An inside look at the Nigerian examination hall has exposed a lot of funny and bizarre sorts of students existing in this noble country of ours. If you have ever been a student or is still a student in Nigeria, you’ll be in a better position to understand what I am talking about here. You must have as well come across some of them, but the fact is that there are more to see – the strangest and funniest fellows ever.
Never forget, examination, especially in Nigeria is no joke at all; it’s actually one of the most serious businesses. This may explain why we’ve got these sorts of humans in our exam halls. Make sure your ribs are strong enough to avoid cracking; Here are the kinds of people you’ll unfailingly meet in Nigerian Exam halls:
1. THE GIRAFFES
The giraffes are those people who go for neck elongation exercises before the exams commence. They automatically become wind vanes inside the hall because they possess the professional ability to turn their necks to the four cardinal directions – East, West, North and South. These type of people need not talk to you nor beg for answers. With the help of their keen eagle eyes, they hang on to whichever direction they could get the desired results – answers of course. And before you know it, they’re done.
2. THE PARASITES
These are the empty-headed dependents. They are bent on sucking out the whole answers from people who have suffered to study and never making any form of contribution. They are capable of sourcing answers from wherever possible and before you know it, their answer script is filled up. At the end of the day, they may end up scoring higher than the people who supplied the answers.
3. THE FIRST FINISHERS
The funny thing about these people is that most times, they are not the intelligent ones. Sometimes, you’d be wondering where they got the answers from. The main focus of such students is just to finish before everyone else, hoping they’ll be tagged brilliant when they do so. On some other occasions, they are people who came into the hall with already made answers which they just download as fast as possible without batting an eyelid. They rush out of the hall celebrating a false victory. Lol!
4. THE GENIUSES
I’ll love to call them the ‘well-loaded Gurus’. They are well prepared and before the examiner is done with distributing the question papers and answer scripts, they’ve gone halfway in answering the questions to the amazement of those sitting around them. They are the blazers whose pen would continue to move at an incredibly fast speed from the beginning to the end of the exam. They leave people’s jaws dropping when they demand extra sheets for an exam that may not cover half of the provided answer scripts of other students.
5. THE SELFISH/WICKED ONES (“Ndi Obi Akpo”)
These set of people will never be willing to give out a little of what is in their brain, they are always looking for ways to add to theirs. They are the ones that will not mind being called childish because they’ll prefer to fold their answer scripts ten times to make sure you never had a glimpse of what they are writing. Even if you are friends with such a person, the exam hall is counted out. If you dare disturb such people more than they could contain, they’ll just be dishing out wrong answers to you, so the best thing is to swallow the attitude and overlook them.
6. THE HYPOCRITES
These people are chameleons. They come into the hall as saints but change colours as the exam progresses. They are experts at exhibiting opposite behaviours within intervals to escape being caught in whatever atrocity they’re committing. These guys are never caught come what may because they look so innocent and are abreast with all sorts of cover-up techniques. In the beginning, they tend to turn prayer warriors, calling all the host of angels to come down and take control, only to start using ‘omokirikiri’ sooner than later.
7. THE SCAPEGOATS
These are poor fellows that will forever be caught for one malpractice or other. If they didn’t come into the hall with forbidden materials, they’ll exhibit an unwanted behaviour. They try to cheat whenever they can, but are always unsuccessful because they are terrible at it. On some occasions, they are sent out of the exam hall and that’s the end of the exam for them.
8. THE CONFUSED FELLOWS
I think this set of people are one of the most sympathetic in the exam hall. Their confusion starts immediately they get the question papers. I don’t know if you’ve noticed? They are those ones who’ll start with borrowing pen. He’ll turn in your direction and say: “Bros, abeg, u get extra pen?” After that, they’ll start flipping through their answer scripts as if they’re searching for something. Most of the time, these people studied before the exams but they just get everything muddled up from the word go. They attempt almost all the questions but never complete any. Even when the atmosphere is conducive enough, these guys cannot bring out their ‘expo’ (if they have any) nor get answers from any possible source. And whenever they remember what to write, they’ll turn to you to spell every word for them. They’ll continue to hop from question to question, answer to answer with a bewildered face like that of someone abandoned in the middle of a T-junction until the time is up!
9. THE ‘JUJU’ MASTERS
Don’t be surprised when I mentioned ‘juju’. Yes, you’ll also find this in our exam halls. They are the ones that come into the hall with mystical pens, handkerchiefs and all other forms of supernatural influences. The invigilator may notice their strange attitude but will never be able to pinpoint what they’re actually doing wrong. They succeed in getting answers supplied to them through one magical means or the other, to the astonishment of those sitting around who’ll never understand what transpired. The ‘juju’ masters, or rather call them ‘magicians’ can come into the hall with as many extraneous materials as they want but will never be caught. They jinx the invigilators with what we call, “the more you look, the less you see.”
10. THE DESPERATELY SMART DUDES
They come into the hall with their minds made up to succeed through any possible means. Anyhow, they’ll scale the exam successfully. These ones are so smart that they need not beg for the answers, they know how to use you before you even notice or take offence. They are fishes, eagles and serpents altogether. They could be aggressive if you are uncooperative and if care is not taken, you’ll get yourself implicated while they go scot-free.
11. THE FATHERS/MOTHERS OF FAITH
I call it dead faith – faith without work! You may not have come across these sort of people, but I bet you, “dem dey nyafu nyafu 4 naija exam hall”. Imagine a candidate submitting the answer booklet, the way it was provided by the examiner, with only their name written on it. They will not study hard so as to write well in the hall. Then, when it is obvious to them that they can’t attempt the questions, they’ll still refuse to make an effort to see if they could source answers. This they do on the basis of their religious faith. They fold their arms, and at the end submit a blank script, strongly believing that God will do a miracle for them. Pooh!
12. THE HOPEFUL PEN CHEWERS
Ha-ha-ha…the pen chewers are the same type of people that will be able to give you the detailed features of the exam hall, especially the ceiling. They are the never-do-wells who do not know and have no clue of how they could come up with something to write. They keep on racking their rust empty brains while they chew on their pens, hoping to churn something out until the time elapses. They only write down the questions, carefully leaving an estimated space for answers after each number. Looking at them, you’ll definitely get confused: the creases formed on their temple is telling that they are doing some serious brainstorming but unfortunately, nothing is forthcoming and at the end, their baseless hope fails them.
13. THE COLLABOS
This is the ‘G.W.O’ – Group Writers Organisation. The study* together, write together and submit together. The study has an asterisk because most of the time, what these set of student do is what I call ‘guided expo assembling’, that is why we could still take it to be studying because they do it with devotion, using all the available textbooks and the course outline. They assign duties to one another and once they come into the hall, they co-operate and do their thing.
14. THE PHOTOCOPIERS
Beware of the photocopiers. They are the most dangerous set of people you meet in the exam hall because their fingers and pens make up a sound photocopy machine. They have some other peripheral facilitators – keen eyes and long necks. Without your notice, they are capable of copying everything you’ve written, word for word. The intelligent ones among them are so efficient in the business that they’ll end up getting you implicated: the examiner would conclude you are the one that copied from them. But for the unintelligent ones, they’ll just expose their foolishness because they copy senselessly and without reservations – they write everything, including your name.
15. THE DARING IMPERSONATORS
Despite all the stringent measures that have been employed against impersonation in Nigerian schools, it has refused to go away. There are still students who feel they are bold enough to take the risks of writing exams on behalf of others. They come in with manipulated ID cards or none at all, and they are usually well equipped with already cooked lies with which to sail through in case of any form of interrogation. I remember those days in school, a girl submitted a script bearing a name that is indisputably for the masculine gender. She was caught there and then.
16. THE BUSYBODIES
Ohoh! Pray never to sit close to these guys in the hall because they are irritating nuisances. They are always looking for the slightest opportunity to cause noise and rowdiness in the hall so as to have their way. They are just enemies of serene examination atmosphere. Even when they do not have any selfish or ulterior motive, they are not just comfortable with peace and quiet.
They are also the ones that’ll report you once they see you do anything that’ll attract punishment, no matter how insignificant. They would rather take the pains of calling the invigilator’s attention than concentrating on their own work.
17. THE HYSTERICAL BEGGARS
I call them annoying hysterical beggars because they really are worse than the parasites. These ones will be begging for answers as though they are the most unfortunate person in that exam hall. If you’ve come across such, you’ll understand what I mean. They’ll be giving you unnecessary explanations of how much they studied, and not being able to recall anything, or how none of the areas they studied came out in the exam, or how they had a midnight fever which stopped them from studying, and so many other funny stories just to attract sympathy. Like the confused ones, they’ll beg you to spell a word as simple as ‘is’ for them. They could go to the extent of bursting into sobs, right there in the examination hall. All the drama is just in a bid to be supplied with answers, no more, no less.
18. THE NAGGERS/WHINERS
The nagging and whining lots are common people you meet in the exam hall. As the exam is on, you’ll be hearing subdued hisses, curses and complaints from their corners. Their whining usually borders on issues like the lecturer being so wicked, not setting questions from what he taught, setting too difficult or too many questions, or selling costly textbook which they couldn’t afford etc. They may be complaining about their pen not writing well, or how they’re surrounded by dullards or selfish people in the hall, how the stipulated time for the exam is too short, how the invigilators are too strict, how a strange odour is disturbing their nose and all whatnot.
19. THE ELEVENTH HOUR WRITERS
These ones will behave as if everything is all right and fine as desired. But wait till the examiner says, ‘ten minutes more’, then the hitherto calm expression on their faces will change to that of someone who lost a relative. They’ll start scrambling and scribbling with immediate alacrity. They’ll be writing as though they’ve not been in that hall all the while. They’ll continue to write ‘sotee the invigilator con tear the script from dem hand’.
20. THE HELPERS
Don’t think we’ve got only the bad eggs in our halls. The good ones are there too. They are the ones that are so considerate and willing to help to the best of their abilities. Once they have the opportunity, they will teach, spell, tell, show, illustrate, all in the exam hall. Some extremely sympathetic ones will write their own exam very fast in order to have time left to help others write theirs.