Tuesday, May 29, 2012

On Rituals

Oy vey, last weekend was not my best weekend.  I did poorly on one half of a practice test and didn't do as well as I had hoped on the official CFA institute mock exam.  I scored exactly a 70%, so didn't do awful, but I was hoping to score a bit higher so I'd feel like I have a bit of a margin for error going into the exam (they don't tell you what you need to pass, but allegedly if you score 70 or above, you pass). 

So my confidence is a bit really shaken...  I know I couldn't have studied any harder than I have so I am trying to trust that it's enough to pass... 

So much of this process feels out of my control, so to give myself the sense of being a bit more in control of things, I rely on some test rituals.  So what are my rituals?

- On exam day, I will wear the same dress, cardigan, and shoes as I wore last year.  The shoes actually should be thrown away as they are not looking so great, but I am keeping them just to wear on CFA exam day.
- I'll wear the horse shoe good luck necklace my cousin gave me as a good luck gift before the exam last year.
- I'll use a pink bic mechanical pencil.
- For lunch, I'll eat at the same French restaurant, and the same meal as last year (Nicoise Salad and a fresh-squeezed lemonade).
- After the exam, the post-exam celebratory dinner will be at the same Mexican restaurant.
- On the day I get my exam results (in late July), I'll once again wear my exam day outfit, and I will give my phone to the same friend at work that watched for the email with my results to come across last year.  Having someone else watch for the email helped keep my mind off it (well, sort of). 

Yes, I realize all of this makes me sound like a complete lunatic.  And I recognize the fact that the shoes or dress I wear or the lunch I eat won't make me pass or fail.  My fate will be decided by how hard I've worked to pass... But I guess at this point, I don't really care what people think of these rituals because if it makes me feel better, it's worth it.  Also, I feel a little better/normal knowing that my cousin also has test rituals when she takes board exams for medical school.  I guess the lunacy runs in the family a bit.  ;)

Are you a superstitious person?  Are there any events in your life that require rituals?  Besides the rituals for the CFA, I have some pre-race rituals, like always eating peanut butter on toast with a banana. 

22 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Haha, I would say these do not make you sound crazy. Think about all the people who insist on wearing the same shirt when a sports team is in the finals... sometimes they wear it like 10 days in a row! I mean, I guess they are just crazy too but I think it's almost normal when that many people do it. For my teaching tests I didn't have any rituals but they make it difficult anyway because it was at different times of the year, different places, always somewhere difficult to get to and a place you wouldn't want to go anyways. ha.

Oh tests. I'm so excited for this to be over, and I know you are going to pass!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I am not a superstitious person and I don't think I have any rituals! I don't think it sounds too crazy though, I mean, if it comforts you, why not???

I'm with Kelly, I'm so excited for this to be behind you and for all the exciting things coming up for you this summer!

Stephany said...

I can totally understand where you're coming from on these rituals! It makes sense. :)

I'm sorry this was such a rough weekend for you. I know it's shaken your confidence a bit but you have studied SO HARD for this test that I know you'll do fine. You've got this!

Abby said...

Don't get too shaken up by your practice exam. Your brain was probably fried at the point you took it, and it won't be on Saturday when you take the real thing! YOu've studied so hard for this, and I am 100% confident you are going to pass this with great scores! So keep your head up!

That is so funny how supersticious you are! I love it. I think it's good though -- and it doesn't make you crazy. It's your coping mechanism to help you feel prepared to handle it as you did last time you had success.

I have found I'm not a supersticious person. I think I was more ritualistic a few years ago.

Marlys said...

I have to agree with what Abby said about it being a coping mechanism, rather than being superstitious! You have worked so hard to prepare for this test, that I just know you will do okay. My prayers are with you all week, and we look forward to celebrating with you on Saturday! I wish you could know the results right away, but the celebration is just the culmination of all your hard work! You deserve it!

Amy said...

In college, every time I took an exam, I'd buy a new blue book, some grape gum and a new blue pen. I'm planning on starting up again when I start grad school this fall. It might seem silly, but it works!

I really do think you're going to do well --- you've worked so hard!

Barb Geier said...

I read this about baseball players: "Some players rely on a level of meta-superstition: by believing in superstitions they can focus their mind to perform better." That is what you are doing as well. And, you have lots of people in your "dugout" pulling for you. Bless you!

abbi said...

Haha, I love how you have this all planned out. I don't think I've ever gone quite this far with something but I definitely have my own rituals!!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I like your rituals. I am not sure I do the same, but I am a tried and true kind of person. For instance, I may go do a different brunch place every weekend, but when I find the one I really love, I tend to go there and order the same thing, over and over. Same with running. I may try a bunch of different fuels, times of day for running, pre-run snacks...but once I find the one that works, I religiously stick to it. So you have found the shoes/dress/necklace/meal, etc...that worked for you before so why not try them again!?

I think you have worked so hard and you will pass! You are just having pre-test jitters! You have put the work in, now let it work for you!

Carolina John said...

I'm going to be so nervous for you all week. Maybe if I'm nervous you won't have to be. Let someone else take that burden off of you. You are the one who is prepared and ready to go.

qwerkyqook said...

I'm a firm believer in superstition. It totally works, if for no other reason than to set your mind at ease. Just ask my Mom, I elevated pre-test superstition to a whole other level of crazy. It works :) Good luck, I'll send all my positive energy your way.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I'm not superstitious at all. But, I think if your rituals make you feel more relaxed and therefore more confident about taking your test, then by all means, do it!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I've never had any rituals per say but I've also never taken on anything even remotely close to the CFA! Like others have said, if it helps you stay more relaxed and calm than that's all that matters!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

I'm not really into rituals, but I am into doing things that make you feel comfortable, relaxed and confident in moments of stress. I have to believe with the amount of studying you have been doing, you will pass this thing. FOr some reason, it's easier to believe in others than yourself. Kind of like marathon training, "trust your studying."

Cherry Blossoms said...

I love it!I think its cute that you are doing everything you did last year. I would do the same.
Please know I am sending you lots of good luck prayers your way and I so wish I could be there to celebrate with you on Sat night!

San said...

I don't know if I am really superstitious, but a certain routine or ritual definitely makes me feel calmer and more in control, so I totally understand where you're coming from.... although I think that your hard work over the last few months will pay off either way! I'll be thinking about you!

Becky said...

I actually think it's awesome that you're wearing the same outfit and eating at the same place afterwards and during! I think it's a confidence thing - you'll feel great, and you won't have to worry about what to get or how you'll react to it, so you can just focus on the test the day of.

Hope you get lots of rest and sleep this week - you can do this!

Melissa said...

There's no feeling I hate more than studying, trying practice exams & then not doing great on them. Luckily you have a LOT of studying under your belt so I know if you're stuck in a stressful situation in the exam you'll be able to think back on all the material and logically think through each question. I'm not even WORRIED about you. If you don't pass, none of that class passes. ;)

I'm not a superstitious person at all, but I think that's always because I've been very stubborn ha! My mom and grandmother were always extremely superstitious which made me NOT want to be it. Ridiculous, right?!

pinkflipflops said...

Lisa, you are so smart you do not need to depend on your rituatls, please dooooo not freak out if something happens and one of them cannot happen!!! You are smart. You got this! You've worked super hard!

Leigh said...

Haha it does make you sound a little crazy, but as long as you can acknowledge and admit it, then it's okay. And if doing those things makes you pass this exam (and studying of course!) then all the power to you! :0

Alli said...

"Oy Vey" Ha! I love that you used a Yiddish expression (I didn't realize they used those in Minnesota ;))

I don't really have rituals, but I'm totally superstitious around sports as all crazy fans are. Also I fake spit (pa pa pa) when someone says something with a potential to jinx, it's the Jewish version of knocking on wood. If someone says something bad like, "If I were to get hit by a bus tomorrow," I make them touch something red to keep the evil spirits away which is also a Jewish thing and clearly totally rational.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Sorry you were disappointed in your score :-( I am not a very superstitious person.