Remembering exam days…

remembering the days of the exams,

now I laugh at the absurd pleas

to gain another minute, to print

some more illegible words,

on the rough parchment, smeared with ink:


(the stage is set, the play must begin)


I remember, I was a pupil of grade/class 8th,

sitting for a mathematics exam,

having forgotten my wrist watch at home,

wondering, whether I will be able

to solve all those problematic problems,

in a span of those three final hours,

I hurried, through every single question,

untying the quadratic equations,

solving HCF, through long-division,

calculating the profit from the loss,

and the hungry bank’s interest rates,

finishing the exam, in what I thought

was due time, and waiting for the bell to chime,

but it didn’t, I waited, but it didn’t,

morbidly asking the invigilator-

“How much time is left, Madam?”

she looked at me queerly, and uttered,

“Why! You have another hour and five minutes.”


(shed the curtain on the stage of memory

and jump to an act in a near future)


it was the 11th year of school,

the time of the final exams,

the subject titled: Business Studies,

name itself had an ominous sound to it,

theoretical to its core (which is very deep),

allotted hours were 3 and the questions 30,

I started with the surreal six marks questions- 5,

wrote, wrote, wrote… an hour gone, gone, gone,

then the turn of fervent five marks ones- 5,

spending yet another hour on these hefty ones,

what was left was just a simpleton hour,


frugal four marks ones- 5,

tedious three mark questions- 5,

and the ten obnoxious one mark ones,

began to inscribe letters and words,

die-hard attempt, to complete all the answers,

till the time the invigilator came,

to snatch away the exam copy,

my wrist still in motion spilling ink,

on the log of wood before me,


(leaving stage in between, I disappear)


remembering the days of the exams,

now I laugh at the absurd pleas

to gain another minute, to print

some more illegible words,

on the rough parchment, smeared with ink,

I think, and keep on thinking,

of those question papers, I never solved,

those answer sheets, that remained unfilled,

which could well have been the key,

to a future I will never know


* This poem is written in consideration of dVerse Poetics.

12 thoughts on “Remembering exam days…

  1. You make us feel the pressure of those exams very efficiently. I was right back in the exam room!
    “which could well have been the key,/ to a future I will never know” – great line HA!


  2. see this is the thing my nightmares are made of….i still have a bad dream of showing up to an exam having never been to the class before….oy…i do miss uni for somethings, exams def not being one of them…smiles.


  3. HA, I really enjoyed your reflections. In the first segment, how hard it must have been to take an exam without a watch. (And amazing you finished so quickly.) And the last segment was poignant, I think…thinking about the questions you never solved being the key to the future you never knew. I am sure glad not to have any more exams to look forward to in my life.


  4. oh i hate those exams… the tight time frame – the pressure – the writing, writing, writing and not sure if there’s enough time..ugh…surely nighmare stuff…smiles


  5. ramblingsfromamum says:

    how your words brought back the tension of exams, the sweaty palms the hearing of a pin drop, the anxiety. Held the key…possibly, but your future is now so do not linger on the unsolved questions too much 🙂


  6. Exams can be hell really… and those questions you never answered… and the stress… what about it I did better etc… I recall doing tests for company management a few years ago…. and there the time alotted was purposefully set short so NOONE had the time to complete all questions… Terrible… and everytime it was writing I hated it, but if it was only numbers I usually did OK…


  7. Ah… the pressure! The last lines are perfect… It is interesting to wonder how you would do if you had to take those tests today? Does our older brain work differently with our life experiences, do we retain all the reams of information we have learned … 🙂


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