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The Final Exam This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I can’t believe I made it this far. And to think, I didn’t even study! I thought as I came to the end of the big history final. No one ever does better than a C, and even then that is considered amazing. For some reason, this teacher liked to fail his students. At least it seemed that way. It is actually peculiar because he hates his students. Wouldn’t he want to pass everyone so he didn’t have to see them again?

“This is your five-minute warning!” the teacher called with a chuckle. Five minutes! I still have 20 multiple-choice questions to finish! These weren’t your normal multiple-choice questions. Each had five answer choices, and the last was always the dreaded “None of the above.” I understood this wasn’t the SAT – it wouldn’t keep me out of college or ruin my career – but it would determine who obtained two months of freedom and who went to summer school. So I decided to do what every other student of that class does: panic.

After zipping through 12 without considering anything we learned, I realized that this was what he wanted. What a sick man, sitting there smiling at the panic-stricken room. Well, I had news for him; I wouldn’t go down without a fight.

I regained my composure and saw that I had two minutes and 15 seconds to answer eight questions. I made it through the next seven without a problem, but then I came to the final question. I could feel the fresh-cut summer grass between my toes. The smell of melting ice cream filled my nostrils and made my mouth water. I could almost hear my sister cannonballing into our pool, spraying my parents with a wave of chlorinated heaven. Then I read the question: What law, passed in 1913 by President Wilson, created a stable national money supply, setting up 12 regional banks across the country?

All of a sudden, a huge rock pierced my pool, splashing water all over my yard. The ice cream morphed into cafeteria-style meatloaf, and the fresh-cut grass turned into a cold tile floor reflecting the light of dim fluorescent bulbs. Twenty seconds left! A wrong answer is better than no answer, right? Wrong! At least on this test it’s wrong. In this class a wrong answer can ruin your summer just as much as no answer.

It’s actually rather amusing how slow time becomes when you have this much on the line. Each tick of the clock sounded like an earthquake and took just as long. No, I won’t let him take me! I won’t be another victim. Ten seconds left. What’s the answer?! Why doesn’t this ring a bell? Five seconds. I think it’s B, no, wait, A, no, it’s D! Time’s up.

When I handed in my test, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I actually put that horrid choice. I had filled in “None of the above.” However, it was finally over. I walked out feeling uncertain of my future. My summer vacation may be spent in a classroom just like this one, but that was to be revealed another day. All I could do then was walk out with my head held high. I had remembered the correct answer to the last question, and it matched mine.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

RRBB77 said...
Apr. 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm:
This was really good! It really keeps you reading(:
 
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Chaycee:) said...
Apr. 11, 2010 at 7:09 am:
soo good!! :)
 
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CaseyLeigh This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm:
awesome piece! :]
 
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ERDominican said...
Oct. 10, 2008 at 6:28 pm:
it was good
 
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