The exam hall!

Examinations! They are a necessary evil. An examination is an important tool for a teacher to identify if his classes were useful to his/her students.

Examinations are hated the most during student life. A recent WhatsApp forward attributed examinations to a gentleman Mr Henry Mishel (Henry Fischel in some forwards) - which I am sure is wrong. Some websites claim that examinations originated sometime in the 7th century in China.

We teachers love examinations (pun, obviously, intended). I find examinations the most stressful period in my profession - I've had sleepless nights wondering how my students would perform, and been more anxious (perhaps!) that my students when their results are declared. The moment I get that bundle of paper for valuation, I make it a point to pull out two papers from the stack - the best performer and the worst performer. This generally gives me an idea of how the paper had been.

Another stressful job every teacher goes through is Invigilation - I thought this was the best thing to do when I was a student - do nothing, just keep roaming around the class, staring at times at students who try to copy, eat and drink in the class while the students sweat out. I thought otherwise as soon as I reached the other side of the coin. I always find invigilation the most stressful part of the teaching profession - three hours of solitary confinement (of course, there are the students), with nothing, I repeat - nothing, to do.

But then things are all not that scary out there! You have the free entertainment in these exam halls - amusing characters who keep us entertained throughout the duration of the examination. Lets get introduced to some of these characters -

The stargrazers!
I love 'em! They keep looking at the roof, the floor, the benches, at the invigilator, everywhere! They look to the roof in anticipation that someone would project the answers on the roof!

The sleeping beauties!
They sleep! They just sleep! They sleep as if they couldn't sleep at home. They are the most harmless creatures in an exam hall!

The peeping toms!
No.. No.. don't get them wrong! They just try to sneak out answers from answer sheets around them. Peeping is no simple task you see! They need to concentrate on the movements of the invigilator, the guys around, and at the same time, find out the answer they need!

The copy cats!
These are the creatures I hate the most! I hate dishonesty! These people just copy!

The scaremongers!
I love these people too! They scare the daylights out of their classmates! They write as if its the end of world in a while. They take additional sheets and keep fighting with their pens till the bell rings, and give us the opportunity to snatch the papers from them.

The last minuters!
These are an interesting set of characters in the classroom! They relax for most of the time in the class room. As the end of time warnings are made - generally about 15-30 minutes before the examination ends, these people come out of their slumber, and begin a war with their papers. They too scare their classmates with the hurry and pressure they put up as the clock ticks!

The late comers!
They are everywhere! They turn up late for the examination - then blame traffic (which is aplenty in Bangalore) for their delay and put up a sorry face. They grin after they become successful in conning the invigilator to find their way into the exam hall. They'd turn up late the next day as well!

The bird watchers!
They appear for examinations only to watch birds! They'd been looking out of the windows most of the time - they are a bit different from Stargrazers, though.

I am sure there are more characters in exam halls. Do comment about your experiences in exam halls, and what character where you the last time :)


Unknown said…
Speedy monsters

Scribble everything comes to mind within half time n leave the exam hall asap. As if they got some international business to do.
Sunup said…
I was a last-minuter in most of my exams. I just couldn't pace it properly. Also, and I am ashamed to admit this -- for a few tough ones, I was a copy-cat too.
Arun said…
Good one.. I hated writing.It is different that I do write a lot now. I had the habit of not lifting my head until I complete all the answers I knew. Never wrote stories/nonsense. Instead chose to leave it empty. Since my palms sweat a lot, I used to take break in between answers. In a mountain, when u 've NMR and highway in ur vision field, and if a rail/bus fan, I don't think there is any place better than exam hall. I didn't mind getting low marks and never indulged in any dishonest methods.