Boards Over? Not Quite

March 28, 2018, was a day we feared and waited for at the same time. We feared it because it was the board exam. Maths. And waited for it, because it was the very last one. We had so much we wanted to do after the boards.

I’d never really scored well in Maths. But this time, I gave it everything I had. Those proofs from Triangles were a nightmare. I hated Statistics with its complicated rules and regulations and formulas. And no matter how much I practised proving those identities in Trigonometry, they always got the better of me. Suffice it to say, I couldn’t wait to say goodbye to mathematics and never look back. I found literature and poetry much more interesting than long formulae and derivations. I’ve noticed that I can memorise a poem if I just read it twice or thrice and find it interesting enough. But give me a page-long derivation or proof and I won’t get it even if I read it ten times. But this time, I was determined that come what may, I was going to score on the Maths exams. I was actually excited about the 28th.

The exam was so easy. I was happy, and so were most of the faces around me. Finally, the boards were over. We had plans, big plans. But how were we to know how short-lived our joy was going to be?

I was at home, all relaxed and happy, and thinking of the next big milestone, the entrance exam for eleventh grade. Then I got a call from a friend. What I heard made my world come crashing down.

How could this happen? It didn’t seem real. Everything, from the exam to meeting my friends after it, seemed like it had never happened. I have to go through it all over again. The books I had planned to read – I was going to read Urdu novels, specifically Premchand’s. The movies and TV series I’d been waiting to watch for ages. All my hard work, my expectations for today, and plans for later, were reduced to nothing. Everything went down the drain just because of that one notice.

Some people make a mistake, and thousands of innocent students pay the price. To make things worse, even the date for the re-exam isn’t confirmed yet. It’s like the boards are over, but not quite. There’ll be this fear looming at the back of our minds, even when we’re trying to enjoy a certain moment, ready to remind us not to be too happy, we still have an exam to give. And who knows what questions they’ll give us this time. Many of us were happy about the fact that we wouldn’t have to look at another Maths textbook in the face again. To say that the turn of events was unfortunate is an understatement.

We’re being punished for something we didn’t even do. It was the first time I’d really done well in the subject, and I was happy with it. All of this is being taken away from us like it doesn’t matter at all. Is this what our education system has become?

Tanya Kainaat appeared in the Class X CBSE board exam.