My board exams….and some other things

Today was my first board exam. The first one, thankfully, was Tamil, one subject I am very comfortable with, albeit issues of lack of time in some instances. I know that the very next question would be: how did I do, and how much would I get?

To answer this, the paper was actually a very easy one, and for the first time, I was able to write how much ever I wanted and still finish in time. I am sure that I will get an A1 grade(the equivalent of 81 or above for 90 in CBSE).Not only me, all of us who wrote the exam did well.

However, I am not writing this merely to tell you that I did well. When I was sitting in the hall, listening to the invigilator’s instructions, one thought struck me. I realised that the room and the general atmosphere was not at all scary. It was just as if we were writing a normal exam in school. After all the hype, this was a welcome reality.

I don’t blame our teachers and some other people, who told us that our 10th exams would be the turning point in our life, and constantly reminded us that we were ‘board going children’. After all, they were concerned for our future, and I know , that us lazy students took studies seriously only because of this compelling reminder.

But, generally in our society, I think the influence of these exams is exaggerated. Some people think that life revolves around these. A month before the exams, all the magazines started printing advice on ‘How to study for board exams’. I won’t deny that I read all of these, not because I was religiously going to follow the instructions(it included eating lots of leafy vegetables!)but because I just liked to read what they had to say.

When I think about it now, it strikes me that they provide advice only for board exams. Or at least, if the board exams were non existent, they would not offer  any tips. Why? Why can’t we take these exams as any other ones we normally take up in school? The only difference I see is that, we write board exams in centres outside our school, and teachers whom we know nothing about, correct our papers, and the marks we get are important for our future. That shouldn’t be a problem if we prepare well, unless we expect some extra favours from teachers we know, which is not an acceptable practice.As regards future, I think we just need to keep that in mind to motivate us to do well,and go on with our regular preparation.

One thing I agree with the magazines.We need to do some extra question papers,to get familiar with the types of questions that can be asked, since boards are unpredictable. Otherwise, it is just another regular examination.

After today’s exam, I thought that writing these board exams was a good experience. I enjoyed today’s exam. One, somehow, writing  in those answer sheets was nice(I guess it made me feel important),and two, the questions helped me to express my creative side, especially  an essay on hard work and persistence.I can almost see my father laughing on reading that I wrote a good essay on something I don’t follow at all.

Even in school, I loved to write social exams(though I did not finish the last answer last time). This was because, I knew all the answers most of the times. Except geography, I liked all the others, and I believe that is the reason why I do well in social. Really, the satisfaction you get when you know everything in the question paper is immeasurable.

I also liked science exams, largely due to the fact that our teacher would appreciate me if I did well, and also because she told us that we should pray for  challenging question papers which would stretch our potential. She was a great teacher, and we all required just a simple ‘good’ from her to make us feel on top of the world. And I think I don’t need to tell anything about English exams.

But, whatever I talk about liking exams, there is one subject that I hate as much as a person can possibly hate a subject, and I have no doubt that I will be tensed and nervous before that particular exam. I averaged only a 50% in all our revision tests, due to (1)many silly mistakes (2)My brain which seems to have an overload of linguistic ability, and very less of analytical skills (3) an intense dislike of the subject (4)and not understanding why algebra and surface areas were going to help an English graduate. By now, you must have guessed that the subject is math.

Math is my nemesis. I don’t know why, but from the earliest I remember, it has been like this, though I did very well in 6th standard and my FAs in 10th. I didn’t even want to write an entrance test in math for a school, though it wouldn’t carry any weightage, as I was applying to the Humanities group. But I promise that I will get at least A2 in boards in math, as how much ever I can’t do it, my grades are important for Oxford.

So, that’s it. I am happy today as I did well. My biggest concern was time, but the 15-minute reading time we are given is a boon; it helps us plan our answers, so I shouldn’t have any difficulty in finishing the social paper also. I know I will get A1 in the other three; math, I need at least A2. Let us hope for the best!

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