I got up in a daze to see that it was already six in the morning, I cursed the alarm clock for failing to do its job. I rubbed my eyes and my heart palpitated at the thought of the test which was to start in 3 hours. I heard snoring from somewhere close by and turned to see 'hubs' making a sonorous racket and generally disturbing the atoms around his nose. Then it all became clear, I am married and there is no school test and I had just woken up from a nightmare.
Gosh! The word exams still brings a shiver down my spine. After all I am a recovering Testophobic and I am sure many of you are too.
In school, I was an above average student in my class but was not a bookworm or a teachers pet. You could find me hanging around with the brains and dodo's of the class with equal ease. I was not very keen with studies but had always completed my home work on time to avoid wrath of my parents, teachers and my older sis who is the brains in our family.
Every annual exam used to be a complete agony for me. I had butterflies in my stomach and sweating accompanied with mental images that I have failed in the exam. I had a special hatred for Maths, Chemistry and Biology.
During exam days, I stayed miles away from some particular specimens in school who managed to trample my already frayed nerves. I am sure you all will recognise them.
1) The persistent Mugger(A disparaging term for rote learning) : This Specimen will always have a book in her hands and have an intense look of concentration on her face. She will literally have her nose stuck in a book. She will not let go of it even during a visit to the wash room lest she even miss two seconds of precious time studying before the exam. You could see her in a trance as her body swayed with a constant rhythm to all the things she wanted to store in her brain and barf out in the exam. Any person sitting next to her and who plans to choke to death should not expect any help from her.
2) The Confident Braniac: This specimen's cheerfulness and know-it-all attitude would want to make you poke her in the eye. She will usually flit from group to group asking everyone 'Hey, all ready for the exam?, I am just waiting to go and write the test, did you read this chapter?'. She would make it a point to show everyone, how well prepared she is and this is how it should be done.
3) The Eternal Borrower: This specimen will walk into the exam hall as if she came there accidentally. She will never have a pen that works or any other material like pencils, erasers, Geometry set etc. You would see her borrowing stuff from different classmates with a promise to return them after the exam. She will sometimes even disturb you during a test to borrow something from you.
4) The Answer Checker: After writing an exam all I would want to do is run home and relax. This specimen would be ready to cross check her answers with other classmates 'Hey, I wrote this answer, what did you write?', a few others would gather around her and an intense debate would ensue. Who wants another nightmare on their hands? I did not want to know if what I had written in the exam was right or wrong. I preferred the mystery to unfold when our results were declared.
My fear of exams was a distant memory but it resurfaced after a chat with my nephew who just sat for his 10th std Board exams. The fear of exams is like a palpable being lodged somewhere between your lungs and stomach. The pressure is tremendous and gives you nightmares. When I was in school the word 'Stress' was yet to be defined as applicable to human 'Physiology but rather something to do with 'Hooke's Law'.
What has been your experience about 'Exam Stress' ? Which specimen were you in school ?