The Secret World of Exams

Exams. Everyone hates them. Nuff said. Anyways, since I’m sitting for mine, I thought I’d share some of my experiences with you. There’s definitely more than meets the eye when it comes to exams. Still I’ve tried to make this as funny as possible but in case you think otherwise, well, all I can say is a bad exam has the ability to mentally break even the best of us. As for all the incidents and situations mentioned in this post, they’re true. I swear on my love for all things Linkin Park that they are.

First I’ll start by describing what happens on the night before the exam. In short, most kids stay up till late, studying. Not revising, but studying. This is where the habit of staying up late at night and watching movies comes in handy. Without much practice, staying awake can be a real challenge. Some people may call it an absolute waste of time. I call it the evolution of the student species.

Then comes the morning of the exam. Definitely the most hectic period of the lot. It’s fun to watch all different kinds of students and what they’re up to. Take for example the brainiacs. They’ll be sitting on the lawn with two notebooks and  text open in front of them busy muttering away like they’re reciting some ancient spell and stuff. Then there are the hopeless ones. I know it sounds a bit rude but I can find no other way to describe them. They are the ones who float from one group of people to another hoping to pick up bits of information that might prove useful to them during the exam. Let me assure you, it is of absolutely no help. You might as well appear for the exam blindfolded if you rely on those tidbits of knowledge to pass. Then there are those who sit with their books open in their laps, staring into the horizon thinking, “What in the world was I thinking bunking classes and writing book reviews when I should’ve been taking down the professor’s notes ?” (I’m joking about the book review part so don’t be mad at me. I don’t regret it. No, seriously, I was joking XD).

Now we come to the actual exam. This is where all the fun is. There are four major categories that students fall into. First, those students who are not exactly top of the class but do pretty well in most of the exams (I fall into this category XD). Then come the “toppers”, who write and write and write and write …. (You get my point). Next are the students who think it is the height of cool to leave the exam hall 15 minutes after the start of a 3-hour long exam (Why do they even bother turning up is still a mystery). Finally are the poor souls who look at the question paper and think to themselves, “Did I study the right subject last night?” They sit and stare into the empty void in front of them till time is over. There is however, a subdivision of this group if you could call it that. These are the kids who probably face the same situation but are prepared for it. They belong to the “I shall pass no matter what the cost” brigade. And they are by far the most interesting group.

The most amazing ability of this group is the ability to write in extremely small handwriting (it’s tiny I tell ya!!!!). Honestly, they can fit half a text book on a scrap paper the size of a passport sized photo. Not to mention the inside of their sleeves. Their eyesight must be something cause anybody who could read this must be superhuman (not to worry, it reads “this must be super human”). But that’s just the start. A lot of their answer script content comes from others who sit close to them. It’s pretty annoying though, having someone “pssst”ing you very other minute asking you for an answer. Heck, one of my friends took “Love Thy Neighbor” to a whole new level. One of the smartest girls in our class sits behind him and he spent a good six months wooing her just so she could help him pass the exams (he even told her he failed in two subjects in the first semester because he couldn’t stop “thinking” about her all the time. Everything’s fair in love and war I guess). While it’s safe to say that he was never motivated by love in the first place, they’ve been together for a couple of years now and he’s never failed in a single subject since. Lucky dog.

However, there is one place that is revered by many during the exams, the rather average bathroom. But believe me, there is nothing average about bathrooms during exams. They are a real treasure trove of knowledge, a temple of hope for all those who find themselves staring down the barrel of failure. From elaborate diagrams of an internal combustion engine to deadlock prevention algorithms, you’ll find anything in here. Honestly, you could advertise the place like a super market, “There’s Something For Everyone”. The amount of chits that litter the bathroom floor is unbelievable, not to mention the amount of information written on them. The chits are usually brought into the bathroom by students (illegally of course!!!) but some of them are usually planted in the bathroom beforehand. But the one that really takes the cake is the incident where someone had the cojones to actually tape a reference book to the back of one of the cubicle doors. The lad also had the audacity to tape a small note above it which read, “Please do not remove this book until after the end of the exam. Your kindness may prevent someone from failing.”  Talk about being a Good Samaritan. I would have put up a pic but cell phones are a strict no-no in the exam hall.

I guess that’s all regarding to what happens during the exam. But not to fret, there is still some action left for after the exam. For example, if you want to know what are the current trending swear words in use these days, then all you have to do is stand and listen. It’s quite funny listening to what everyone has to say after an exam. Well almost everyone. Yes, I’m talking about the “Toppers”. I heard one saying how she was only able to write 4 pages about the phases of a compiler. 4 pages? Honestly woman, think about the poor lambs who struggled to fill 4 lines on the topic. Heck, even the author of our prescribed text book couldn’t do any better than one page. As for those who couldn’t write 4 pages on compiler phases, they resorted to the usual blame game like bad set of questions, sitting arrangements, teachers, strict invigilators, unresponsive neighbors, the government, etc, etc, etc. Yep, the list is endless. Also interesting is the way people describe how their exam went. There is quite a bit of colorful language involved so I won’t be able to post them. There is however, one quote that really stood out, one I couldn’t help but smile at when I first heard it. The quote was, “I wasn’t ducked, I was graped” (Yes, I know but who is willing to fight a lone battle against censorship?)

I think I’ll stop here. I’ve gone too far for too long. Your patience must be wearing thin now after being subjected to such utter drivel. That and it’s probably time for your favorite TV show. But one last thing before I take my leave. If you do have the opportunity to take another exam, be sure to take a break from your revision and look around for a bit. You might be surprised t what you see. Or maybe you won’t and you’ll go back to doing your last minute revision. The choice is yours dear reader!!!!!!

About the Contributor

This article was written and contributed by Richie Mohanty.  You can view his profile by heading to this link.  This is Richie Mohanty’s fourth post contribution to Sakura no Kokoro.


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