Examing an exam

It was that time of the year again. Exam time.

This exam time so known as an exam season sometimes reminds of seasonal fruits. They only come once in a while but when they do, they come with a bang.

It all started when I was about to eat a Cadbury silk when the teacher entered the room. She was unusually happy, smiling as she kept her books on the table.

There was a moment of silence. The atmosphere was so tense.

Suddenly, the teacher picked up a piece of chalk and wrote one word. E X A M. Four letters. 20+ groans.

As soon as the bell rang, all the students rushed out of the class to convey the news to others. All of us were now in the exam mode, planning schedules, looking up several books, borrowing and completing notes and forgetting there was something ever called sleep.

It’s always the hardest before you start anything. For example, during normal school days, the small tests we had didn’t require hours of studying. But now, the first term exams were less than a month away. After being blissfully unaware of worldly matters for two months, it was hard to jump back to reality. But with sheer determination, hard work and some fun, I got into the groove.

The big day dawned.

First exam- Economics

I reached school half an hour before the exam started, so I could get sometime to chat with my friends. As I was discussing as to which actor would play Joey Tribbiani the best, I noticed one girl studying with utmost concentration, it was like nothing in the entire world could take her eyes off the book. Next to her was a mountain of books, each having 275+ pages each. That sight, made me tense. I had prepared well for the test but right now, Keynesian economics and balance of payments looked scarier than they actually we’re. I tried to divert my attention, look for distractions, but in vain. My confidence meter had touched zero. This was the examination phobia phase. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and had a sip of water when I heard the bell ring for the exam.

When the teacher started distributing the question papers, everyone in the hall appeared as if they had just seen a ghost. All the students were stuff in their seats and looked apprehensive. I was calm and composed, ready to take the challenge thrown at me.

The teacher looked around the room, then signed all our papers. She checked if we’d filled in all the required details and then said start. Everyone picked up their pens and began writing furiously. Thoughts dispersed my mind as I started my journey through around thirty questions.

During the middle of the exam my pen stopped working. I panicked. I knew it would be wrong to ask for an extra pen when we were clearly told to come prepared with all the material that we required and that no borrowing during exams would be allowed. I sat there, I didn’t know what to do. “Calm down” I said to myself, “think of a solution”.

My solution came in the form of my neighbour, the person sitting next to me. I’d never talked to her but that really didn’t matter now, I just had to write and needed a pen for that.

I bent down to tie my shoelace, intending to ask for an extra pen. She shook her head. My heart skipped a beat, I couldn’t think.

I realised that I couldn’t stay under the table pretending to tie my shoelace for the next one and a half hours so I got up. While getting out from under, my head but the table, my pouch rolled to ground and I began cursing my fate when I saw an extra pen fall out.

But the noise this made made all the students and the teacher whip their heads towards me. What other business did we have other than writing the exam? Even if there was a tsunami we should be writing the exam.

Whether we submit the paper or not is an entirely different story.

I picked up the pen and innocently said, “Sorry Ma’am, pen fell down”. The teacher looked at me suspiciously, but sternly said, “Okay. Continue”.

I heaved a sigh as I picked up the pen and dived into the world of Economics. I’d not felt the one hour and thirty minutes go by until I heard the final bell ring. I tagged my sheets together and submitted my answer paper. I could still see the doubtful look on the invigilator’s face, so I excused myself and scurried out as soon as possible. I rushed to the canteen and rewarded myself.

Say what you like but nothing beats a happy ending.

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