I completed the tutorial, and then my test began. When the first question popped up, my heart instantly sank. It was about some obscure minority study done in the '90s. I guessed on that one, and hoped the second question would be better. But it wasn't. Out of the first 10 questions, there were 2 that only looked vaguely familiar. The good news is that my heart stopped sinking. The bad news: It was now pounded in my throat. I had this horrible feeling that all the study material I had studied for months was just WRONG. After question 12 or so, the questions began to transition into material that looked a bit more familiar, but by then, my palms were clenched, I was sweating, and my heart was pummeling out of my chest.

Sadly, even the questions I THOUGHT I knew were worded in such a way that two answers seemed correct, or none of the answers seemed correct. The test allows one to "mark" questions that they would like to review later. When I completed all 225 questions, I had 66 marked. I had only reviewed about 10 of them when I ran out of time. So yeah, I feel fairly certain I failed. I went home, locked myself in the bathroom, and cried. I was so depressed and anxious that night. All night, my brain kept ruminating over this damn test. My reaction to this was such a shock to me because I don't normally become this anxious over....anything. My Dad, husband, and Jodi all gave me very reassuring feedback, but nothing they said would resonate. I tried to sleep, but I kept spontaneously remembering questions and fighting the urge to look up the answers. At like...3am that night, I decided to cancel the dinner with Jodi and Kristyn, because I had decided I was too depressed to go, and I didn't want to bring them down.

When I woke up that morning, I was an exhausted mess. It was while I was curling my hair for work that I decided I simply needed to get over it. I even said out loud to my reflection in the mirror, "You aren't the only one who has taken this test before, so get over yourself." I figured I had already allowed myself approximately 14 hours to completely fall apart into a heaping pile of self pity, and now it was time to move on. I also decided NOT to cancel the dinner with Jodi and Kristyn.

And that's where I am at right now. I won't find out my score until the 5th or 6th of August, but I will be okay. If I failed the test, I will fork over $600 and take it again (it would be a different version, unfortunately, so any of the questions I retained are useless).

The good news: I don't have to study right now! I can actually write on this blog again. I can read a book. I can watch something on Netflix. I can go for a walk. I can parent my kids.

Just a random thing: During the dinner with Jodi and Kristyn, I found out an interesting fact about my sister that I never knew (this doesn't sound like a big thing, but when you are a twin who knows pretty much everything ABOUT your twin, it feels pretty cool to discover some novel fact). So the new thing is, my sister is "hard to sedate." This is what she was told by a doctor because she woke up in the MIDDLE of surgery. Jodi was knocked out under general anesthesia while surgeons were attempting to repair her vocal chord. Suddenly, she sits up and nonchalantly starts chattering away. The doctors experienced a moment of alarm, and quickly knocked her out again. When Jodi was told about it later, she had no memory of the incident.