Arts and Entertainment

The Examined life

- Ankur Singh Thapa

May 2, 2018-

After staying in the exam hall for two hours, I left some questions unanswered. My friend next to me barely wrote anything. Seeing his situation was worse than mine, I felt relieved. As soon as I left the exam hall, I could hear some showoffs boasting about how they had managed to answer all the questions, I felt uneasy. Then when I cross-checked my answers, I found a lot of reasons to regret.

The pre-board exam is over, which means the boardexams are next. My last attempt at the board exams was a complete mess. I had one month to study everything. On the first day, I made a schedule for the whole month; then I realised that it was not even possible to complete the whole syllabus for five subjects in just a month. I tried anyway and started studying for 12 hours every day. The second day began with a five am alarm. I started with mathematics and after doing two to three questions, I felt like Gottfried Leibniz’s spirit took over my body. I didn’t even know who he was until I googled ‘inventor of calculus’ because I was trying to make my writing a little informative.

After breezing through three easy problems I felt I could easily do the calculus part. So, I moved on from calculus to functions.


I wasn’t even able to solve the first question so I moved on to the next. This happened five more times before my brain stopped functioning. Pun intended.

I had to take a break. The break lasted 25 days. I had five days left till the exams and all I did was solve three easy questions from calculus and five unsuccessful attempts at functions, while physics and chemistry still remained inscrutable to me.

I had to come up with a new plan. Even if I devoted 24 hours a day to studying, it wouldn’t be enough. At that moment something dawned on me. I started asking myself “would I ever use calculus and functions in my life ever again?” I decided I wouldn’t and so, proudly, I wasted another four days.

I had one day left; after subtracting the hours for sleep and food, I had 14 hours to study. To make the most out of these hours at hand, the first thing I did I was google “How to pass exams without studying?” There were so many results and it really seemed like there were ways to pass the exams without studying. The happiness lasted only a few seconds when I learned that the ways to pass without studying were:

1. Paying attention in class: Too late

2. Taking good notes: My notebook was a disaster, five subjects scattered into one book

3. Asking questions to the teacher: As I didn’t pay attention in class I never knew what to ask

I had no option but to study whatever I could. On the exam day, the same thing happened as last time. I left some questions unanswered and had lots of reasons to regret. But on the result day, I passed with very good grades. I got you there. Truth is that never happened, but I was able to pass anyway.

This year however I really can pass the exams without studying. Do you want to know why? It’s because I made sure to do the above things this year. I forced myself to pay attention in the class, took good notes and posed plenty of questions to my teacher. With just a little bit of hard work, the calculus started to get easier and now I even understand functions, finally. I guess, with a little bit of sustained effort, my brain has started ‘functioning’ now.

Thapa is a student at St Xavier’s college

Published: 02-05-2018 08:46

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