University Exams... reversal of roles..

The very thought of University exams brings about a chill past my spine. Cold hands, a racy heart and tonnes of anxiety is what comes to my mind as I think of a University examination. The last time I wrote a University exam was for my post-graduation. That was a painful experience - I was writing a three hour examination after some 3 years, and my hands were thoroughly unprepared for the torture that I was putting it through.

More that a year later, I was standing in another University exam hall. But this time, the role was reversed - I was standing there as an Invigilator! I was sweating profusely, out of anxiety. I was scared of making a blunder, which might put the students' future into jeopardy. The format of the answer sheet itself was puzzling - it was not the simple unicolour answer sheets that I am used to. This one had lots of boxes and a lot of shading to be done - yes! The answer sheet requires the students to fill in their register number, subject code and some other stuff to be filled into an OMR portion.

As the first bell rang, it reminded me of my good ol' days - I used to develop cold hands as the packet containing question papers is distributed in the hall. The exam superintendent came in with question papers - the students looked with anxiety. I did not have the liberty to distribute the question papers in advance - but I did read the question paper and reassure them that it was quite easy.

The second bell rang, and the question paper was distributed. I was bogged down with a lot of clerical work now - filling in a lot of papers in duplicate (yes.. those sheets with carbon paper kept in between) and circulating them for students' signature.  While the students fought it out with the answer sheets, there was absolutely nothing for me to do. Invigilation is one of the most boring jobs a teacher is put through. Three hours of boredom. The format of examinations in this university means that there are no supplementary answer sheets to distribute - students are expect to complete their exam in the 52 page main answer book.

Another bell rang - I was happy now. Just 15 minutes more to go. The regular "Fifteen minutes more" announcement was made. The clock ticked past, and now only 5 minutes left. Another announcement Five minutes left. Followed by the regular announcements - ensure that all the mandatory details have been filled, and so on.

The long bell goes off - like every teacher, I too develop a hard heart. Ask all the students to stop writing, and snatch off papers of those trying to sneak in a word or two. Ah! How much would I have cursed my teachers for denying me time in exams - I rarely wrote exams for the entire duration though. My good ol' days... I do not miss my college days though - since I am still in College ;)


Sunup said…
Something different for a change! But a really good read! Felt myself carried away to my exam halls of those ole days....