It was not some form of overconfidence in myself. Well, if you think so, it’s fine.
I had prepared prior to the day. I had stayed up long night immersing myself into the materials that I was going to be tested on. I got past questions several years prior. If I could recall vividly, about 10 years before the year I was going to sit for the exam.
I had answered the questions over and again, after going through the syllabus that I was supposed to cover.
Then came the unique night…
It was about three days to the exam. Dad got up that night and he saw me in the dining room, with past questions in front of me, answering then scoring myself. He literally ordered me to go and sleep. It’s one thing for your parents to keep telling you to study. It’s another thing for them to tell you it was enough. At that instance, I just got up from the table and I told myself, “Boy, you have tried, just go and do this.”
Not that I stopped preparing the next day anyways but I felt some increase in my confidence level.
I had rejected attending preparatory classes. I wrote the same exam the previous year with preparatory classes and scored 191. I told Dad I would give it my best, on my own.
Fast forward to the day of the exam. My Centre was at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko. It was still the Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet, multiple -choice-pencil-shade age. You really needed to see the smile on my face as I read the Comprehension Passage for the Use of English. I knew the passage. I read it before in a textbook. I needed not struggle with the first five questions. It was a boost to my confidence.
As soon as the invigilator announced the limited time we had left, the tension in the hall increased. Wrapped papers were changing ownership.
One of the chips flew in my direction. I did not pray to be strong in the face of temptation. I was literally not interested.
In my mind I asked, “If I had stayed up for long hours to prepare, what gives me the assurance that the person who worked the answers thrown around put in the same?”
If I was going to fail the exam I was willing to fail with pride. I was willing to fail, knowing that I did what I could and I submitted. I was willing to fail knowing that Dad already applauded my efforts. I left the hall calculating my score in my head.
My total score was 254. I had expected more, based on my self-assessment. I was not bothered about the 200 cut-off mark. My goal was 300 plus. Shoot for the stars they say. If you don’t land among them, you can be sure of being in the moon.
So here’s the takeaway.
Give the task your best. Stretch yourself. Once a level becomes easy, go forward to a more difficult level. Outsmart your present stage. In preparation, do your best. Then, go all out with confidence. Hug the results with joy.
You can be better.
You can be best.
Dare to BE YOU!
Author- Segun Alonge Jnr.(SMAJ)