A good rule when writing an exam is to attempt all the questions. There are easy points in every question and the majority are scored in the first 40% of time spent, after that you experience diminishing returns. Estimate time per question then be super disciplined and stick to the clock. It’s always tempting to noodle with that final math solution and so so hard to cut your losses and move to the next question. We become fixated with the final solution and lose sight of the goal, which is to pass the exam. It’s a great example of over optimization.
People over optimize in their careers all the time. They stay in the same role far too long and stop learning or being challenged. Think about how much we all learn during the early stages of a new role…new responsibilities, new negotiations and new connections…it’s some pretty serious brain yoga. Moving on means walking into a new orchard with easy pickings on the learning front.
It shouldn’t be seen as cutting your losses, but more as taking an opportunity to bank your wins and keep going forward.
Take a look at the clock, it might be time to turn the page and start the next question.