Exam time is here again!!! That time of the year when students are overly ecstatic about everything. At this point, no one really cares anymore. Everyone is just studying their eyes out and hoping for a little luck from the lecturers. To understand this period of students’ life, we have to go back, way back to the beginning of the academic year.
At the beginning of the session, which is usually somewhere around September, everything seems to be very calm… I mean, school is not exactly calm, but the people are. Except for those bookworms that are already studying for exam from day 1 (I hate those guys). There’s parties going on in every nook and cranny, boyfriends and girlfriends strolling romantically on the streets, cult boys busy plotting the downfall of other gangs, faculty football matches going on, girls celebrating birthday parties, churches running several programs for youths, freshers feel like they are top of the moon, the people that want to write books begin to write, the people that want to play ball, play ball. The people that evangelise are evangelising. In essence, the beginning of the school year is pretty nice because all is fun and games.
But then as the plot thickens, cleverness withdraws. As soon as examinations are close at hand, everybody seems to change drastically. The boyfriend and girlfriend, who were strolling and saying sweet things to each other, are now cramming the laws of physics together. For some reason we no longer Thank God It’s Friday, as long as we have a paper on Monday. It’s at this point in time that you see people reading in a class at night, when NEPA takes light, they root out their rechargeables, when the rechargeable battery dies, they root out their lanterns, when lantern’s kerosene finishes, they root out their candles, when candles finish melting, they resort to moonlight. It’s at this time, that the guy who usually studies a page a day in the comfort of his room, is now studying 20 pages per hour in a mosquito infested, highly uncomfortable classroom. During exam period the cult boy’s response to being defied is “ain’t nobody got time for that”, the evangelist is now preaching the gospel of overnight reading. All the sense we seemed to have earlier on in the year, all our study plans; they all go down the drain. We bury our heads in our books and we don’t care if we were supposed to eat at 3, or have our bath at 6, or go to church by 8. All our senses move behind us, all we want to do is focus on tomorrow’s papers.
Of course the exam day is the height of it all. Its then you see people walking to exam halls with their heads bowed, paying ludicrous attention to the book pages lying on their palms and occasionally bumping into other people who are just like them. You may even see a guy who is running to class wearing nothing but a towel, because he overslept due to the fact that he had been studying all night. On exam day, just as students are going to their respective departments with high hopes and even higher blood pressures in honest anticipation of a good variant and a happy supervisor, ambulances are also making their way there so they can help resuscitate those light-hearted people who would give in to the pressure at some point. The funniest part is when during the exam, the supervisor says “3 minutes more!!” and that guy that is still struggling with the 12th question and has like 48 more to go, shouts like a mad man who was electrocuted, jumps up, snatches someone else’s answer script and just begins to copy his answers like someone who is having a cerebral seizure. (No Time).
The question I ask myself about all this drama is: Did we not see this coming? It’s not like there has ever been an academic session where the school authority has said “Thanks for studying with us for the past 10 months; you may now be free to go home, without exams.” Examinations are not new to us, so why are we acting like they were never there in the first place? On the other hand, I see the point of all the drama. It’s not their fault (I think), it’s the way our educational system is. There is so much value placed on results. The school authority doesn’t care if the student had been studying all year, or has been attending all the lectures, they don’t even care to see if you know something other than what is in the examination papers. All they care about is who passed and who failed, the best and the worst. So why shouldn’t we do the same? It’s not our fault we faint in exam halls, cry when we fail, oversleep and run like mad, deranged psychopaths when we are late for our paper. We are just following what matters for now, we are only being Romans stuck in Rome. We are like this, because they made us this way. But don’t worry, its only for a limited time, after which we will be inaugurated into the real world where there are no exams, no frights and then we will begin to learn that as the plot thickens, cleverness doesn’t have to be withdrawn, no, that’s when we have to keep our cool, calm our heads, settle down and let our minds take control.
– Victor Enahoro Ohwo