One Exam to Rule Them All

I pondered for at least five minutes on whether or not the title of this post would seem fitting. I wasn’t sure if the tone of it was clear. Sarcastic, somewhat humorous(lightly), or in some cases – the truth. For those of you who did not understand the reference…oh dear. 

Through academic life from childhood to adolescence, there are a ridiculous number of tests and exams that will come to determine your knowledge, memorization skills(mostly), and really your overall interest in whatever subjects you take(maybe not including ‘compulsory-to-pass’ subjects such as English).

Or which category of intelligence you will be placed in. Throughout my A.L, I have had my fair share of being amongst the future highbrows, possible mediocre middle-class civilians, and the underworld dwellers.

I will not state the many important exams that plague the school children and teenagers of the world, so I shall just use mine as a primary example. For those born in my year(in my country) as well as our predecessors, we have three major exams in our academic lives before college/university. The first being in primary school at age twelve that will determine whether or not we will be able to enter secondary school(or high school), and two more when puberty hits us. I am taking the third and final exam in one more week – and it will more or less determine my fate in the near future. I have two out of nine subjects that I must get a credit in or else I will not graduate secondary school and will have to repeat another horrific year(technically I already graduated, but that is another tale for another day).

Do note that this final exam that I have is the one, last thing that will determine whether or not I will successfully enter a good college/university. Or enter any university, for that matter(uber realistic pessimism speaking). Especially without those two must-have credits, I will have to repeat my senior year. Just the thought of it makes me shudder and cringe with both fear and disgust. As if five years of high school is not scarring enough. Although I do not believe that good examination results are able to wholly determine your future – I do agree that they come in handy. I am not mentally handicapped in any way and am able to achieve good results on my own terms, so why should I waste those five years of formal education?

So this is the situation. Most of those who are also taking this exact same examination are in a flurry of panic. From parents(successful or not) who are expecting nothing but straight A1’s, to students’ desperation to get that shining scholarship to the university/college of dreams. I am fortunate enough to not have such pressures; and even though I am bending over backwards to make sure that I get the best grades that I can obtain, I am not burning several midnight oils to finish memorizing how the prophet Muhammad managed to ‘berhijrah’ to Medina.

This thing is capable of helping me in the future. I should be running around like a headless chicken in a mental craze trying to memorize everything. I should be beyond worried. Preparing. Panicking. Stressing. Terrified. Scared.

However, the fact that this final examination will pretty much secure my place academically in a university/college, end the painful high school years and reveal which category of intelligence I belong into does not scare me.

The fact that this is happening in less than two weeks – and I have not been cracking over the books, and am feeling completely at ease is what scares me. Or at least worries me.

Everyone else is going helter skelter over what to focus on, when are the latest seminars or crash courses, and squeezing in limited time to study while I am…sitting here typing this post. I actually know someone who could have died because of this exam(no joke).

But I am taking my time…still falling asleep while studying… I still do not know squat about how to go through Chemistry and Additional Mathematics without killing myself, and yet – I am not devoting every waking minute to solving problems using the laws of indices. Instead, I am spending these minutes preparing to audition for the Walking Dead, googling movies of old and new, and figuring out the whens, whys and hows of applying the laws of indices in my daily life in the future(Honestly. I am not pursuing anything academic. Must I?).

I wonder if this is a bad thing. I am not freakishly confident that I will breeze through the exam and come out with a sparkling, glittering string of A1’s(if anything I am pretty sure I’ll only be fine), but I am not…panicking either. I am still studying, but not as hard as I should be.

I am aiming to get good grades – the best that I can get, I am still studying…but this lack of panic is…confusing to me, and I wonder if this is a very rare feeling to have or if there are others like me.

This post barely provides room for debate, and I am pretty sure this post is filled with holes, but I felt like I just needed to get this off my shoulders. Plus, who knows – perhaps I am not the only one who feels this way?

xx

E.N.

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One comment

  1. […] reader would(should) know that I am currently undergoing my final exams in secondary school. I’ll probably type up a post on the experience. I am still not feeling […]

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