Are You a Sprinter or a Marathon Runner?

I am 36. The exam for a class I have been taking was yesterday. While I did feel sorry for the undergrads who had to take it, I was mostly relieved that graduate students had been spared the torture of sitting in a large hall, scribbling away copiusly in blue exam notebooks. We had to turn in a long paper instead, which I have been living, breathing sleeping (mostly the latter) for the past several weeks.

When I expressed my sympathy for the undergraduates, and my personal relief to the Professor, he expressed a similar sentiment. “I will die if I have to take these exams again.” “Why do you make life more difficult for the undergraduate students, then?” “Come on, they are undergrads. They deserve it.”

I wondered if I could ever go through the motions of cramming, retaining, accessing and regurgitating all that information in a three-hour exam, as I had done till I was 22. Can I ever cope with that pace of studying again? I don’t think so. Nor did my professor. Does that mean we get dumber as we get older? I console myself by saying, that we simply change from being sprinters to marathon runners.


  1. Cramming for exams is the biggest bane of education and exams to me…:)
    Though I guess the practice is rooted in the times when life was lot less cluttered with the information over load of our day and age and holding things in ones head was simpler and a big convinience, before the arrival of online searches and easy look ups (god bless the search engines).


  2. Every time people say their “childhood was magical”…I say bah! not mine. I hated studying for and taking those stupid tests and exams every week!


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