I almost failed. Twice. - Macleans.ca

I almost failed. Twice.

…but then was spared. Twice.


When I finished my exams last semester, I was convinced that I had failed two of them. Not just one, but two.

It wasn’t the usual post-exam anxiety, where you kick yourself for changing an answer at the last second, or doubt whether you gave quite enough information for the essay-based question. I was seriously worried that I had just bombed those two exams.

It didn’t matter that I had completed the bonus assignments. Midterm marks and quizzes didn’t matter, either. Both classes, like every other class I’ve taken at Waterloo, have a policy along the lines of “If you get less than a 45 on the final exam, you will fail the course.”

In the weeks that followed, I tried to remember the questions and mentally rewrote both exams. Question three was hopeless. Question six was pretty terrible. I drew a complete blank on question nine and pity marks were the most I could hope for.

I decided to stop reliving the past and managed to block out exam week. I erased all memory of Embryology and Molecular Biology. I destroyed the photos of us together. I shredded the Christmas cards they had sent me. They ceased to exist. All that remained was a nervous tic.

In the end I passed both courses. Maybe my exams were marked by an empathetic TA.

Or maybe another Scott Dobson-Mitchell wrote the same two exams and now he’s wondering how the hell he ended up with a 3 per cent and an 11 per cent.

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I almost failed. Twice.

  1. So you ended up with 3 and 11. Or am I just really confused at that last sentence.

  2. No, he means maybe another student with the same name wrote the same two exams as well and they both received each others’ marks.

  3. Thanks liis for the explanation, that’s exactly what I meant. I suspect you did great on your finals :)

  4. too bad you’ve failed at writing an interesting article.

  5. I got the fact that scott could have someone with the same name that failed both exams, but in the title he claims he almost failed, which would infer that he did not fail, unlike the other fake scott.

  6. What a useless article – “Thought I failed but then I didn’t”. All the things which Macleans readers wanted to know but were too afraid to ask. D’OY!