Thursday, December 02, 2010

434. Examination Blues - Those School days

It is not that easy to become a Hero to Zero in No time. I am not talking about Suresh Kalmadi, Barkha Dutt and Chetan Bhagat. This is a post about the class tests and examinations that tortured us during our school days.

I was a champion of sorts in getting zero marks in class tests and examinations. When I joined a new school in Class 6, I became a hero with my joke-cracking skills , own composed songs, Dancing ability and my secret weapon - Mimicry. My friends were also scared of me because of my Karate skills. It was the best three months of my school life (June 1992 to August); and then the Mad-Mid term Test came into my life. I never knew that a simple school Test would change my status from a Hero to a Zero in a jiffy.
You might think that getting Zero marks in an exam can be easily achieved by not writing anything on the paper. There is no thrill in getting zero marks by not writing anything on paper. The real achiever is one who fills up the examination answer sheets with his literary, logical and analytical skills and still manages to get zero marks for the paper. I fall under such a category.

Zeroes have been a part and parcel of my life. Getting zero marks in exams is an art by itself. I had mastered this art at a very tender age. Very few recognised my skills in this area. If only the Ministry of education had noted my skills, they would have conferred me with an honorary Doctorate degree or at least a Master of Arts degree. My teachers had a very bad habit. On all other days, I was allowed to sit along with boys in classroom. Three boys would sit on one bench. But on exam days, I would be made to sit between two girls. That was the time that I realised that " There are two women on either sides of every unsuccessful man". Girls never helped me during the school exams. If only they had helped me, I would have been in the Silicon Valley now. ( I am not referring to Pamela Anderson)

Exam time is the only time when I become a sincere prayer warrior. Even If I had not touched my text books, I would pray very sincerely as soon as the question paper is handed to me. When I open my eyes to scan through the dreaded question paper, at least one girl (either the one on my left or the one on my right) would say , " Sir, Can I have an additional sheet of paper". During those days,getting an additional sheet of paper was seen as an achievement by itself. The main answer paper had 4 sides. More often I would find it very difficult to cross these 4 pages itself. After receiving the additional sheet from the teacher, she would look around with an attitude. Finally she would see me still struggling with the first page of my answer sheet and would sarcastically smile at me. The Mike Tyson within me would urge me to punch her nose and bite her ear. But because of the Invigilator, I would curb my inhibitions. In the mean time, I would start decorating the front page of my answer sheet by writing my Name, Sex, Class, Roll Number, Date of Exam and Subject. Many a times I had forgotten the subject name. The question paper would save me on such occasions. By filling the first page with such details, I would complete half a page of the first side of my answer paper.

Another problem that I faced was my handwriting. Till class 5, I used ruled paper to write my exams. So I used to write within the lines. But in Class 6, they shocked me by giving me a plain paper to write my exams. My answers always resembled a Airplane take-off or landing. I would start my sentence from the top left side of the page and the first line would slant down and end at the bottom right side of the page.There was another compulsory rule that every page should have minimum 25 lines each. No wonder I almost never got additional sheets during my exams. But still during every exam, I tried my level best to cross past the Main answer sheet. This was basically because, I never wanted the girls sitting next to me to come to know that I don't know anything. At times, they would be curious to know what I wrote on my paper and hence they would try to take a peek into my paper. At such times, I would hide my answer paper with my hands and stare back at them with the look that conveyed the message ," Don't try to copy from me". I would also add some spice to my stare by giving an innocent stare at the teacher that conveyed the message ," Sir, This girl is trying to copy from me". These are moments when the Non-verbal communication is executed in a perfect synchronised manner.
During one exam I discovered a technique to fill up the content in the Main answer paper. I am sharing this technique with the present generation students. This might be helpful for you. This technique might be old and it is from the old school of thought from the early nineties. But still it would be effective. Have you seen a Three column Blog Template with a header and a footer slot? This is the principle that goes behind the technique. Use your pencil and ruler and draw Big margins on all four sides of the paper and thus the central portion becomes small. Make sure that you leave a little space at the centre for filling with some answers.

The girls sitting besides me would have two sketch pens at least while answering the questions. They would underline important words with Orange color sketch pen. They were the brain behind the Internet SEO techniques. They usually decorated their answer papers after writing the answers on the paper. But I had the habit of decorating my paper with boxes and curved margins even before I wrote anything on the answer sheet.
After doing all the decorations, I would skim through the question paper. It would be Greek for me. But brave people like me would still attempt to answer them. For the question " What is the chemical formula for Nitric acid",the answer would go on for four pages and before long, I would have finished the main answer sheet. If you had seen MGM productions, you would have seen a roaring Lion. When ever the Lion roars, Tom ans Jerry would be screened on cartoon network. Similarly when ever I coughed, it was a signal to the whole class that I was about to stand up for requesting the additional answer sheet. The whole class would look at me in admiration. The girl sitting next to me would try her level best to avoid eye contact with me. But I would make throat-clearing noises till she looked at me. As soon as she looks at me, I would give the attitude-look (Johnny Bravo style) with one raised eye-brow and that would make her to hang her face in shame. Then I would sit down and finish the additional sheets in no time too.

If you are thinking, " Why there is a big gap for this sentence?", I would like to tell you that this is another technique for filling up answer sheets. But strict teachers who abide by the 25 lines/ page rule will not appreciate this technique. So use this technique only on those teachers who are dumber than you.
After performing all these stunts in the exam hall, my classmates would have a very good impression on me. This impression will be powdered to saw dust when the teachers hand over the corrected answer sheets to us. In the beginning, it will surely pain to get Zero marks for a subject for which your heart, mind, soul and energy is used to fill the answer sheets. But when you get regular Zeroes, you will get used to it. (You might not understand my emotions. But Sania Mirza would definitely understand my emotions. Her scores in the first round exits at grand slams and my exam results during my school days are one and the same)


  1. Marvellous man!! I really enjoyed this while a virtual classroom was created and old school days memories were back. "Two women on either side of a unsuccessful man" was the best part.

  2. Hilarious! :D

    Especially the illustration of "leaving space to fill up pages" within the post, the throat-clearing technique cum attitude-throwing and how you used to fill up half of the first page with details such as the name, roll number etc.

    As an afterthought: bollocks! I really don't think you would have done half of that. Some yes, but not all! ;) :D

  3. :P That is why I say "Lazy is never easy".

  4. Thanks everyone

    @Srini : Pliss don't believe anything mentioned on this page. half baked, full lies on this page

  5. hahahaha...nice one Chriz! Enjoyed! :)

  6. Hey!! Hw u knw my Story?

    It's absolutely my story, Zero is my fan and it followed me till i complete my degree but the fun is " I'm an Engineer"!!

  7. hahaa! Now am sure people will know where it all began ;-)


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