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#45 To Exam Snobs: Keep Rubbing It In My Face

December 3, 2008

Nobody except yourself can be blamed when you walked out an examination hall feeling worse than Napoleon at Waterloo. Wrong. The air-conditioning was too cold, your favorite pen ran out of ink, the guy on your right couldn’t stop shaking his leg, the invigilator’s heels kept clacking on the linoleum and honestly, you just didn’t have enough sleep because you were up cramming until 5AM. Still, everyone deserves to mope in mournful silence when they bombed a paper.

I can’t help but want to reach out and rip the question paper out of some students’ hands, because all they do the moment they stepped out of the exam hall is to give their friends/coursemates a blow-by-blow run through of what they have just written in the exam. Or, even worse, they start comparing multiple-choice answers and debating/arguing who got the right answer.

Yes, I know, the flame for the passion of learning shall continue to burn, because learning is a journey and the exam is in no way a destination…yada yada yada. But I’m afraid this undying spirit is gnawing at the ends of my patience and tolerance. I do not care if you are going to ace the paper or take the hit for the rest of us. It doesn’t matter, because it’s over and most of us WILL have another paper, probably the next day or in a couple of hours, and we just want a break without a repeat telecast of the examination process ringing in our ears as we head out to the gym to blow off some steam or the ice-cream place for some comfort food.

I am terribly ashamed to admit that I am guilty of talking about the exam the moment it is over. But I have YET to whip out the question paper to compare answers. (And I have seen, people scribbling down the letters on their palms for exactly THIS purpose if they aren’t allowed to bring the questions home.)

Let this be a sincere appeal to all you oblivious of your own obnoxiousness students out there who fall under this category. BURN the question paper, if it makes you happy. Write an email to your professor to rant about how crazy difficult it is. But don’t ever start yakking about your paper in the cafeteria, walking on the side of the road, on the bus on my way home (basically everywhere on campus), because I frankly don’t give a hoot about your academic victories and failures, and you definitely do not want to be on the receiving end of some pent-up frustration of a fellow bombed-out student.

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