Exams often induce a lot of stress in any university student. Sometimes students stress out and have an anxiety attack or an emotional breakdown. Sometimes, it seems, the universe conspires to ensure that you have a panic attack, aka, you have bad luck.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we recently had our first set of finals in med school. Most of us didn't really know what to expect from these exams, so that caused a couple people to pull all out study sessions the night before the exam (I don't know how people do this...personally, I need my sleep before an exam). However, an all-nighter was nothing compared to what happened to one of my friends.
Our final was at 9 a.m. on the day after a snowstorm, my friend, "John", calls me an hour before the exam freaking out because his car won't get out of his driveway. He was trying to pull out of his parking garage and while he was trying to go up the relatively steep driveway, his car lost traction due to the ice and he slid backwards into the garage's gate. Luckily, the resulting dent was on his already dented bumper, which he thankfully had not had time to replace yet.
Obviously, John was worried he was going to be late for the exam, but fortunately, he only missed the first 5 minutes. Unfortunately, we were given the exam's instructions during those first 5 minutes. Eventually John heard the "15 minutes left in the exam" warning and he noticed that he still had 70 questions left and started panicking. He began to fly through the questions as quickly as he could, but 10 minutes later he still had 40 questions left. At this point, he was in fight or flight mode, John was sweating, shaking, and could barely focus. He ended up asking a TA how much time he had left. Well, that was a bit of a lie, he TRIED to ask a TA how much time he had left, but he lost the odd syllable in his panic. Anyhow, the TA looked at his exam...and told him that HE had 1 hour and 5 minutes left, it was the DENTISTS that had 5 minutes left.
See, the part that John missed in the instructions was that the dentists, who are in most of our classes, had 2 hours to complete their exam. We had 3 hours to complete our exams because we had 60 extra questions for our Family Practice course, which the dentists did not take during the term. After John heard that he had over an hour left to finish the final, he was speechless from sheer joy. The TA felt so bad for John that he gave him a pat on the back and reached into his pocket and gave John a halls.