The absolute worst scenarios to find yourself in during an exam

We’ve all been there

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Exams can be pretty intense, especially if you’re herded like cattle into the creepy cathedral, or packed into a lecture theatre with dangerously little elbow room.

The already stressful situation can often be made not just annoying, but unbearable, by petty yet very aggravating external factors which become the stuff of nightmares.

The dreaded wobbly table

Be careful it doesn’t slide away either

Everyone’s worst nightmare. You’ve really drawn the short straw if you end up with a peg leg of a table. It is simply impossible to succeed in an exam if your table won’t even balance properly.

Solutions include finding a suitably-sized object to stick under the stump, or rocking your table violently until the invigilator takes the hint.

A squeaky chair

Keep quiet you

Like nails on a chalk board, in an exam environment this pet hate will steal the focus away from the question on the paper, and have many someone ready to give you the beat-down of all beat-downs.

You clench your bumcheeks to try and limit your movement, but it just doesn’t work. Oh, the shame.

A sniffler

Sniffle again and see what happens

Like clockwork every 20 seconds they will sniffle, and with every disgusting snort, a part of your soul dies inside. Completely legit excuse to blame your 2:2 mark on. Olbas Oil should be dished out prior to the exam. Period.

A cougher

Hand over mouth remember

Most students are nursing some sort of cough most of the time due to the their off-campus habits. On the 699 it’s not really an issue. In an exam, however, it’s one hell of an issue.

It’s contagious and suddenly everyone is coughing. You’re cornered in by all sides of the room, clearing their lungs of tar. God help you if you get sandwiched between a cougher and a sniffler, working together to create an atonal tune of the common cold.

A loud invigilator

Please just shut up

It’s rare but a killer when you have an invigilator who clearly did not read the job description, and is just there for the dollar. It’s a real life exam, not a common room.

They’ll turn up wearing the heaviest shoes so their stroll around the room can be heard across the Western world. Just to make sure you’re definitely annoyed, they’ll bring everyone close to cardiac arrests with the “YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES REMAINING” warning as the exam concludes.

A fire alarm

‘What did you get for the second question?’

A fire alarm is a total joke during an exam. Virtually impossible to refocus once you’ve been stood outside for 20 minutes, only to discover it was a false alarm. It is a prime opportunity to discuss the paper and share answers, though.

A phone going off

Turn it off

Come on guys, play the game. We’ve all sat through enough GCSE and A Levels to know the crack with phones. Just turn it off before you enter the exam, and you’ll not be sitting through the entire two hours in fear of the public humiliation of it going off. It’s always the person with the most awful ringtone as well. Someone help them.

A late arrival/early leaver  

Fuck… I have an exam?

It’s hard to determine which one is worse, as they’re both incredibly distracting and unforgivable. The late arrival will disrupt your crucial initial planning time, and the early leaver will make you jealous they are getting out first. Are they finished? Are they too intelligent for this hive of morons? What is their agenda?

A belly rumble

A Carni breakfast could be the difference between a 2:1 and 2:2

If you’re in a morning exam and didn’t manage to get your brainfood beforehand, you may be subject to an ill-timed, toe-curlingly loud belly rumble. In the silence of the exam hall, it can turn quite a few heads and even pull in a few giggles, as well as a red face of shame. You act cool and indifferent, but deep down you know you’re the joke of the hall.