|Even this seemingly benign photo is probably doing more to red-flag this blog and to invite scrutiny from the testing Nazis than is prudent. C'est la vie.|
Late in this calendar year I will take a test that is more important in terms of my future than has been any other test I've ever taken in my life. The SAT was important both times I took it. (Sometimes it really is worth it to take the SAT twice. My first time through it I did well. I nailed the thing my second time through.) The LSAT and mCAT were both important, as at those points in my educational career I wasn't entirely certain what options were open and needed to be prepared for either law school or medical school. I don't recommend preparing for both simultaneously. I didn't exactly do that myself. I took them eight weeks apart, which is probably closer than a sane person would take two of such vastly different tests of such magnitude, but it is at least doable at that interval.
All of those tests are ancient history and not entirely relevant anymore, however, as step numero uno of the behemoth test I'll be facing at or near the end of this academic year dwarfs every other exam I've ever taken. People have been known to lose their sanity over this exam, or so I'm told. In fairness, some of those who supposedly lost their sanity in connection with the exam had only the most marginal of acquaintances with the very concept of stability. Still, the concept that it's a test that is known to screw around with everything one has ever thought of or felt about oneself even to the most confident of individuals on the planet is a point I do not take lightly.
You might have noticed that I have yet to mention the name of this exam. I won't, or at the very least I will not do so in today's blog. After reading the cautionary material, I've become so paranoid that I don't want to put anything in this blog that might cause it to show up on a google search and hence fall under some test Nazi's radar. i intend to fly well under the radar on this one.
On the other tests I've taken, test security was addressed. With this exam, multiple sections concerning "irregular behavior" are in the earliest information disseminated to prospective test takers. When I read the term irregular behavior I wondered if those charged with preparing students for this exam referred to the borderline Aspies, schizophrenics, and others with special needs who are likely present in the med school population just as they are in every other segment of society. I thought the ban on irregular behavior pertained maybe to self-stimming or to conversing aloud with the voices in one's head during the test. I thought wrong. Irregular behavior refers to anything that might interfere with the integrity of the test. We're not to share anything from the test with anyone. Not with lovers. Not with offspring. Not with womb-mates, i.e. twin siblings. Not with test preparation material publishers. Not with anyone.
Well in advance, we're already studying for this killer of an exam. We study to some degree in groups, though much of this study will be a very solitary effort. In one of my study groups, several of the members aren't particularly interested in prepping for the test. I'm a bit worried for them, though it's their own problem if they fail to see the light very, very soon. I cannot learn the material for them.
In the end, I'm a proficient test-preparer and a good test-taker. I don't procrastinate. Chances are that I'll be fine, though I do not underestimate the enormity of this milestone exam.
I'll probably write about this again in the upcoming months, as at some point classes will end and preparing for the test will encompassing nearly all of my waking hours. Then again, in the interest of test integrity and of flying under the radar, perhaps I will not. Time alone will tell.