I am a recovering Testophobic

I got up in a daze to see that it was already six in the morning, I cursed the alarm clock for failing to do its job. I rubbed my eyes and my heart palpitated at the thought of the test which was to start in 3 hours. I heard snoring from somewhere close by and turned to see 'hubs' making a sonorous racket and generally disturbing the atoms around his nose. Then it all became clear, I am married and there is no school test and I had just woken up from a nightmare.

Gosh! The word exams still brings a shiver down my spine. After all I am a recovering Testophobic and I am sure many of you are too.

In school, I was an above average student in my class but was not a bookworm or a teachers pet. You could find me hanging around with the brains and dodo's of the class with equal ease. I was not very keen with studies but had always completed my home work on time to avoid wrath of my parents, teachers and my older sis who is the brains in our family.

Every annual exam used to be a complete agony for me. I had butterflies in my stomach and sweating accompanied with mental images that I have failed in the exam. I had a special hatred for Maths, Chemistry and Biology.
During exam days, I stayed miles away from some particular specimens in school who managed to trample my already frayed nerves. I am sure you all will recognise them.

1) The persistent Mugger(A disparaging term for rote learning) : This Specimen will always have a book in her hands and have an intense look  of concentration on her face. She will literally have her nose stuck in a book. She will not let go of it even during a visit to the wash room lest she even miss two seconds of precious time studying before the exam. You could see her in a trance as her body swayed with a constant rhythm to all the things she wanted to store in her brain and barf out in the exam. Any person sitting next to her and who plans to choke to death should not expect any help from her.

2) The Confident Braniac: This specimen's cheerfulness and know-it-all attitude would want to make you poke her in the eye. She will usually flit from group to group asking everyone 'Hey, all ready for the exam?, I am just waiting to go and write the test, did you read this chapter?'. She would make it a point to show everyone, how well prepared she is and this is how it should be done.

3) The Eternal Borrower: This specimen will walk into the exam hall as if she came there accidentally. She will never have a pen that works or any other material like pencils, erasers, Geometry set etc. You would see her borrowing stuff from different classmates with a promise to return them after the exam. She will sometimes even disturb you during a test to borrow something from you.

4) The Answer Checker: After writing an exam all I would want to do is run home and relax. This specimen would be ready to cross check her answers with other classmates 'Hey, I wrote this answer, what did you write?', a few others would gather around her and an intense debate would ensue. Who wants another nightmare on their hands? I did not want to know if what I had written in the exam was right or wrong. I preferred the mystery to unfold when our results were declared.

My fear of exams was a distant memory but it resurfaced after a chat with my nephew who just sat for his 10th std Board exams. The fear of exams is like a palpable being lodged somewhere between your lungs and stomach. The pressure is tremendous and gives you nightmares. When I was in school the word 'Stress' was yet to be defined as applicable to human 'Physiology but rather something to do with 'Hooke's Law'

What has been your experience about 'Exam Stress' ? Which specimen were you in school ?


  1. Lol this is an awesome post.The eternal borrower,the persistent mugger,the confident braniac....don't I know these people too well?Some specimens of these species abound in my college. *sigh*
    But um if I were to be honest I was the persistent mugger in high school.
    However college has reformed me into someone different-I do study now but not in a frantic OMG-I-have-to-get-the-highest-at-any-cost way.

  2. you forgot the "Cool Dude"category: The cool dude in school who doesn't prepare much but writes something he remembers from the class but ends up getting above average marks prompting the teachers to complain that "He is intelligent but not at all hardworking"

    well that was me in school ;)

    Regarding the categories... I have nothing to do with persistent muggers, I hate the confindent brainiacs, I am the borrower and I maintain a minimum distance of 6 yards from the checkers :)

    awesome post \m/

  3. :) that was a wonderful take on our examination system!

    congratulations also on coining a new word - testophobhic!

  4. That was one fantastic post :)
    Loved the selection of pictures there :D

    I have been a lover of Chemistry & Biology, a champ at them both,favorite of all my teachers both at school and university.
    I have always been one of the bookworms but I was never amongst those who would discuss answers after a test.

    Logic was the only thing that ever got past my thick skull and mugging up has never been my cup of tea :D


  5. Ha ha :) That's an interesting list. And there were also those who were given a spoonful of curd to make sure they do well.

    I scored well only in the subjects I loved and didn't care for subjects I hated :)

    I remember detesting Metallurgy and wondering if the education system would ever improve enough to not force us to learn what we can't...

    And I disliked the ones who thought they knew all and made sure everybody knew it... even if they made other students nervous.

  6. Lovely post. I hated exams too. They were nightmares in the already nightmarish studies!
    I would love to meet the guy who started schools and learning. I have some choice words to share...
    BTW, I was the borrower. Sometimes, I even borrowed answers... LOL

    Have a good day...:)

  7. I could so identify with the characters you have mentioned in your post, in fact I still cant forget their faces. I have had dreams of going unprepared for an exam like forever now and the best part is waking up and realizing it was just a nightmare and going back to sleep all relieved.

  8. i used to remain baffled with some of my friends and their ability to insta-mug. They would play the fool all week long...but come Friday,that's when our tests were,these guys would mug up in a jiffy- and poor me always got stuck...could never keep up with them...

    very early in life I realized I am going to be a part of the gang who need to work 150% to get a 75% result...
    nice post took me down memory lane...

  9. Would I sound too geeky if I say I was very fond of exams? Well, there's something about calculating minimum risk and doing just about what you think you need to, entering an exam hall and sitting there looking at the question paper, assessing how much you know...That weirdly was a high I used to like...hmmm...what category was I? never mugged nor maniacally cross-checked on answers or borrowed..well maybe sometimes..but somehow the confident braniac seems a tad pompously laughable...hmmm...I'd think my needle heads there, but I never preached..;)

  10. All "confident brainiac" are "answer checkers" but not the other way round I guess.

  11. For many a years after i finished my schooling I have had exam nightmares ... the dreaded 12th standard exams - the gateway to medical and engineering factory! Thankfully, the dreams stopped last couple of years. I am going to blame you if it resurfaces now :P

    Since childhood I always had this habbit of learning stuffs that is not in the sylabbus, I would read the books of my seniors and not get bored of my books and I dreaded maths and physics... but somehow I always had been an above average student but sucessfully managed to deny my entry into medical factory :P due to lot many distractions in teen life :D

    p.s : Yesterday nite i tried to comment :S but the comment box was acting funny

  12. Good one!! I'l be facing exams soon and am having the good fortune of seeing all the different types daily!!
    Do check out my latest post which s about exams as well. .

  13. Thats a hillarious list... I was a good student but somehow couldn't study just before exams nor could I discuss the paper after exam :)

  14. What a twisted view ...loved it...

    i was and i am a proud mugger :D .

  15. Yeh.. Luckily in our days exams didnt have that much riding on them. I used to love the tension and feeling of importance I felt during exam time.

  16. Sam: Thank god you have reformed :) I never could understand the mugging part except for Maths tables I don't remember mugging anything..

    G2: Ahh the cool dude ...mine was an all girls school so no dudes or dudettes either...
    Aren't you blowing your own trumpet :P

    Magiceye: Thank:) the word testophobic is already there in existence...

    CB: You were a brainiac and a bookworm oolala :P

    IHM: Thanks:) I was the same...scored well in geography and even in biology cause i could draw well...and history too...I loved history and still do.

    Mr. Stupid: hehe...I wonder if you are so naughty in real life..

    Milana: Welcome to my world. Thanks :)

  17. Gyan: I am glad you liked my post...hmmm same with me..work harder than other people...

    Deepti: Shoot me dead...you liked exams eeks...you are the first one I have encountered so far..confident braniac hmmm...

    Lalit: welcome to my blog :) I guess you can say that. Thanks for following my blog..

    LR: Arre I had share my agony with fellow bloggers na...blame away :)
    Now blaming distractions is not...tell me the truth..what were these distractions?
    I am sorry about the commenting form glitch..

    Rohan: Ouch!!! sorry dear...all the best for your exam..

    Shilpa: Good for you...I could never study...

    Nish: tch tch...a mugger and proudly saying it...arre you should never accept that you were one ;)

    Avdi: true...competition was less...but we definitely had stress...

  18. I used to have nightmares abt having studying the wrong subject for the exam or not finishing them on time:-)still gives me the shivers..very nice post, brought back some old memories..

  19. That was a riot of a post! Oh yes I used to be as petrified of exams as any 'sane' person would be! And in case I have a dreadful dream about exams tonight I know who to blame :D :D

    Laughed my heart out reading about the specimens. I've come across such lot too.

    First time here. Glad to have stumbled by your page :)

  20. Oh gosh yes. I dreaded exams. Whenever my sister tells me she has an exam coming up, it just brings back bad memories. Late night studying with 2 hours of sleep and then the erratic heart beating during the exams. I'm sooooo glad I finished school. Sooooo glad :)

  21. all the specimens mentioned here are RIGHT and they do exist...I'm glad I'm none of them :P

    Though I never feared tests :P but I never studied like worms :)

    Oh there is one more specimen:People who know well that they haven't studied and hence the screwed up the exam..but they will make a hue and cry and gather all sympathies from others..god,when you haven't studied to paper to kharab hoga hi na !Why fuss later?..what do we call them? Sympathy Magnet?? :P

  22. lol... awesome post... takes me back to thos scary exam days :) I was the Answer Checker - I just had to know who wrote what...and which questions I had answered correctly.. plus of course trying to guess my score... nerve-racking days those were!!

  23. Awesum post..I was most irritated by the Answer checkers. I always came out of the exam hall thinking that iv'e done pretty well until the Answers checkers would bring me down. You have to literally close your ears on them.

  24. nice post i use to ask answers for questions after exam and thanks for your comment in my blog:)

  25. LOL I cn so relate to that nightmare and I keep wondering if I hv nt prepared for anything in life bcoz they say dreams reflect whatz in ur mind or heart ;) Never found the answer though :P
    Awesome list there :D

  26. Wow! You brought back some nightmarish memories! I hated geography with a vengeance. I still wake up with a start sometimes feeling my geography exam is that day and I've not studied at all. And I was the 'decorator'. I would draw a neat line after every answer, underline some key words or sentences with important sounding words and make sure my handwriting was the best in class. I hoped against hope neatness would fetch me those badly needed extra marks in the exams.

  27. I never studies until the night before an exam, but always managed to bluff my way through without failing. :P

    Brings back memories.

  28. OMG! I still get night mares about exams. I just cldnt mug. Just cldnt! I hated all those cool smucks who entered the exam hall all cheerful without a sweat of stress. I used to have examination fever. Literally not metaphorically!!! I am so glad I am not in school ... Great Post! Thoroughly entertaining :)

  29. Sonali: Thanks :)

    Deeps: Welcome to my blog. I am glad that you sumbled across it :) Hope to see you often..

    Rose: My hubby did his 2nd Masters a year back...I wonder how people can enjoy self inflicted pain :P

    Nu: Welcome...nice name you have coined there..I would like to call that...hope to see you around more often :)

    Venice: Welcome dear :) I am glad you were not in my school...I was quite easily pissed off with Answer checkers :P

    Guru: haha agree with you...any meeting with an answer checker would make me morose and angry...

    Senthil: Ouch...so many Answer Checker in the comments grrrr...

    Swaram: Welcome :) thank god you did not find out...thanks..

    Aparna: I loved geography...OMG I completely missed this category and also one more who always boasted on how many extra answer sheets they used up...maybe will write a 2nd post..

    Anirban: Good for you my man :)

    Tanvi: Thank you :) we have a consensus now...that all of us hate exams yipppeeee...

  30. Good one :)

    Hey you forgot to mention your "relaxation technique" of the night before the exams that used to drive mom up the wall. Watching "The News".

    Yes, I kept miles away from the answer checkers. They did give me eternal nightmares. ;)

  31. I wish I'd cared enough about grades when I was young to actually get nervous about tests. I skated with C's even though I could have done better. Then much later in life when I decided to go back to school, I was determined to out shine all the "youngsters" in my class and pulled a perfect 4.0. I studied so hard that I just knew I would ace those tests. I'm a competitive little bitch. ;)

  32. jayne: That is great...I think peer pressure makes us more nervous than the actual test.


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