Today is the day before Thanksgiving. So, obviously, one of my professors assigned an exam, worth a large chunk of our grade, and not re-takeable. I finished the exam very quickly, because I always finish exams very quickly. Part of the reason, I think, that many of the other students were slower than me is that we had the option to take the exam in groups, so most of the rest of the class had to coordinate with two or three other people before they could move on from question to question.
Another part might be that other students in the class check their answers before turning their papers in -- a practice which was suggested to me dozens of times when I was going through K-12, but which studies show is usually an objectively bad idea.
But I wonder if there might be an outright difference in recall speed from person to person. And that led me to think about the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon, and wonder whether it happens to some people more often than others -- maybe some of the other students in my class have more points where they know the answer, but their brains just won't give it up.
The fact that the French phrase for tip-of-the-tongue is presque vu is one of my favorite pieces of trivia. The reason I like it so much is that it puts the phenomenon in a family of five feelings, alongside deja vu, déjà entendu, jamais vu, and reja vu.
You probably already know that déjà vu is the experience of feeling that a place or circumstance is familiar, even though you've never experienced it before. Jamais vu is the opposite -- the feeling of unfamiliarity in a place you should feel familiar with. (Like when you wake up in a hotel or on someone's couch, expecting to be at home, and have no idea where you are for a few seconds.) Déjà entendu is déjà vu but with sounds, and reja vu is the feeling that what's happening now is going to happen again.
Presque vu fits in nicely here: the feeling of knowing, without the information to show for it.
I don't know if the other four occur more frequently in some people than others, but I do know that déjà vu varies from person to person -- there was, for example, a guy who had deja vu nearly every day, and kept a journal of the experiences. Maybe for some people, they have to fight their brain to wrest out every piece of specific information recall.
Exams would be awful for those people.