Testing time for students

SHARJAH - For some of the hundreds of students in the UAE, the nail-biting, nerve-wracking days of putting in hours of study to tackle their exams are over. They can now look forward to a long summer holiday.

By Special Report By Asma Ali Zain

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Published: Wed 26 May 2004, 9:42 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:31 AM

But for hundreds more, the build-up to the final exams are just beginning. The portions are vast, the time is short, the stress is high, the competition to excel is stiff and the peer pressure is strong.

The burning of the midnight oil will continue till early June before they can kiss exams good-bye - till the next academic year comes around. That's the never-ending cycle of student life and most learn to ride it and few learn to master it.

Then there are some who are contemplating on their future course. They have bid schools good-bye and now look forward to their under grade years.

Come final examination time, and the cooker-pressure builds up. Students find it hard to relax as they sit down to revising what they have been taught. The method of teaching varies from teacher to teacher and sometimes, students are left to figure out things for themselves. The number of students in a class too varies and parents often wonder if the teacher can give the kind of attention some slow students deserve with such a big class to handle.

There is the question of tuitions. Weak students are often forced to take on extra classes and these are often taught by the teacher who teaches them the subject in school and yet cannot get them to come up to standards. It defies all logic, but parents and their wards have little choice but to oblige and pay through their noses to ensure their sons or daughters are not kept back.

In our first special report on schools, Khaleej Times talks to students about what examinations mean to them.

"Even seconds are precious before an examination," says a tense Nada Asif. Moving to and fro with a book in hand to cram up all they can a little before the practical examination starts, the girl students of Pakistan Islamia High School, Sharjah, are preparing for their physics practical.

"With the written examinations already over, the girls seem a bit relaxed. "This is the last leg of our examinations, so you can find us in a joyful mood," they say in chorus, the glee writ large on their faces.

Did the written exam go well? Were all questions based on the syllabus?

Yes ... no, they cry in unison, laughing while pointing fingers at each other. There were certain questions in the physics paper that were not in our course, they say, appearing serious. "Remember, even the History paper didn't quite have the proper questions," they remind each other.

"Well, thank God, the written part of the examinations are over, and we hope to get over these practicals soon," says Sajida Maqbool, a student of Intermediate, Part I.

"The month-long examination period is the worst part of a student's life," she says. For excited Tasneem Sarwar, the prospect of travelling back home to Pakistan will provide welcome relief from the stressful month.

Talking about their holiday plans, most of the students said they would read, spend their time leisurely and travel home to unwind taking one lazy day at a time.

But not everyone is in the same boat. For Ayesha, it's back to the books. "I will have to prepare for the re-test," cries Ayesha. "I know I can't make it through these papers," she sobs.

Not so for Sajida. The exams are behind her and the books have been neatly tucked away from eyesight and the bed beckons. "I will sleep a lot," says Sajida.

For some students, including Mariam Tariq and Mehwish Arshad, the chemistry practicals seem to be the easier part of the exams. "The tough part is over. But till the result is out, we really cannot relax," they say. "Wish us luck!" they say before turning back to their voluminous thick books

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