15 Thoughts That Go Through A Student’s Mind Right Before Examinations

December is examination season for many. Deadlines have to be met and question papers answered before one can rush headlong into the festivities that the latter part of the year has to offer. In sympathy, we present to you the thoughts that rush through every student’s mind before they are due to take their examinations.

1. If only I had not procrastinated the whole year round, this would have been so easy.

You regret all the times you could have spent studying, but did not. You think of all the clickbaits you succumbed to, all the incessant scrolling through Facebook, and the perfunctory social media stalking of people you have little personal interest in; all in a bid to stall the all-important task of studying. If only you had been at your books then, the pre-examination panic and despair could have been averted.

2. I will so start studying hard from the beginning,next semester onwards.

The past is past and cannot be reversed, and the present is slave to the past. So if this semester is a lost case, you will turn on a new leaf from the next semester. You will do every assignment at once, you will study all the prescribed material before semester even starts, you will ace every test and secure a magnificent grade. It doesn’t matter that you have been telling yourself the same for three semesters straight, the next semester things really are going to change.

3. I wonder how much I can cram in the last half an hour?

If cramming an entire syllabus worth of material in the last half an hour is an impossibility, let’s see how close we can get. Should I spend this half an hour studying a chapter in detail? Or should I review the entire syllabus at a glance? This is the really pressing dilemma of our times.

4. *Calculates the pass mark*

With concerns about how much can possibly be studied comes the question of how much absolutely needs to be studied and consequently, the question of the pass mark. Extra credits, internals and this exam – Will the cumulative effort be enough to see me through? WILL IT?

5. If I mess up this test,I wonder just how badly my CGPA will be affected?

How badly will messing up this exam affect my CGPA? How badly do I have to do in an exam to scar my CGPA beyond redemption? Will there be scope for redemption afterwards?

6. I am so sleepy, I hope I do not fall asleep while examinations are on!

Sleep weaves its way into the mind of all students due to take their examinations- regardless of whether they have been spending their nights asleep,studying or simply tossing and turning, completely unable to do both. With the sleepiness comes a pressing concern – Will I be able to make it through the examination awake?

7. I should probably treat myself to a little something after the exam- I wonder if the ice cream van is parked outside campus today?

Examinations coming up and the need to study for it is obviously a perfect excuse to derail any intention of healthy eating. One must eat before the examination, and one must treat oneself to something after the examination is through.

8.We should probably also go out some day after exams-better text in the group once the exam is done.

Examinations are hard work, regardless of whether you actually studied for them or not. And the only thing that can see us through exams is the prospect of better times ahead- should get plans done as soon as possible.

9. I still have quite a few semesters left to make up for this, OR, I am in my final year and we are so going down.

This is a thought that depends on the student’s current year- if new in, there is hope at future possibilities of doing better despite seniors’ warnings about the syllabus getting progressively more difficult. If almost through, there is no option but to let the sheer panic set in.

10.I wonder how I am going to break the news to my parents, if I really mess this up?

Accepting the reality of inevitable doom oneself is difficult enough, the prospect of letting down parents even worse. Should you let them know before the results are out? Will they be angry or sad or both?

11.*Calculates how much time is left for studying*

Time ticks by far too quick, and calculations must be made as to how much is left to study, how much time to cover the same, and how much time should be dedicated to each subject. Mathematical skills has never been put to quite such rigorous use before.

12: *Wild speculation on topics that can be safely eliminated as potential questions*

This topic came up in the exam the year before the year before last year- so it’s not going to come up this time is it? IS IT?

13.Make plans about redeeming the inevitable bad grade

 I wonder how many activities I can take up, and work experience accumulate in what is left of college life, to make up for a shoddy CGPA?

14.The onset of general existential panic at inability to cope with basic trials of life

With a sense of having done precious little work all year long, comes the realization that the basic tasks expected of a student has not been met. With this comes an existential uncertainty and anxiety about one’s capabilities as an individual and one’s place in the universe. Nothing turns one as philosophical as examinations.

15.Daydreams about doing well in the exam, anyway.

No matter how doomed a student knows themselves to be, there is always that faint hope or dream of emerging from the examinations with flying colors. So even if all the studying that has been done is some wild skimming the night before, the human mind remains foolishly optimistic.

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Madhubrata Bhattacharyya

19 years young and a fierce feminist.