Stories about exams

‘Go set yourself on fire’: Abdul Basit is but one of many students under crippling pressure

His name was Abdul Basit and he just wanted to pass his exams. A student of Hamdard University (HU), Basit had been struggling for years according to the principal, Dr Furqan. As his mother tells it, he arrived late for his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) exams, because his vehicle had broken down – a frustrating situation any one of us can identify with. When he finally arrived, the exam, scheduled for 11 am to 1 pm had already ended. Here, Basit begged every official to allow him to take his test, as it was his final year. Dr Furqan told him ...

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10 reactions students have before the CIE results, explained through Disney

It is that time of the year again, when the world is about to come crashing down and you would rather go into hibernation than face the inevitable. No, I am not talking about the apocalypse. I am focusing on something much worse – the CIE results. This year, the fated day befalls on August 11th, and for all O’ and A’ level students who appeared for the May/June 2015 exams, the countdown has already begun. Since I have gone through the same countdown during my time, I can empathise with a lot of students who will face the kraken tomorrow. And in order ...

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Aao Parhao – My experience in a Pakistani school

I have been privileged to attend some of the best schools across the globe. My primary schooling was initiated at an American international school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After eight years at this school, I then moved to Pakistan with my family where I attended an all-girls school in Islamabad, Pakistan.  This was a prestigious establishment and I attended at the same time as Bakhtawar Bhutto, even though she was always flanked with guards and extra security. However, making the transition from an American school to a Pakistani one wasn’t easy. All of a sudden, I had to deal with a ...

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Help your child deal with the trauma of #PeshawarSchoolAttack

What started as a usual day for many school-going children – with the routine hustle bustle of school life, class work, worries about upcoming exams, excitement about the winter holidays and carefree play and discussion with friends – sadly turned into a series of incomprehensible and barbaric acts of terrorism with chaos, injury and death all around. When we, as adults, are still grappling with how and why someone would take young and innocent lives, the shock, insecurity and trauma the children will be experiencing may be manifold. The acts of terrorism are random, beyond comprehension, a deliberate attempt to harm and leave both ...

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Aao Parhao – Jo Seekha Hai Wo Sekhao

As part of a remembrance to Robin Williams, I arranged a showing of Good Will Hunting and invited some school friends over. After the movie ended, one of them remarked on the critical role the protagonist’s teacher, Prof Gerald Lambeau (played by Stellan Skarsgård), a Fields Medal winner, and mentor  Sean Maguire (played by Robin Williams) had in his development. “We didn’t have anyone as dedicated as them. Not even close.” I had to disagree and thought back to an incident back in March 1991. The phone rang and my mother picked it up. “Hello, is this the home of Sibtain Naqvi?” a lady asked. My mother ...

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Entry tests and inept professionals: Another nail in our education coffin

A few days back, I came across the news that the government is considering to end the entry test system (ECAT & MCAT) for admissions in universities. The news left me utterly dismayed. The policy to hold these tests was implemented a few years back, to check the competency level of students coming from different educational boards. It was a good way to test individuals on similar parameters to understand their aptitude for a particular field of study and was a much-needed step. In Punjab, there are many educational boards – almost every city has its own – and alongside ...

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It’s okay to be a failure

Two years ago I had a breakthrough in life; I failed my finals. It was my first experience of failing in a major way; and my teachers and peers were not helpful. They would judge me and taunt me, and at times, pity me as well. But I was never the loser, ever. How did I, being an exemplary student all my life, fail the exams and become the lowest of the low? Nobody had even taught me how to handle a situation like this. I was left broken, and since I did not know what to do, it disturbed further two ...

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Let the Aitchison legacy prevail!

Aitchison College has boasted its majestic red brick buildings and traditions for over 125 years now. As we all know, generation after generations have followed the footsteps of their fathers and matriculated from the college. Recently, the new rule approved by the Board of Governors (BoG) of Aitchison College states that kinship has been abolished, so that merit may be ensured during the admission process. In my opinion, abolishing kinship is completely absurd. I, as an old boy (a term we use for ourselves after passing out from the college) think that the college builds pedigrees. Aitchison is not just an academic ...

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6 reasons you should live in a hostel at least once in your life!

Can’t find clean clothes? Forced to wear two different socks? Your bed hasn’t been made in a month and your room looks like a laundromat? There are orange peels all over your study table with the seeds scattered everywhere in the room. There’s no one to scold you about how untidy your room is and you live a happy-go-lucky life with no worries about the next day, hour or moment. When all these things happen to you simultaneously, you know you live in a hostel. I mean, honestly speaking, what else can you expect from a bunch of young adults living together in ...

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Plans never work out… especially when you get cancer

My life was going according to plan; everything was going well. I had passed my first year of pre-medical with marks good enough to get me into a medical college and now my second year was almost over. My father is a doctor as well and I have always looked up to him. He has always been my idol. The doctor genes run in the family; my sister is also on her way to becoming a doctor from King Edward Medical University (KEMU), one of the most prestigious medical colleges in Pakistan. Because of the gene pool, I aspired to be a doctor as ...

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