Exam fear


Exams, in the pluralistic usage can inspire the deepest fears in every student. Sometimes this fear is heightened to a hysteria.


There is no other way to inspire anxiety in college students than handing them their date sheet for semester exams. More often than not, we are given the internals and practical examinations during regular days at college; but the semester exams inspire an excitement that is too real. Internals and practicals, meant to prepare us for the ultimate semester exams, fail to help us in their direct motive. It is in such times that we become hysterical with horror.


A friend of mine had to go through the grind of completing a respectable part of her unending curriculum, bereft of the comforts of her mattress; staying up through the night for a good score in a test scheduled at 8:30 am on a wintry December morning. At 7:30am, having covered a sizeable part of her syllabus, she decided to freshen up with a quick nap. But then she slept through the exam. And well, to be fair, we all know she had the better bargain— you cannot put a price on an innocent dreamy slumber after a wakeful night.


“In the middle of protests and elections in full swing through the early months of this semester, classes and studies took a major hit,” said a third year Political Science student at Kirori Mal College, retaining the request of anonymity. Truly, the cancelled classes are now being conjured up out of thin air, early in the mornings for an 8:50 session or later into the day— when exhaustion is a mutual feeling between the professors and students—  for a reckless 3:50 lecture.

Exams, you see, inspire some scares.


In the course of the exams, you can never laugh at the hysteria. It is a retrospective activity, to be fair. It is, as a third year English Honors student at Hindu said, when asked to share her hysterical exams stories, “Exams are hyperventilating! They become hysterical later.” Possibly no argument exists to refute this. Maybe the expectations that we have, or in some cases are imposed to have, go a long way in adding to this smothering nature of exams. “You have admitted yourself successfully in one of the most prestigious colleges in the nation. Did you think your work was over? You thought wrong,” said a professor of English Literature at Hindu College in a particularly scathing lecture in the first week of the new session.


Sometimes it so happens, that the standards we are expected to match and possibly, outmatch, are highly unreasonable. Like another friend studying Journalism from Delhi School of Journalism mentioned, “My teacher asked us to shoot a documentary in one day- 10am to 4:30pm was the time allotted for the same”. Maybe it is just this overburdened spirit that crumbles under unreasonable standards of intelligence enforced on us for being in the university.


But it is good to see some spirited victims of oppression retaining their merit through this grind. “I have two internals tomorrow, I’m just binge eating and crying…” said a third year Psychology student at Daulat Ram College. “Two assignment submissions, one core internal and one Generic Elective internal for tomorrow. Planning to doze off.” said another inspiring model of chill studying at Kirori Mal College.


Allowing the sharing of my own experience. I finished reading the wrong book a day before the exam. And then despite my quick reading habits— avoiding the retention or understanding of the content— I decided not to read the right book. I walked into my class the next day, sat for an internal unprepared totally, and ended up scoring a single digit on a 20-marker paper. I mean, that is better than a zero, at least.


An interesting subplot to the exams season is the trouble of attendance. Let us face it, the 67% mark is impossible to reach, let alone maintain. And then the problems with admit cards adding to our hysterical narrations later in the next semester. During exams, the most arbitrary engagement will appear most promising. Infinite no-thank-you’s to videos like “Cat reads chemistry” on YouTube for instance; killing time but teaching us to live the high life during exams.


I feel unpreparedness is an opportunity to explore our innovation, so we all know who is the winner.


Feature Image Credits: 1to1tutoringwithjoy



Kartik Chauhan

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