It was 2012, the year of the dreaded board exams. What will happen, how will I fare, will I get my desired college and course etc etc. all these questions had started to trouble the mind. But the real deal was the preparation process, all the endless exams, and post exam analysis with the teachers.

One of the subjects I had taken was economics. In class 11th I had fared well in it and even scored the highest in class, on one or two occasions. The economics in class 12th, however, was a different game all together, something our teacher had already told us. “But do students score full marks?” I had asked her and her answer was a yes. This made me confident and I thought the scary stories must be only to make us alert and increase our focus.

Come class 12th and I realized that the struggle stories of students shared were non-fiction. Law of demand, law of supply, marginal utility, opportunity cost, national income and few more such terms seemed to be a part of a language I did not understand. All were bouncers. My scores kept on declining, just like demand goes down with increase in price. The wake up call was my poor score of 65/100 in my half-yearly exams. 65, a number I had never seen before ever in my report card. Economics was the only scoring subject which could have helped me get good overall marks and my dream university. I decided that day that I have to start from scratch, and that’s what I did. I had around a months time to go for my first pe-broads and I started from the very first page of the book and immersed myself in, I did not leave even a single extra information box aside, I read through them all. The result? A breather of 85 in my first pre-boards, 91 in my second pre-boards. Not only  had I scored well, I now understood the concepts. I had gained clarity and started solving higher order questions as well. I did not leave any stone unturned.

30th March 2013, the exam day. I was more excited than nervous. Saw the questions, and was happy since I knew the answers. Came back all happy and calculated that I would score 98 ( 100 was also expected). As per the tradition my friend called me in the afternoon to discuss the paper and all was going well until we reached the last question, a 6 marker. I felt sad for her and thought she had made a mistake, but it turned out I was wrong. She said the question was different, I quickly ran and got my paper and read the question again. My ears turned hot and I just said I will call you later. I cried my heart out. In my excitement I did not pay attention to the language of the question, it was twisted. My mother said let’s wait for the results, what’s done is done and I should focus on my next one.

Days passed in anxiety till my result day 27th May, 2013. What did I score? 92, exactly 6 marks less than the expected 98. A lesson learnt for life: josh mein hosh mat khona.

So when they say in the instructions section that read all the questions carefully, they mean it!

P.S. by god’s grace I got my dream course and college.