11 things we all secretly hate during exams
Ok, ok, so maybe some of these aren't so secret. But they're most definitely hated.
1. Your friends stressing
Regardless of how much you love them and no matter what you’ve been through, when friends are flitting about like trapped moths moaning about exams, it’s infuriating. We get it - exams suck. Their stressing isn’t going to help their marks and the constant moaning certainly isn’t going to help yours either. A little panic is fine, a meltdown is just sodding annoying. Not to be cold about it, or anything...
2. The overnight genius
These people are mind wizards.
They take you on an emotional rollercoaster and frankly, it's unfair. A day or two before the exam, they are magnificent confidence boosters: a quick chat with them reassures you that you’re far from the least prepared and hey, maybe you know a little more than you realised. But you’re destined to bump into each other just before wandering into the exam hall, when they'll casually toss out a question you have no idea the answer to, before answering themselves with frightening levels of detail. Where did this come from? How did they learn so much, so quickly? WHAT TRICKERY IS THIS?
3. Seeing everyone in exam mode
It’s a moment of panic: you arrive at the exam hall and spot a few faces you’ve never seen before. Crap - are you even at the right place? Did you really not see these people in lectures? Are you really that unobservant?
…and then it makes sense: no make-up. The foundation forgotten for a morning, the bronzer dulled, the fake eyelashes unboxed. It’s unsettling. The worst part? You’ll never be able to match these pale, stressed faces to those who in term time are decorated with lashings of mascara - so you spend most of the exam trying to work out who they are when they’re in ‘glam’ mode. It's like trying to see who's Superman in a sea of Clarke Kents. Secretly, though, you're impressed that their head is so in the game that they've forgone their usual routine. It's what we're here for, after all.
But...don't even mention the unshaven, sweaty chaps who've had an all nighter... but no shower. It's not so bad until you realise the patterns on their t-shirt aren't really patterns at all, just old food and God knows what else.
4. Or those who are immaculate
YOU DID NOT JUST WAKE UP LIKE THAT. YOU ARE A LIAR, SIR/MADAM.
Most of us turn up to an exam faintly unwashed in just about the only clean clothes we have. Yet, no matter the time, there will always be one group who turn up looking immaculate and clearly dressed for somewhere else – as though the exam is a mild inconvenience, getting in the way of their plans later. Which would be fine, except normal human people are usually almost too tired to put on underwear on an exam morning - but somehow these superbots manage to iron their shirt and polish their shoes. Worse still, the exam clearly isn't the biggest deal of their day - where did the rest of us go wrong?!
5. The sound-effects from your stomach
Traditionally, it is the mouth which does the talking. But in the silence of the exam hall, suddenly your stomach begins to grown, howl and attempt conversation with your other limbs. It gurgles, does a Scooby doo impression and squeaks like a rusty door. You sit there, struggling to hear your own thoughts, praying no-one else can hear, know that of course they can. Thanks, body, you straight-up traitor.
6. All and every piece of jewellery
I swear to God, if I have to sit through another exam with someone jangling next to me…
7. Feeling guilt tripped by invigilators
You sit in your chair, a nervous wreck in old clothes with a noisy stomach. Suddenly you sense the invigilator gliding your way. You tense, blushing. They stop.
Perhaps they are checking the time, maybe they’re just catching their breath – but despite everything, you’re sure they’re about to haul you out and find non-existent evidence of your cheating. You’ve never felt so guilty in your life. Dammit cheeky, why must you blush so?!
8. The Mexican waves of coughs
Laughing is contagious. Malaria is contagious. Clearing ones throat? Not contagious. But practically the instant after the first person draws breath for a polite cough, it spreads out across the room, like really germy, loud ripples in a pond. And, of course, these cough breaks take place in the instant you’re just about to remember the killer info for your essay.
9. That person asking for extra paper
How is this possible? Why do they need more? What have I missed? Is there a question requiring origami? Do they have something against trees? So many questions, so few answers, and Goddamn it, you smug bastards, stop showing the rest of us up.
10. The twitcher
They tap, their knees shake like a bad Elvis impersonator and rock on their chair like it’s a rodeo. These are the people who cannot write unless the rest of their body is in constant motion, and they must be stopped.
11. The overtime bandits
These people are stealing – STEALING – extra time. Orders were been barked to put down pens, papers are being collected, people are massaging their cramped wrists back to life. And yet, and yet (!), these overtime bandits are still penning their final sentences, writing so rapidly the paper has scorch marks. You stare at them in rage, but they continue regardless, seemingly determined to run their pen out of ink. Christ it's annoying.