Well, exam attempt 3 is complete. I just don’t think I got it this time. The feeling I had when I left the exam was too similar to attempts 1 and 2 to feel confident about my chances of passing. I’m still digesting it and I was really sad after the exam, but I’m feeling a lot better about it.
The day of the exam was pretty eventful for sitting in a chair for eight hours, and I wanted to recap a couple of funny things that happened.
All examinees were supposed to report to the exam site by 7:15 AM. My husband was very kind and was dropping me off at the exam site. We’d been trying to leave the house by 6:40, but my dog freaked when he saw my packed suitcase of books and thought that MOMMY IS LEAVING FOREVER. So we had to put up a puppy gate to keep him from running after us, which took a little time. Then the GPS on my phone started freezing up and I told Husband to take the wrong exit. We didn’t reach the Expo Center until close to 7:25. Which was FINE, until we realized that the gates to the Expo Center were locked for whatever inexplicable reason. We turned around and kept driving, and I tried to quell my panic.
We finally reached what we thought was an entrance, but when we pulled up, the gate was closed. From inside the gate, I could see people unloading their vehicles. Were we locked out? WHERE THE HELL WAS THE ENTRANCE? I was starting to feel frantic.
Another woman and her significant other had pulled up too. We both expressed our dismay at being unable to find the entrance. “I’m just going to go underneath the gate,” she shrugged, taking her suitcase with her. I didn’t think there was enough room to squeeze through, until I saw her push her suitcase underneath the gate and roll underneath.
Screw it, I thought. I grabbed my enormous suitcase and was able to squeeze it underneath the gate. I kissed Husband goodbye, dropped to the ground, and rolled under the gate. I got up, grabbed my suitcase, and started walking as fast as I could while lugging a 60-pound suitcase. The situation was so ridiculous that I couldn’t help wearing a grin as I stood in line.
When I checked in, the proctor told me that my seat would be upstairs in the mezzanine area. I’d known there would be stairs, but I thought that we would be going down them. Of course, I thought. Of course I would be sitting upstairs. I asked another proctor if there was an elevator. “Uhhh, I don’t know,” he said. “Do you need help lifting that upstairs?” I paused. While I didn’t want to subject him to carrying my suitcase, I knew there was not any way I could physically lift it myself up the stairs. “Yes,” I said.
“What…do…you….have in here?” the proctor asked as he struggled with the suitcase. I felt terrible. “A bunch of books that probably will not help me at all,” I said, thanking him for his trouble. “No problem. It’s my workout for the day.” He turned around to leave. SPOILER ALERT – there was an elevator near my table.
As I walked to my table, I passed by a younger coworker, presumably taking the exam for the first time. That was a confidence booster. OH HEY COWORKER. JUST IGNORE THE FACT THAT MY REMEDIAL ASS IS HERE TAKING THE EXAM FOR THE THIRD TIME. I wished her luck and went to my table.
I wish I could say that I killed that morning session, but I walked out to lunch in a daze, very similar to the previous two attempts – knowing in my heart that I had failed and trying to lift my spirits for the afternoon session. I ate my lunch while looking at the skyline, fighting back tears and wondering why I couldn’t seem to get it.
My spirits had lifted by the start of the afternoon session, but were quickly crushed once I started the exam again.
I studied so much harder for this session and I can’t say I’ve done any better than the first two attempts. Like I said, I’m still digesting everything and my performance. I’ll deal with the angst and self-loathing when I get my results back. For now, I’m glad it’s over, I’m humbled by the exam’s difficulty, and glad I’m able to find a little bit of humor in what is otherwise a frustrating situation.
Thank you all for your encouraging words and for being willing to read my endless posts about this test. I’ll try to shut up about it now until December.