Monday, October 26, 2015


Hmm, how to maximise my qualifying scores for the XMT? I need to be scientific about it. Qualifying will start in January, apparently, and almost certainly be based on the same 100-points-for-the-world-record system as last year, so obviously I need to consider which disciplines can get me the most points and also which ones will give me the biggest edge over my potential rivals...

Cards - world record 52 in 23.34 seconds. That's fast. And although sub-30-second times are becoming more and more frequent lately, it's fair to say most of the memorisers in the qualifiers still can't do it. If I can get myself somewhere near that time of Simon's, it'd give me a great head-start. I did three tries at everything today and my best time was 25.38 - it'd be good if I could get it into the 24s or 23s consistently by January.

Images - world record 30 in 14.40 seconds. That's not just fast, it's freaky-fast. And quite a lot of people have been going very fast in training, apparently. I need to work on whizzing through the images more quickly than I do at the moment, because I think they'd stick in my memory just as well if I didn't consciously think about them quite as much. In three goes today, my best time was 21.64; let's see if I can get down into the teens consistently.

Names - world record 28 in 60 seconds. Yeah, I need to work on this quite a lot, don't I? The best I managed today was 12, though I know I can get up to the dizzy heights of 15 or 16 if I carry on in my usual way. But instead, what I really have to do is sit down and think about it; start pre-preparing mental associations for common names and facial features, make a proper effort to do it. I need to make a short-term resolution to get above 20, and then move on from there...

Numbers - world record 80 in 21.01 seconds. Very fast, but the problem with numbers is you don't get any prompting for the possible sequence in the recall like you do with cards and images, so it's easy to make mistakes. I know this from experience, since my three tries today all had errors in the recall, but the third one was 24.16 seconds and I just carelessly typed one digit wrong (if I'd bothered to go through and read what I'd typed instead of just clicking 'finished' I would have caught that - no more laziness, even in practice, from now on). In qualifying it's going to have to be a safe-ish time first to make sure I get all 80, then go for fast after that, but I can hope to aim for a time of 22 or better.

Words - world record 49 in 60.00 seconds. Someone's going to get all 50 in 2016, I'm sure. My best today was 40, but having got a freaky 47 in the actual XMT itself this year, I don't see why I shouldn't do it again some time. Maybe I'll get lucky and it'll be during the qualification? Or maybe, rather than relying on luck and flukes, I could work on it a bit more seriously? I'm pretty happy with my technique here, actually, but I could concentrate on pinpointing the optimum number of words to read before repeating, and so on. Let's aim to get consistently into the mid-40s here.

Science! Dedication! Let's keep it up! (I'm being my own cheerleader here; I think that'll help.)

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