This morning was Mahaquizzer, KQA’s (used to be) annual national solo written championships. When I had seen the invite a few days back, I had somehow registered in my head that the quiz was between 11:00 am and 12:30 pm.
The website says,
Reporting time for participants will be 10:00 AM
The quiz will be held across all cities from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
But in my head I had it as 10:30 registration and quiz starting at 11:00. And so around 10, I went in for a long shower. And came out and just for the heck of it, picked my phone to confirm what time the event was. And panicked.
It was 10:55 by the time I reached the venue and started doing the quiz. This meant that rather than the allotted 90 minutes, I only had 65 minutes to answer the 150 questions. I got into my “speed zone” (I used to be good at solving problems really really fast – that’s how I did very well in CAT etc.) and started working my way through the paper.
It was ~ 11:55 by the time I got done with my first parse of the paper, which meant there was little time for me to revise. And so for a lot of questions I ended up paying far less attention than I should have. And I left some 5-10 questions unattempted (more because I didn’t have a good answer rather than due to lack of time itself).
When the answers were given out presently, I figured I ended up making 67 out of 150. There were a few bad misses. My intuitive thought then was that had I had the full 90 minutes, I could have done better in some 5-10 questions and maybe ended up with 75 out of 150. My misreading of the time had cost me 5-10 points (and I’ll know in a few days how many places in the national rnanking).
Thinking about this, I headed out for lunch with 3 other quizzers (all of whom scored much more than me this morning). Through the lunch, we discussed all the questions. It turned out that for a bunch of questions, some of these people had over-analysed and over-thought, and ended up getting the wrong answer. Because I was doing the quiz in some insane speed mode, I didn’t have the luxury to over-analyse – I had written down the simplest and most intuitive answers I could think of.
Suddenly, by the end of the lunch (by which time we had analysed the full paper), I wasn’t sure any more on how much more I would have got had I had more time. Yes, there were 5-10 questions that would have definitely benefited from my paying more attention. On the other hand, there was another bunch of questions where more attention might have actually been damaging – I would have ended up over-analysing and turned my correct answers into wrong ones.
So I will never really know how much more (or less) I might have got had I had the full quota of time this morning.
And now that I think of it – it is the case with my blogposts also sometimes. Most of the times I just want to bang it out and publish it, so I get into one zone and start writing. And it will be a stream of thought that will go on to this page, where you will read it .
However, when I try to write more leisurely, I make a right royal mess of it. I over-analyse, over-edit, spend needless time worrying about things I shouldn’t be worrying about, etc. In my own opinion, the best blogposts are those I have written in a “mad speed zone”. Editing can only make my writing worse.
PS: Because I was quizzing today (in the afternoon I attended Asiasweep along with Kodhi. Doing a quiz with Kodhi is always a lot of fun because we end up laughing about random things through the quiz). I deliberately decided to skip my ADHD medication for the day. And that worked out well, since I was able to make all sorts of random connections and work out the answers.
In quizzing, a little bit of hallucination can be a good thing!