Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Lies People Tell During Exam

When exams time come, I noticed that not only do people get all panicky and stressed out, they get into an extreme lie telling mood too. Perhaps it's because of the stress accumulating or it's because everyone wants to do well in the exams. Here are among the 5 Greatest Lie That People Tell During Exams and What They Really Meant:


LIE: "Hey, good luck in your exams."
WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT:  "Hey, good luck failing your exams, because if you do better than me, I'm gonna look bad in comparison with you. And that would really hurt my self esteem and ego. Not only that, I hope everyone else in this examination hall fails too, except me, of course. But hey, since we're friends, I think I'm gonna be polite to you."

LIE: "I have not studied anything at all!"
WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT: "I have memorized every single page of the textbook front to back and back to front 20 times over. I have also done every single past year questions since the time when they first taught this subject. The only thing that I have yet to study is... wait... nothing actually."

LIE: "I am so going to fail this exam."
WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT:  "Even with both of my eyes closed and my hands tied to the back, I'm still gonna get an A+ for this exam just by writing with my mouth."

LIE: "I'm sorry to hear that you could not answer all the questions / do not know how to answer the questions in the exam"
WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT: "Am I glad that I was able to do that question. Fuh. Luckily for me, I don't have to worry about scoring badly for the exam like you right now. But since I'm in a good mood cause I won't be failing the exam, lemme just pretend that I am sympathetic.

LIE: "I couldn't finish the questions!"
WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT: "I have written 10 pages for each essay question and managed to rechecked another 10 times. The only thing that I couldn't finish was to draw a smiley for the person marking my paper."


Face it, whenever it comes to exams, like it or not, a part of us wants ourselves to do good and to score. And to do good in exams, one of the requirements is for your friends and the people to score much more badly than you. We are humans after all who enjoy a good downward social comparison with those that have done worse than us to boost our ego and self esteem. When was the last time that you felt good when your friend scored higher than you in a test anyway?

But of course, we live in a Asian society where it is not good to show off and everyone is encouraged to share the same burdens and to "fit in". Collectivistic culture ma. So if everyone says that the exam is hard, I would say so too. Because I don't want to stand out and to be labeled as a show off. Which is understandable. I would certainly want throw a shoe at anyone who boast that he can finish the exam in 15 minutes time when everyone else took 4 hours to.

However, when someone tries to hard to "fit in", it gets obvious. So much so that you feel that the person is indirectly showing off.

The best option? Just keep quiet. Or stick to the universal answer: Ok la.

Happy exams all NUS student (and there's no hidden meaning behind this, although the bell curve system may compel me to have one).

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