Do you remember that feeling, that sense of euphoria, when you finally finished what seemed like an eternity of learning, of exams and tests, when you finished the last Board exam, the one which marked your transition from a student to an alumnus, from a kid to a free spirited individual? I remember that feeling incredibly well, as if it were just yesterday. But, nothing is ever as good as it seems. And that, I learnt the hard way, for I soon realised that someone out there had invented something called ENTRANCE EXAMS.
But, entrance exams are like repeating the past year’s entire toil and trouble in a small summer crash course. Soon, reality dawns, and you realise that you have to get through these entrance exams, in order to get into your favourite Universities or, any University for that matter. So, the vicious circle once again begins, with the small change that a three-hour sitting can determine your entire future. Scary, isn’t it? Well, that’s what I felt. But soon, I started to look at the comical side of things. The day of the entrance exam is the funniest day and this applies only if you are an outsider, of course!
The exam centre is surrounded by a sea of parents, all looking solemn as if they were sending their children off to the battlefront or something worse. And God forbid, if you come just half an hour before the exam, instead of an hour early; for every individual gathered there, whether known or unknown, will start worrying on your behalf, for being “late” ! Then, comes the part when you are seated in the ‘examination hall’, as people like to call it, and when you look around and see that everyone seems so stressed and tense, it actually makes you feel better! And then, the invigilator begins to hand out the question papers and the exam finally begins. Now, here comes the climax: as you read the first question, your mind draws a complete blank. There are few brave hearted souls who pluck up the courage to try the next few questions, only to realise that the more questions you read, the worse they get! And by the time an hour has passed, you are probably wondering how to spend the next two hours.
So, when you’ve finally exhausted all your sources of wasting time, you realise only ten minutes are up; for time generally has a bad habit of going at snail-pace when you least want it too. Then, you resort to looking at your surroundings, only to find that everyone else is in the same predicament as you! Finally, after an eternity of waiting, three hours are up, and you are leaving the exam hall. As you reach the area where the parents are allowed to wait for their children, I’m sure the scene will remind you of the welcoming committees at the airports.
You see all the parents crowding the entire area, waiting to interrogate the first student who comes through, to ask them how the entrance exam was. And if you are one of those unlucky souls to come out first, may God help you, for every word you say, can be interpreted in so many different ways. And, when you finally escape this mob of parents and their hundreds of questions, and see your own parents and inform them how the exam went, they comfort you and tell you to not worry; for there are plenty more entrance exams for which they have applied for, and ask you to get ready for the next entrance exam ! And so, round two begins….!
Aafreen Valiya Manathal, passed out of CSI Bain School.
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