Tis The Exam Season!

Exam | Season | 17th June 2022 | Virtual Wire


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Exams are a necessary evil. They are like the Kardashians; you don't like them but you can't live without them.

Back in my school days, I used to think that exams happened only at a specific time, based on the test schedules we used to get. But truthfully, it's always a year-round event, depending on what you are studying for ( boards, university, competitive etc). Exams refer to that period of time when the cogs in our brain, which on normal days work at the speed of light, come to a screeching halt and every activity feels excessively draaaaaaaawn out. All of a sudden we revert back to humankind before they learnt to read and write - alright that was a bit of a stretch; we revert back to single-celled organisms really. Exam seasons are that dull. As we grow up exams remain more or less the same. But the wonderful variety of students out there shows a multitude of reactions to this single bane of existence.

The Blame Game

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This is an unsung series you'll find on the Netflix of life and is the most used excuse during the exam period. There's more chance of us blaming the syllabus, the teachers, the school, the noisy neighbours and even the inventor of exams for the teeth-chattering question papers than admitting even to ourselves that we didn’t study as much as we had planned. Is there some truth behind the blame game though? The answer is changeable. In some ( read: most) cases, the education system is rightfully accused. In other cases though, we ignore our guilty conscience and proceed to binge-read Percy Jackson the night before a crucial Chemistry exam ( based on a true story).

The Superstitious

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As students preparing for the boards or for competition, we tend to become more superstitious than the average godmen. We forward and re-forward screenshots of gods and goddesses until they become blurry figures, with captions written on them like '’forward this to ten people and you will pass ' accompanied by a foreboding ' or else …'. This is a number one method of blackmail I myself have fallen prey to multiple times and it doesn't help matters that I still get extra superstitious during exam time. The confident ones will simply disregard this while the nervous students will be easily baited. Carrying an image of Ganesha in our pencil cases, a habit I still maintain myself, is another case of the superstitious student. These are just a few of the many practices observed during this pivotal period of time. But according to our elders and peers, it all really boils down to study and practice. As our moral science books rightfully said ‘ God helps those who help themselves.

Social Media

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Ah, the bane of parents and the ultimate addiction lethal than drugs. Back in the early 2000s and 2010s, we used to try and stay off social media for the duration of exams. The keyword is TRY. Like moths, our eyes would desperately flutter if even a phone screen lit up near our cocoon of textbooks and notes. I didn't own my own phone and when I did get one after my 10th board, I went nuts as all teenagers do.

Then the Pandemic arrived and social media merged with education in a way we little imagined. Online schools, video call tuitions and edutech institutions like Byjus and Unacademy became our reality. The online exams, a concept we have all dreamed of at many points in our lives because of the bonus of copying directly from notes, became an ironic reality. The raging first and second waves gifted us this controversial exam system which led to fierce debates and polarizing reactions. The traditional system has almost eroded away. Social media is inseparable from education now. Googling information is now an essential part of the study routine. So the old tonic of ‘switch off your phones during revision ‘ is not exactly effective nowadays.

The Study Session

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The self-denial is strong with this one. We convince ourselves that THIS TIME we'll definitely draw up a water-tight routine with a 15-minute break after every two hours and systematic memorizing and writing notes. The eventual result is 15 minutes of studying after every two hours of break and a chaotic revision session where we simply throw up our hands and lament at the evil design of the universe to bring every sort of distraction to us right at this very moment. It's during this unbelievably bland time that our creative juices flow and we get our best ideas for stories and articles and basically anything other than a solution to get through these thick books and notes. Yes, we are beyond help. Thank you next.

The night before D-Day

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This is where we realize we are screwed big time. Either we are the top students who worry that they may have read the wrong subject or we are mere mortals who berate ourselves for not re-visioning properly and cramming in everything at the last moment. Since I've been in that latter situation too many times, here's a piece of advice: Don't keep everything to the last moment. You're going to regret it badly.

Are Exams bad though?

No. Exams drain the energy out of us and don't exactly leave us with the best memories; except maybe for the last day when relief and melancholy filled the atmosphere equally. But examinations are important to get through the stages of education. Life itself is pretty much a test and you are an examinee the moment you are born ( sounds depressing but it's true). You are already a winner in going through the hurdles of life so a few question papers should be a piece of cake. Unless you're preparing for NET or government exams. Then All the Best!

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