(General Experience:) The night before an examination brings a peculiar type of suspense both to the students and their parents. The students are busy with the finishing touches to their preparations. Parents are also very anxious about their wards. Different students feel differently on the night before their examination. A student who has read all the year sincerely feels rather confident about the examination. He quickly revises the topics he has done before and goes to bed early to relax his brain.
The night before an examination is rather a night of dismay to the students who have not been serious about their studies and have wasted their time through idle gossips or enjoying films and games throughout the year. They burn the midnight oil to go through all the books in one night. Sometimes they hear the rumour that the questions have been out and this or that question has been set. So they are busy with cramming the answers to those questions. Somehow they are puzzled and they cannot concentrate on the reading materials. They feel that their memory has suddenly become a fume as Shakespeare depicted in ‘Macbeth’—”That memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume.” They become restless and nervous. Their tongue becomes dry and they cry for water now and then. Their unfortunate mothers bring them glasses of water anxiously.
There are some others who are reckless about the examination. They do not read books or notes even on the night before the examination as they do not like to store answers in their memory. They are bent on adopting unfair means in the examination hall and so they tear from their books the pages containing answers to the probable questions. When they fail to find out the probable questions in the question paper or they are caught redhanded, they tear their hair or curse their fate or fall at the feet of the invigilator or sometimes they become rude and arrogant to threaten the invigilator. Such students pass the night before an examination very carelessly, as if, this night has no difference with the others.
(Your own experience:) The night before an examination is a night that one can never forget. It is a memorable night for all students. The night brings typical suspense to them. I do not know how Napoleon felt on that fateful night before the battle of Waterloo.
The examination to me was a significant thing—an object of fear, uncertainty and terror. On the night before my examination, I poured over my books. It was already midnight—scarcely ten hours left between me and the moment of reckoning in the examination hall. I felt queer as it was the night of intense suspense to me. I was constantly thinking of the appointed hour of 10 a.m. of the following day. Nervousness crept on me. I could not find any possibility of even taking a bird’s eye view over all the books and notes. Sleep was persistently interrupting me in my efforts of keeping myself awake. My head was drooping on the books, again and again, Mother advised me to go to bed and to get up at the peep of dawn. I went to bed with the hope that I would get up early in the morning. Very soon I took my shelter in the lap of slumber. After a while, a queer dream followed. I dreamt that most of the questions set in the question paper are familiar to me and I am writing the answers on the answer-scripts in a relaxed mood.
Fear, nervousness and even uncertainty are purely psychological matters. Very often they are based on imagination rather than (on) something solid. On the following day, I could realize that to me the examination was quite a solid and real affair, but the terror was not so real.