Why you are in bad company when taking exams
BY popular demand, I have been requested to revisit the subject of writing exams. Reason being it is that time of the year when my sympathies go out to all those about to endure this form of intellectual torture. I have always entertained the thought that people who set examinations are sadists. They enjoy inflicting pain on others. This is where the adage, “No Pain, No Gain” has currency. As part of my community service and humanitarian gesture to all those exam sufferers, I will offer my two cents’ worth of advice.
How you cope with all that studying and the methods to bring the required results, will not be covered here. Falling short of bribing the examiner and the invigilator, you are on your own.
I will dig from my deep reserves of experience on sitting for exams, right from the pre-school (creche) entrance exam through to the university degree, if you allow me to.
We never “studied” in the true sense of the word. We crammed information. In fact, this was rammed into our supposedly thick heads through the liberal use of the rod by our “Gestapo” trained teachers.
This was particularly so with Mathematics, the worst subject in living memory. The drill was to wake up at such an ungodly hour that one would occasionally bump into a witch from her nocturnal mission.
We were then required to sing everything from the multiplication table, right down to geometry. By the time the rest of the pupils trooped in, they would be wondering whether we had slept there overnight.
Passing Grade 7 was guaranteed under these conditions. Yet it never prepared me for the horror of high school. First, we had too many subjects to tackle and this I bitterly complained to my father, recently late.
Secondly, our crop of teachers were terrorists in every definition of the word. Apart from participating in the liberation struggle, some of my teachers later became Cabinet ministers!
But that is not the point that I am trying to make here. High school to me was like military boot camp. This was the case with all boarding schools. The culture was that only blood, sweat and tears produced results.
Studying became an obsessive affair. People read books until smoke came out of their ears. Some of us would go for days without any sleep or food. This was done with the aid of “no sleep” pills available only on prescription, but had a thriving black market supplying them to desperate pupils.
My other colleagues, tired of cramming, would employ baffling measures in a near-futile attempt to short-circuit the rigorous studying process. In this case, one would go to sleep for days with a textbook under the pillow.
This was with the vein hope that through the scientific process called osmosis, information would be transferred from a dense medium (read textbook), to an “extremely” less dense medium (the pupil’s head) overnight.
Empirical testing has failed to prove this correct. Yet, some of us passed the exams perhaps through divine or supernatural intervention.
University was a whole-new kettle of beer, sorry, fish. Let me explain. How was one expected to pass when right there, smack in the middle of campus, was the cheapest bar south of the Sahara?
Coming as we did from a very cloistered existence at boarding school, we literally drowned in alcohol. Only to emerge occasionally for air and perhaps lectures. Exams were just an irritating formality.
University went by the adage: “Drink daily and pass annually.” It was a situation that would make any parent’s eyes water.
Interestingly enough, it was the sober ones who could not take the pressure. The number of students who were admitted into the local mental facility rose alarmingly as exam time approached. In one classic case, an Indian medical student decided that it could be through the digestive tract that information could be absorbed. He ate several volumes of journals, before being carted off to Pari hospital to have his stomach pumped, en-route to SASCAM.
Another student, who after pumping his brains full of “aerodynamics” thought he could put that into practice. He jumped out of the third-floor window of the library. Rather than fly, he had to contend with the hard concrete floor below. At least he managed to delay sitting for his exam by a year while his Plaster of Paris bound body healed.
But then I digress. This article was supposed to offer tips on passing exams. When in an exam room, take a look to your right, then left, and then right again and you will discover that you are not alone.
Take comfort in that fact alone.
If you have not grasped all that you crammed by now, then you are well and truly screwed! JAH Prayzah and Diamond Platnumz hit collaboration is set to make a record breaking run at the top of the Zim Top 10 chart. For yet another week, the beautifully crafted, infectious single has dominated the charts.
Below is this week’s chart: 10. Charming Vibes — Make Sure 9. Tatenda Mahachi — Usacheme 8. Dice Ft Mussa — Silent Night 7. Bouy Tace ft Nyasha Timbe — On Me 6. Myke Pimp ft Gold Fingah — Run It 5. Brythreesixty — Highscore 4. Tatenda Mahachi — Usacheme 3. Paul Martin & DJ ACE Tanner — Made 4 love 2. Karizma — Shisha Pipe 1. Jah Prayzah Ft. Diamond Platnumz — Watora Mari
Catch the Zim Top 10 chart show every Thursday at 9:30PM on Zambezi Magic (DStv channel 160). You can also follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on WeChat: ZambeziMagicTV.
Jah Prayzah and Diamond Platnumz