Ode to an AP Biology Exam

March 30, 2008
By Ali Ruth, Herndon, VA

I arrive here well-fed, well-prepared, and well-clothéd,
Having studied for hours with book and with quill.
But now, as I peruse this test booklet so loathéd,
I must gloomily succumb to my profound lack of skill.

With a heave and a sigh, I begin the exam
And I squint at the text that is printed so small.
O spite! O hell! O, how foolish I am!
These words that I’m reading make no sense at all.

My brow is knitted in fierce consternation
I am gripped with dread from my head to my toes
My temples are dotted in salty perspiration
And a sweat droplet rolls down the bridge of my nose.

O poisonous pencil! O scantron unseemly!
The might of which no other foe e’er could match,
Your detestable ways do torment me extremely
as I frantically erase yet another stray scratch.

‘Tis the scantron that taunts me, most vile and abhorréd,
Blinding me with monotonous dots microscopic
which coalesce, and combine with my temperature torrid
to appear mirage-like through my vision myopic.

My right hand is seized by a tremulous nerve shake,
Which hinders the filling of every last bubble
As I secretly pray for a massive, huge earthquake
to reduce the test room to a pile of rubble.

Why must this exam be gut-wrenchingly painful?
If I fail, I shall face consequences abysmal.
Towards this arduous test I cast glares most disdainful
For my chances of acing this clearly are dismal.

This test is far worse than all plagues, rats, or vermin
All the words in a foreign tongue seem to be writ.
But hark—what? Alas, this AP is for German!
I was given the wrong test! (that explains things a bit)

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