Sunday, July 26, 2009

[Social Eye] The Various Species of Candidates Sitting in CIE Examinations

  • Homo Sapien Ferraris: You can easily notice this rare model of Ferrari by the speed at which they fill the answer booklet; they just seem to know everything, such that a suspicions arises in the minds of fellow candidates that theses 'Ferraris' have somehow managed to leak the paper, may it be in dreams or in reality! You can spot this make of Ferrari (although they don't sport that prancing horse monogram of Ferrari anywhere) by parted hair (the style of a pre-schooler!), circular, thick-rimmed glasses (you almost mistake them for a magnifying glass, if you get a chance to see through those eyepieces), a closed neck button of their school shirt (against the will of the windpipe!) and that same conventional neat and tidy school uniform with no 'yo man! stuff' like rolled up sleeves, pulled out shirts etc. Although they might be too uncool to be from the house of Ferrari but the working of their Brain and CNS (Central Nervous System) literally makes them worthy to be called one.
  • Allah Walas: I am doubtful about these candidates' mental condition, because they don't even bother opening a book before the examination. The closest I can get to predict the roots of this 'ailment' is that either they are the sons of some Sufis\Darveshs or they are the sole successor of their Mullana father (yup, the one who has an overgrown beard!) as they are too expectant of divine intervention and enthusiastic about angels 'transporting' them all the correct answers. You can spot them easily as they have a red and an about-to-burst face with tears swimming in their eyes. One thought that I know would be battering their skulls like tsunami waves will be "Kash, ham tayari kar lete!" (Ah!, if only we had prepared!).
  • "Chic Magnets": Yeah! you got it right. These are the bunch of guys who hand nearly blank answer booklets to the examiner before time, just to impress a few girls and turn a few heads. To them the awe-struck faces of sweety pies are more important than the satisfied faces of their parents. They can easily be recognized as sons of successful businessmen or money-making machines as they have bank-notes to cushion this academic fall.
  • Over Prepared Mumblers: These guys don't have a brain. They have got brains. As during the examination they have multiple factions of brain cells operating. Each feeding in a completely different solution...the result of knowing toooooo much. It is much like a hard-disk which is overflowing with information and responds with multiple results for a single 'search' query. As a result, you would find these type of candidates mumbling to themselves with their cheeks resting on their palms as they know the answer, yet they are completely baffled by the question due to the war which is in full-swing within their head.
  • Forecasters, i.e, The Najoomi Party: These are candidates who think they just know which paper would be coming this examination session. They are abundant outside the examination hall and can easily be seen within groups of other candidates, speaking in hushed whispers about 1982's repeating Physics Paper, 1979's recurring Chemistry MCQs etc. Sometimes I have a feeling that these 'candidates' are specifically hired by rival educational institutions to have a disturbing pre-exam impact on the candidates, an impact, that would have a negative effect on that schools overall result triggering a decrease in popularity.
  • Unbelievers: These candidates are usually short on confidence and just won't believe that they have penned down the correct answer, even if they have! Usually they are spottable by the grunting sounds they would make which is often accompanied by a tsk tsk. Most of their time is spent in rubbing and correcting answers and they frequently have pages in their answer booklets which have holes large enough to poke your nose through. But still they manage to, somehow, complete the paper. An out-of-this-world feat in my sightline.
  • One-chance Maniacs: These so called maniacs think that they have only one chance to get it right! They seem to be overpowered by the thought that their parents (middle-classed or poor) cannot bear the towering expenditure of another examination session so you can often see them shaking or crying at a question they are stuck at. They get through the examination by hook or by crook, completely overtaken by the mistakes they have committed which are there all because of that psychological pressure. And on the result day they don't get the result they were hopeful for but nothing can keep them from going unconscious when their parents themselves ask "How about reappearing son?".
  • Reappearing Magicians: This specie is contrary to the above one. These candidates are as light as a feather as they know that nothing is at stake. If they don't get the result they desire for this time, they are always aware of the second chance. Therefore, as an outcome they get stunning grades all because of being relaxed. Some of them also get a bad result (due to less preparation), and you can see them sitting for the examination in the winter.
  • Time-bomb Affectees: These tranquil candidates are as lazy as a sloth at the commencement of the exam, thinking about each answer, making rough drafts, adding extra points etc. But all this calmness evaporates into thin air when the truth dawns upon them, i.e, 30 minutes for more than half of the paper. They suddenly pick up speed...their hands just a blur. Casting nervous glances at the wall clock they get unaware of what is happening around them until they write down the final answer. Their troubles would be over if only they had some time-traveling capability!!!
  • Year-o-Phobics: These candidates are completely taken in by the past-paper books (Redspot's to be precise) and going through innumerable mock exams' sessions with their help, they have that wrong perception that this would also be the case in the Cambridge Originals! So as soon as the question paper is distributed to them, they can't get their eyes of the year part , i.e, 20-- one, that's when the real situation reveals itself before them. This is their year....this is their paper...they are the ones to open it for the first time. Completely perplexed, they are jolted back to their senses by the Chief Examiner's stern voice, "Candidates, start your paper!" and they commence their exam after a few moments of disbelief.

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