Miscellaneous Soft skills for Academics

Story Time: A tussle with exam anxiety

It’s Fifty-two(52) hours to PTE 423 (Petroleum Geology) examination, new articles are emanating from nowhere like a volcanic eruption. While making a mental note, I said, “If I can finish Seventy-five(75) percent of the coursework, I am set”. So I began to study but in a disorderly manner as the articles were also released in the same fashion.

Twelve(12) minutes to the paper, seventy(70) percent of the coursework was jumbled in my small brain housed by a big cranium. I was happy with that. The remaining twenty(20) percent could go to hell for all I cared. 

I got to the venue six(6) minutes late. As penance, I was asked to stand at the back of the hall for five(5) minutes. While standing, the gloom around the hall engulfed my subconscious. “It is definitely going to burst”, I deciphered. 

Finally, I was told to have a seat and exam questions were handed to me. I could feel my pulse rise as my left wrist pressed against the wooden desk. As I perused the questions, it came to the realization that my brain bore no response to them. It was a clean slate up there. “See rough play”, I thought to myself. My village people seemed to have caught up with me. 

Twenty(20) minutes into the examination, the situation remained almost the same. The only difference was that my right hand could no longer hold my black BIC pen without shaking. Then it hit me that I hadn’t prayed as I usually do before examinations. I took to prayers and a strategy was revealed to me. 

I could not recall what was read but I could remember where I read them. Then I began to visualize the vicinity. I remember the wind gently blowing across my face from the window beside me; the view of the grassland in front of the college of Law; and my black BIC pen writing something down. What was I writing?

Then, I recalled that I used the grassland to understand what stratigraphy is and immediately, both the definition and laws of stratigraphy flew back into my hippocampus along with the rest of the coursework I studied. I took a deep breath and began to answer the questions.

I finished the examination six(6) minutes before time and was able to secure a distinction. Shame be unto my village people and glory to God!

 The END!!

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7 Comments

  1. David Ogola says:

    True story, there is power in the light

  2. Obobs, this one burst my brain 😂

    But it’s all true tho it happens a lot to Nigerian students always wanting to cover everything in a forth night to exams, and just a little distractions all goes dashing out like a flowing eruption

    More writing impression Barz.

    1. A very acute observation you made Kachi. Most often does not end well: Speed reading a night before tests.

  3. We can never let our village people succeed o, at all.

  4. Chimenem Amadi says:

    Very relatable article and one we all must have experienced. Great that it ended in victory!

  5. I hated that course for a while then finally grabbed what the course was about 2hrs before the exam

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