Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The most epic fail

So today was the BC Calc exam, and sure while it may be nothing compared to some other crazy people's schedules, I maintain the belief that the dauntitude (I made that word up) of a task is directly proportional to the system it's within, thus it was still a big deal for me. I've studied for this test for literally a month, done a ton of practice exams, went over everything. I knew my stuff, and I was ready for this test.

"But Chris, how is that the most epic fail?"

Quit interrupting, that was all exposition to highlight the severity later.

Anyway, I went to bed at midnight, woke up this morning, had a breakfast of a bagel, orange juice, eggs, bowl of wheaties, banana and some peanut butter (I'm a fatass, it just hasn't caught up to me) and went to school. The test begins and I feel pretty good, for those unfamiliar the test is broken up into 4 parts like so:

Non-Calculator Multiple Choice-45 minutes
Calculator Multiple Choice-45 minutes
Non-Calculator Free Response-45 minutes
Calculator Free Response-45 minutes

You have to bubble in an answer sheet by the time the test is done, when the bell rings, you have to stop everything you're doing and seal your test.The timer goes and I dive headlong into the problems. To optimize my test-taking, I always allot 5 minutes at the end to bubble in everything. Periodically I glance up to see how much time is left : 35 minutes, 22 minutes, 8 minutes, great, I'm making good progress and answering a lot of questions. I get to the end and glance up at the clock: 4 minutes 30 seconds

(!!FATAL ERROR APPROACHING!!)

For some odd reason, since I was so focused on seeing 5 minutes as my mark to begin bubbling, when I saw 4 minutes and 30 seconds, I thought "Oh wonderful, I am 4 minutes and 30 seconds ahead, I'll go back and work some problems I wasn't sure of" I managed to get all of them answered and felt really confident about it all, the timer went off and everything was great, I had answered all of the questions, now all I had to do was---

Oh shit.

"Pencils down, no more working"

Oh my god.

"Seal your tests"

I looked over at my answer sheet. Completely Blank.

The next multiple choice section began and I sat for about 5 minutes, unable to do any work, mentally kicking myself for being so dumb. Then I spent about 3 minutes trying to figure out what to do now, so I crunched the numbers for scoring and found out that if I aced the the rest of the multiple choice and got 6 out of 9 points for every free response, I could still make a 4, which would be worth credit. I aced the rest of the Multiple Choice part for sure, and it was time for free response. I had no problem with most of the free response, except one part of a question that asked me to calculate the Lagrange Error Bound (for those who don't know, it's the most useless, convoluted math idea out there) for a series. Partially because I didn't care, and partially because I was so pumped at the idea of actually pulling this ridiculous come-from-behind feat, with about 15 seconds left I wrote the first thing that came to my mind:

"THIS IS SPARTA!"

I feel tentatively confident about the possibility of actually making a 4 on the test, even though I missed an entire section. If I do manage to pull it off, it will be the most amazing feat I've done thus far, and a pretty good story. If not, theres always the standing exams in August....

5 comments:

Paul said...

Good luck. But, dude. Wow...

Karen said...

lagrange error is actually totally awesome. you're just jealous because lagrange was a pimp.

also, i hope you saw that facebook group :)

Viva said...

holyyyyy shit. i would NOT have been able to continue if i had done that...

and i agree that lagrange error is ridiculous XP

Sumaiya said...

Impressive, I would have totally freaked had that happened. Nice job on having the presence of mind to figure out that you might be able to get a 4.

I self-studied for the BC (I had an AB course) the night before, and yeah. Lagrange is insane, but I may have gotten that bit! :D

Siddharth said...

I would have lost most of my hope if I had no answers marked in

good luck dude