The HSCs no longer qualify as a feasible form of assessment. Why, you ask?
Everyone gets to see the questions before the exams. BIG SURPRISE.
On the night before an exam, it’s easier to get a question than it is to get orange juice from the fridge. I mean, you have to walk to the kitchen, open the door of the refrigerator, look for the juice carton, then take it out of the fridge, pour juice into a glass, then you have to drink it and finally, you have put the carton back. How exhausting.
To get the questions, all you got to do is have a phone. If you have a cell phone, then you’ll get it by SMS. If it’s a smart phone then you’re the king of the world. Only have a landline? No problem, just one extra step, you have to write it all down while your friend dictates.
The most interesting part of this whole thing is how people react after getting Le Questions.
1. The Saint
These kids are beyond being a nerd. In fact they’re just a little short of becoming a fereshta. They don’t want the question at all, and they say they don’t need it either. If you try to get it to them, do it at your own risk. You might get killed.
“Dosto, question bair hoise, nibi na? Kothin ase kintu.”
“Question dekhe exam deyar cheye ami more jabo. Tui amare dibi question? Taile tore age marbo. Ei chilo amar kopale?! Ei desh e ami kan jonmaisi? Amar eto porisrom er ki kono mullyo nai?”
“Baba, omuk bhabi phone disilo, question to out hoise, tui o paisish?”
“TUMI MAA HOYE EI KOTHA BOLTE PARLA? TOMAR CHELE AMI? CHHI CHHI!”
The Saints are also one of the most opinionated people on Facebook. They are SO concerned about our education system and the future of this country and its youth that I feel sad that so much talent is wasting away on a mere social networking site when they would be perfect as midnight talk show guests.
2. The Opportunist
They know how to make good use of a messed-up situation. This is a cunning bunch. They solve The Question, and only The Question before the exam, and they will go as far as getting help from private tutors for it.
This is somewhat clever you know. Instead of losing their minds trying to learn the whole syllabus thoroughly, the Opportunists prefer to stay relaxed and get enough sleep on the night before the exam, since all they do is learn answers to like, 4 questions.
They are the arch-rivals of the Saints. Most Facebook wars take place between these two sides.
Opportunist: Board bole action nichhe? Ar question out hobe na? Amar shukh ki karo shojjho hoy na?
Saint: Khubi bhalo hoise. Tomader moto kharap student der karone amader suffer korte hochhilo.
Opportunist: SHALA TORE AMI DEKHAY DIMU.
Saint: TUI AMARE KI DEKHABI TUI F=ma EITAO PAROSH NA.
3. The Middle
This one’s a tricky category. They’re not or unethical like the Opportunists or self-proclaimed geniuses like the Saints. They are worried that some kids who were always dumb, are going to outdo them in the exam just because the question was revealed. And that’s why they look at The Question, even though they hate to do so. Basically they’re a combination of our previous species. They study hard AND solve the question. They stay quiet on Facebook because if they say anything for or against the ‘question bair howa’ topic, they’ll be labeled hypocrites either way. Their parents are concerned but they’ve accepted the situation. The Middle are an uninteresting bunch, but they seem more human to me.
4. The Overenthusiastic Amma
These mothers are adamant on turning their child into an Opportunist.
“Omuk bhabi-r nonod er pasher bashar bhabi-r bhaigna question peye gese, tui ekhono paish nai keno? HAI ALLAH EKHONO BOI PORTESISH, DUPUR EKTA BAJE TUI QUESTION SOLVE KORBI KOKHON?”
“Ammu MCQ er jonno o to formula—“
“FORMULA DIYA KI KORBI TUI ASHEPASHER MANUSH ER TA DEIKHA DAGABI. Ekkhn jaa sir er bashay jaya ei question solve kore ay. Kono kisu jate bhul na hoy.”
If you don’t believe that these parents exist, you’re wrong. You’re SO wrong.
5. The Strict Parent
These parents make sure that their kid won’t be able to get his hands on a question even if they have to tie him up. They want their children to be Saints.
A praiseworthy yet pointless effort, because when the kid is dropped off at the exam center, he finds out everything from his friends.
And that, is how the HSCs work in this day and age.
Just one thing though, you’re not learning weird scientific names and solving a million mathematical problems only to pass the Higher Secondary level, you’ve still got admission tests. Whatever category you belong to now won’t matter when you do or don’t get into a good university. So wait a few months before you and your parents say or do things that can’t be unsaid or undone.