wayzgoose's child overslept, then had to drive in a wild frenzy to take the SAT test. If the adrenalin high from that "wild frenzy" is maintained, it could be a really good mental boost. (Read wayzgoose's very well-done tweet post here: From Twitter 10-09-2010) Now that's marvelously succinct - a trait I surely lack!
I once let one of my girlfriends talk me into taking a break between semester finals right before my WORST class's test. When we reached the pasture, my mare had foaled, producing a black and white tobiano filly, the very best result for a Pinto breeder. We petted and praised so long we barely made it back in time for the test (late=forfeit, a well-known and heavily documented policy school-wide). I was so hyped, I aced the test big time, getting the second highest score.
Afterward the teacher said, "I know you didn't cheat -- you were the highest in your section, and only my best student beat you, in the second test. How did you do that when you never seemed to know what was going on in class?"
I'd taken copious notes and paid strict attention, but he was right, my comments were dorky. I'd question things that didn't pop for me. I was in the third quarter of a three quarter class, so all the specialized vocabulary had long ago been explained. I only needed one quarter to meet a requirement...
I would have loved to be able to reassure him I'd read over those notes... but in truth, I didn't even open the notebook.
May DD have such a time on a very important test... :-)
(The night my VW Beatle was blown sideways off an icy highway on my way to take a semester final at a college 50 miles away, in a class composed mainly of students who lived in the dorms and a no early or reschedule policy strictly adhered to, I went the other way so heavily that the teacher questioned my performance. I really blasted his inconsiderateness in not canceling or allowing an out-of-towner to reschedule the test due to weather. My live is NOT worth a grade... It turned out he'd never given travel to class a thought.)
Maybe panic coming off a good experience boosts, but panic following a bad one is a dragger-downer? Or is this a case of individual differences, not a universal set of reactions?