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It’s that part of the session when the air is filled with tension.

When students toil day and night to make mama proud.

When midnight oils and candles are bought ready to be burnt.

When lecturers flex their red pens and oppress the helpless.

It’s the most dreaded part of students’ academic lives.

Who said it would be easy when many don’t make it out alive. 


The funny thing about examinations is the preparations.

No one cares when it’s in the distance, far ahead.

Except the paranoia when the exams are at the corner.

Guy na two weeks to exam o. You don read?” asked another

Guy I never open book like this o.” replied the other.

Comrades at the mercy of ink spilled on paper by the lecturer.


The various shades of preparations begin.

The T.D.Bs burning their already purchased midnight oils.

The regurgitaters, cramming volumes of information to pour.

The summarizers, deconstructing the lecturer’s handouts.

The photocopiers scanning summary notes of a brother.

Then the suicide bombers armed with bombs made of paper.


The smart ones organize day and night classes.

Attempting and answering question from the less enlightened

Unintentionally oppressing the children of the poor.

They solve the questions of their predecessors with hope

To seek the wisdom of the ancestors who have gone before 

And discover questions repeated by lazy lecturers afore.


Examinations can be both humbling and humiliating.

When the big boys struggle to sit beside the enlightened.

“Please I’ll stay beside you,” says the polite ones.

See if you do anyhow I go show you,” says the arrogant ones

In the end, the display of humility from the proud

Leaves one wondering if pride was just a veil they enshroud.


Examinations are humiliating when the forgetfulness comes

When the regurgitaters forget a line and everything falls.

When students gape at the ceiling with blank answer sheets.

And others begin to chew pen and drink ink.

When summarizers become artists and artisans

Creating utopic sculptures and painting imaginary canvas.  


With examiners patrolling like unpaid police officers.

Timekeepers of the most gruesome hours of our lives.

“Pens up, submit your papers.” The examiner’s finest lines.

Students depart with expressions etched on faces.

The smart ones are summoned for analysis of the questions

The woes of those whose answers did not correspond.


Why do we have to write examinations to begin with?

Is it the trust issues even after asking us if we understood?

During classes when students already affirm that they do.

Or because lecturers wish to feel important than we do?

They say examinations are not the true test of knowledge,

Why do we depend on it then, to know the best from the rest?

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What do you think?

  1. Henry, you did a great job here and am proud of you. I like your style of writing. You also translated your message successfully. But my correction would be private to you

  2. You have always been a good writer.

    Am amazed with your write-ups.

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