Some things never change! Since the inception of standardized tests and examinations, there have been very few occasions when examinations have started on a hot day. Cool weather conditions, more often than not, dominate most exam sessions.
This week marks the beginning of the end of the road for the “O” and “A” level curricula for the 2010 candidates.
As the “O” level exams kicked off on Tuesday morning, grave silence seemed to engulf the examination centres that were bee hives of activity.
The jubilant mood of students eager to start and finish exams overshadowed the slight tension that was written on their juvenile faces.
All were ready as the stage was set for them to prove their academic might. The sky was thinly covered with clouds. A soft cold breeze blew through the windows of the classrooms as the candidates’ backs were bent to their desks- tackling the exams.
The calmness of the vegetation outside indicated that even nature was at peace with the candidates. No blow of wind disturbed a single tree. All jealously enjoyed total peace, as if for the first and last time, since their creation.
Rigorous preparations seemed to have preceded the commencement of the exams. Security was beefed up as the exams were ferried to the centres.
Tens of invigilators trickled into the examination centres on time ahead of the exams kick off. Briefing of candidates was held once more to ensure that no candidate faces the stringent penalty of examination irregularity.
Big examination centres are hosting up to over 900 candidates from at least five different schools.
Perhaps I should not stop before giving a word to the candidates. Confidence is the centre bolt for exam excellence.
A number of students fail because of nervousness. The tension that builds in them causes memory loss. Recalling a point to put down becomes harder than milking a stone.
The might of confidence can be illustrated by the ‘mighty firefly’ anecdote.
One day, an antelope went out for a walk and left his door ajar. The mighty firefly entered his house and started producing very big beams of light. When the antelope came back, he saw very bright light in his house and inquired who was in. “I am the mighty firefly who pounds antelopes and grinds them into flour,” the mighty firefly replied.
The antelope was so terrified. He called several huge animals which were also scared. It took the courage of the frog to open the door. To the amazement of all the animals, it was a tiny insect that had shaken them to their roots.
Confidence can achieve the unimaginable. You may have all the artilleries but without the confidence to face your adversary, you lose. A confident half prepared candidate will do better than a fully prepared nervous one.
The author is the Director of Studies at Nu Vision High School, Kabuga.