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When You Fail An Examination



By Azuh Arinze


When you fail an examination, first, you are left in a state of disbelief. Second, your self esteem is bruised and battered. Third, your confidence is badly dwarfed and dented. Fourth, and this time like me, you are so crestfallen and distraught that you lock your door, rest your head on the office table and begin to shed tears. Tears of shame, sadness, sorrow and more.

Your morale remains low all through that day. You even refuse to eat, insist you don’t want to see any visitor, bury yourself in your office, staring into space, asking myriad rhetorical questions and generally feeling bad and sad. The routine drags for another day or two.

Then suddenly, you say to yourself in pidgin English: “Dis one don happen, Azuh. Go and get ready for another examination next year.”

Time, we all know, flies. And the next year we are all waiting for and even talked about – 2023 – eventually comes. A new date is announced for the examination. All the necessary fees are paid, alongside the vital documentation. You commence “little-little” revisions, with some Brothers who also failed like you and then those writing the examination for the first time.

Days to the examination, a Brother jokingly reminds you that you must not fail again o! Which stung like a bee even though you had shrugged it off with a smile. Also at home, and as if both of them planned it, your wife says to you, I don’t know whether to say romantically now or unromantically, “Daddy, I hope you are reading for this exam? I don’t want what happened last time…” She left it hanging there. But as she departed your room where she met you fiddling and smiling with your phone, it dawned on you one more time that a lot is at stake this time and that too many eyes are on you.

You must not disappoint these loved ones again. You also have to pass this examination once and for all, preparatory to moving to the next stage or degree, like we call it in The Order of The Knights of Saint Mulumba Nigeria. To cut a long story short, the exam finally came on Saturday, October 7, 2023. Having satisfied your conscience that you prepared well and worked hard, you went in, did your best and then waited for the result. Weeks later, specifically on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, it arrived and to the glory of God, you were more than victorious this time.

Amid the jubilation and celebration, you now asked yourself this pertinent question: So, why did I fail the first time?

Very simple! And here are my summations:
1. Poor preparation.
2. Over confidence.

Yes, I prepared shoddily for the exam (I was actually outside the country and moved from the airport to the exam hall the day I arrived). I also allowed over confidence to land the devastating blow.

Dear friends, no examination should be taken for granted or treated with levity. Also, no matter how brilliant you think you are, always know that in an examination, the questions can come from where you least expect, which happened to me.

Incidentally, this is the second time that this is happening to me. The first time was in secondary school – Victoria Island Secondary School, Victoria Island, Lagos. As the Labour Prefect and also having represented the school in a few debating and writing competitions, I erroneously thought I had arrived. That I had become a superstar!

I prepared inadequately for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and guess what? With all my “shakara”, I failed English Language! Even me sef no believe am. But it happened.

I don’t know about you. But for me, especially going forward, I will never, never, never, never… take any other examination for granted.

The above two failures, as far as examinations are concerned, are enough. And like my late father used to say back then, especially whenever I was going astray: “Arinzechukwu, enough! Enough is enough!”

I rest my case. I also thank God that this is now done and dusted.

Finally, I congratulate all my fellow Worthy Brothers who scaled through. To those who didn’t, I say better luck next time.

– Azuh Arinze, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine and author of bestselling books like The CEO’s Bible 1&2, Success Is Not Served A La Carte, A Taste Of Success etc, is DGK, Ojodu Sub-council (KSM)

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