Don’t Panic

Don’t Panic by Denny Tan


By far the most popular topic for gossip is actually NOT a person, but, in fact, tests in general. How could anything so evil in the eyes of tormented children be worshipped among enigmatic teachers? I’ve already studied for nine hours; no one could possibly beat my record. Our teacher clearly stated that this test is worth 60% of our final grade, and has been raving about it ever since he mentioned it.

There are five categories of knowledge measurement that are not only known to children but also branded onto their poor minds. The Pop Quiz, the Quiz, the Quest, the Test, and the Exam.

The latest one I experienced was off the scale, terrifying as it was big.

The countdown was real, and so were its subsequent effects. On test day, the panic upgraded from a supersonic jet to a hypersonic rocket, skyrocketing into the air. Rumour had it that leg trembling triggered a magnitude 1.2 earthquake on the Richter scale, even more so than butterflies during migration. The teachers, however, seemed to be as calm and tyrannic as ever.

As the test began, the usual screams and shrieks of agony ground to a halt as the students realized the teachers made an error. The test was worth only 6% of the final grade. Outraged children grew by the tens. “Is this actually what we’ve been studying so hard for?” “Are you kidding me?!”

“Don’t worry!” The teacher called out, “I’ll replace your test percentage.”

Let me tell you: every one of us felt regret that day. The fear wasn’t over, though. “Remember, the final exam that will be worth 50% of your grade shall be on next Monday.”

We had a half day next Friday. The slim amount of hope that some of us might actually survive did almost no good. This bit of light somehow made the night seem even darker.

Every one of us are asteroids determined to survive tests and break through the atmosphere to rewrite our future, to hope for…er…at least a B+? Each one of us felt like a majestic hero, carrying a sharp pencil and entering the classroom.

Now, all the classmates I have asked have told me that they have not gotten above 80% due to nerve wracking consequences and threatening teachers. Most of them even consumed a can of soda a day to stay awake. Studying for the final exam begun a minute after the last test.

So here we are, back at square one, studying and facing the biggest threat we have ever seen: the final exa… wait, that’s not true. We are nervous, but not panicking.

The biggest threat is waiting for the marks to come out.