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Thursday, 5 November 2009


They do evolve when we grow up, don't they?

Exams, I mean.

In primary school, exams were really amusing. Being educated in a Chinese school, for many papers, the teacher would stand in front of the classroom, read a question aloud, and wait for about half a minute for the class to choose their answers before repeating the procedure for the next question.

So it's like this.

"Good or bad -- throwing sticks at wild dogs."

And a 30-second-pause while the students contemplate the answers.

And then there's fill in the blanks. We only had to fill in one letter to words that time. And as if that wasn't easy enough, pictures were provided for every single word.

Like this.


Then there's the MCQs which lasted for so long. All we had to do was to pick A, B, C, D, and occasionally, E.

"Hey, I spelled BAD-DAD for my answers!"

Things are surely different today. The questions are usually incredibly short. "Explain the Pauli Exclusion Principle", and we are expected to answer the questions in several paragraphs, filled with charts, diagrams, equations, tables, graphs and quotes etc.

By the way, Randall Munroe gave a very short answer to that very same question, described in

We now sit in the exam halls for hours at a time, compared to the comical 30 minutes just some 10 years ago. It was the exams that made me discover that one can actually be tired of sitting.

Some exams even require hands-on. So you know your friends failed if they came out of the labs with smoking hair and burnt coat.

Looking back to the "good ol' days", things are surely a zillion times harder now. But that's OK, because it means we're approaching the end of our education soon.

All we have to do is just to try our best for the last few times, and it will be over forever.

And one day, there will be a chance for us to sneer at college or university students.

All the best to SPM, STPM, O-Levels and A-Levels students out there. A special good luck to my sister ;-)


  1. i miss the good ole days of A, B, C and D too .... things sure are getting steeper uphill ...

  2. haha. yeah. colouring the rectangle boxes and all haha.

    but hey, someone's graduating in a semester's time =D

  3. aww thanks. 2 more days!

  4. minli:

    actually i didn't know when exactly your exams are starting. i was only sure that the few weeks leading to early december will be hell to A levels student haha.

    add oil!!!


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