I tried studying for that Chinese history test some last night, and failed pretty bad. Every time I looked at the notes, my eyes just glazed over and my mind wandered. The comment I made to a friend about the situation was something along the lines of either I was completely prepared for the test and my brain was refusing to let me keep dawdling on what I already knew, or I was completely unprepared for the test and my brain was refusing to let me try to fix a hopelessly broken situation.
I’ve taken enough essay tests in the last year and a half to have a pretty good idea in advance of where my final grade’s going to be sitting. Basically, the longer I had to sit there at my desk and come up with a thesis statement and a couple or three examples offhand to support my answer to the question, the less confidence I have that I did well. Ideally, I want to see the outline in my head immediately or within a few seconds of reading through the question, and then as I write I want to be thinking about the next sentence, or the next paragraph. If I can’t start writing immediately, or if I stop writing because I can’t figure out what to put down next, that’s when I know I’m in trouble.
Thankfully, none of the bad stuff happened this morning. Even considering I spent the last week and a half studying with my back up against the wall, on top of missing a couple of lectures due to not being able to separate myself from the mattress some mornings, the essays went off without a hitch and I was never at a loss for what to do next. So I suspect I probably got an A on this test.
And now, back to procrastinating.