Exam stress do you remember what it was like?

Cruel and stressful: My experience of the NCEA maths exam

The above headline of an article on Stuff made me think back to my experiences with exams. I have been on both sides of the desk acting both as a supervisor of them as well as sitting them myself as a high school and university student.

Most people find exams stressful even if they are good at them and well prepared. I was kicked out of my 7th form final exam for English because I couldn’t stop coughing and was disrupting the other students. I asked for a lozenge or a lolly to help stop the cough but they told me that my problem was that I was nervous and it was best that I leave.

I have never forgotten the experience as I was thrilled with the questions in the exam and was ripping through them at a great rate of knots, confident of getting a really high mark. Because I had won the English cup that year I was assessed as passing the exam even though I had been unable to finish it but I was so upset as I had found the exam so easy.

One year I remember supervising a girl whose father had been killed the day before the exam. I couldn’t believe that she was expected to sit it but she bravely sat it determined to make her Dad proud.

Another year I had a wart on my thumb and had Cryotherapy treatment at the doctor the day before which resulted in a huge blister that caused me real pain as I scribbled my way through a three-hour University History exam.

I am familiar with many different ways of cheating and have seen many ingenious techniques. When pencil cases were allowed in the exam secret codes were often drawn into a design on the pencil case. Rubbers often had math formulas hidden under the piece of paper that went around the rubber. Some students went to great lengths to cheat.

We have all been through the stress of an exam so why don’t some of you share with us all an exam story and if you are brave enough spill your guts on a method you used to cheat in an exam.

I promise I won’t tell.

 


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