Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared. It is because the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.

The fear of examinations saps the examinees’ courage. The bright as well as the weak examinees generally tremble with the unexpected fear on the night before the examination. The night before the examination is a test of the examinees’ fortitude and endurance. They prepare the selected questions holding their breath. The brilliant ones are apprehensive of possible poor performance which will ruin their academic career. The best prepared are frightened to imagine in the forthcoming question paper a few questions they will not be able to answer to their satisfaction. They want to prepare all questions and leave nothing to chance. What will happen if they leave out some questions and those very questions prop up their heads in the question paper? Even the mighty students become weak when they think of the possible tragedy that may befall them.

Uncertainty of the result upsets brilliant student and the idea of failure makes nervous the poor ones. The average students are the luckiest among all. They are neither ambitious nor nervous. The take examinations as a matter of fun. They neither weeps if they neither get a third division nor cry if get plucked. I know quite a few students who are proud of studying in the same class for four to five years. The average dunces eat, drink and remain merry. They don’t bum midnight oil like the bright ones, and don’t face the failure like the poor ones. They are border line cases. They pass if they get mugged up questions. They fail if the questions are differently set. They neither curse their stars nor the examiners.

I know a teacher of my acquaintance who is teaching in a campus college. He tells me that he has been topping every school and university examination, but on the night before every examination he has been in the habit of forgetting everything. He used to weep and get dazed. As he entered the examination centre, his heart began to sink. As he received the question paper, his plans began to sweat. He was unable to write a single line for about fifteen minutes.

Examinations fill us with fear because our future is linked up with them. Our complete involvement or complete indifference makes us shiver. The carefree one hardly remembers examination date-sheet. For a brilliant student the examination is ‘Now or never’. For a poor one it is ‘Neither here nor anywhere’. The indifferent student looks upon each annual and supplementary examination as a festival which he gladly enjoys. I remember the parent of one such student. He tells his often failing child. “Doesn’t worry, examination come after every six months unlike Kumbh Festival”.