The Other Side of Bench

All of us have been students but few have got the opportunity or have chosen to be on the other side of the benches as a full time job. It provides a different perspective, an understanding of the things which seemed to bother as students, some shocking realities, some realizations and some funny moments. And it helps if one doesn't forget his or her time on the bench. It helps not only to connect but also to see through many tricks of one's students. These are few thoughts for all students out there from the Other Side of Bench.

#1 Some of us are always aware what each one of the class is doing and can make out who is faking writing down the lecture or looking out of window lost in thoughts or ogling at a girl classmate. We can make out when a student starts to press calculator buttons just to show he/she is solving the given numerical when we approach his/her bench.
#2 Don't think the invigilator won't know what you are up to when you crane your neck forward or when you lean back sliding little on the seat. We know that's when you are going to asking your friend answer to a question. All other tactics ( I'll not mention here) are also known to us and sometimes we just pretend to ignore.

#3 Writing absolute nonsensical/irrelevant stuff or repeating the same words over n over again and making the pages of answer sheets look filled is not going to work because we read before giving marks.

#4 Literally writing Ramayana in Hindi for 5 pages just because you had time to kill in the exam room is not going to help either. We are secular when valuating answer sheets.

#5 Why do guys need to write in scrawly handwriting and draw horrible diagrams? Even if the roll number is hidden we know which one is a girl's copy and which one a guy's. And girls, please don't use glitter pens. We don't like our palms and faces to shine.
#6 Writing "Sir, please please ( 5-10 times) pass me. I'll be eternally grateful/I'll touch your feet/You'll get my good wishes" in the end of your answer sheet is not going to help. Firstly a Madam may be valuating your answer sheet and she may get offended by the presumption of Sir. Secondly, unless you have written enough to be passed no pleading will work even if you write "Om Sai Ram"/"Om Ganeshaye Namah"/"Jai KaalBhairavi" at the beginning.

#7 Some of us are merciless and some are generous in valuation. So, once you have passed, even on border marks, DO NOT apply for revaluation. 95% chances are you'll fail.

#8 We have a personal life too. And sometimes we are really busy personally or professionally and unable to give time to solve your doubts. That doesn't mean we don't care.

Click to enlarge and read
P.S. Wish I could take and post snap shots of some classic answer sheets I recently valuated but that was against my ethics. Cartoon images (except C&H) credited to


Canopenner said...


I dont think I would do these things anyway.

Sakhi said...

ha.. ha... ha.. great post..though you have gien the guidelines what not to do, i still feel it is humourous. :)

So u are a teacher by profesion!


i used to teach in medical college before i joined the corporate sector. Had publish in our college wall magazine: "anecdotes of the students"

sometimes you wonder how some of the students even got qualified to become MBBS student :)

But it was fun to be with and among the students...

Sandeep said...

Just loved this post!! :)

ogling at a girl classmate!
You can make that out???
And what if guys are ogling at the pretty teacher?? ;-)

[i] "#3 Writing absolute nonsensical/irrelevant stuff or repeating the same words over n over again and making the pages of answer sheets look filled is not going to work because we read before giving marks." [/i]

I don't seem to agree with you on this.

The strategy is not to scratch, write neatly.. not necessarily right stuff, partially right will fetch you full marks.

Don't tell me you'd read the same answer again and again over hundred times, carefully, to give marks.

May be 'you' do coz you are doing this for the first time or 2nd time..

[i]"And girls, please don't use glitter pens. We don't like our palms and faces to shine."[/i]
Awesome :D :D

And still laughing about the ogling thing :)

Joel said...

Are you a teacher?... :confused:

Reema said...

@Sandeep I'm a lecturer since 3.5 yrs so u can imagine the number of answer sheets I've valuated!! as for irrelevant stuff u cant imagine what do students write. Pages of hindi sonngs written in english alphabets, C program in electrical subject, any 2 or 3 words incessantly repeated...when i say anything I mean ANYTHING. trust me on this..its straight from the horses' mouth. of course those r such students who r utter disinterested or poor in studies.Next time I'll post pics maybe so that u can believe. Yeah somehow I cant ignore if a single student is not paying attention and i'm a gud 3rd party observer.Every answer sheet is different for us and theory questions r less in electrical engg so we have to read same answer in every copy.I valuated around 800 copies this u can understand the experience. :)

Reema said...

@Robert Looks like u were good student ethics wise :)

@Sakhi Thanks! Yes I love my profession!!

@Joel why confused? I m a lecturer in an engg college. its even given in my blogger profile :)

Daroga said...

I have yet to see an actual answer-sheet with songs et al written in place of answers :P
But I agree, the teachers do know what's going on the other side, and if they come to it, they can make cheating impossible !

Shefaly said...

@ Reema:

Grading students' assignment sheets is no fun but it has to be done properly.

This post will touch a raw nerve with many...

@ Sandeep: You asked if we read everything before grading, the answer is 'Yes'.

Not just that, when grading MBAs, I was required at the end to compare all grades to see if two comparable responses were somehow not very far apart in grading. This parity exercise is very difficult to do if one grades some papers on one day and some on another day. So effectively, the most efficient markers mark all sheets in one day - which is tiring when one is marking over 100 people.

Oh and there is often written feedback which is personalised. Not many do it but those who do, are rewarded by the steady improvement that students show.

And no, I am not on my way to becoming a professional academic. Very little money for too much work, although I would like to keep my access to journal databases but there are other ways to do that.

sandeep said...

Whew.. good that you weren't evaluating my papers..
but ya writing songs won't help. but as i said partial answers written neatly get full marks :)

i really hope your students read this! :D

Yup, acads is too much work, and not so much pay :)
Where do you teach?

Anonymous said...

OMG..I rolled out laughing reading this -//Secondly, unless you have written enough to be passed no pleading will work even if you write "Om Sai Ram"/"Om Ganeshaye Namah"/"Jai KaalBhairavi" at the beginning.//
Hehehe..KAL BHIRAVI-gimme a break..
What subject are you taking dear?

Soham Shah said...

Some of my friends used to write some code-words so that their answer sheets can be identified easily by the teachers whom they were goin for tutions..hence they used top ass those examination even without workin hard..

Joel said...

@Reema: Well, thats great. I thought you were still a student.. :P

Reema said...

@Adarsh U r lucky! It frustrates a teacher very much!

@Shefaly yes its a very responsible task but there are some who do it badly.even when they know that the student gets to see photocopy of his answersheet under RTI Act.Raw nerve? really?

@Sandeep U r always wishing that! Bad friend :P

Reema said...

@Fruitymind Yes! one had written Kaal Bhairavi!! Maa Saraswati may even work but remembering Ma Kali??????? I m lecturer of Electrical Engineering.

@Soham yes I know tat happens but r u talking about school level or college level? U know in technical stream, copies of all subject from all engineering colleges are brought to the University and mixed & coded (cuz roll number is hidden) So there is no way of assuring who will grade one's copy. so no coding by student works.

@Joel :D

Shefaly said...

@ Sandeep: I do not teach full-time, but taught MBAs in Cambridge recently. I have just finished my PhD so may teach adjunct in some places, tbc. :-)

@ Reema: We do not need RTI; our students get their marks and all feedback (where applicable and provided by the teacher) every week or so. :-) Nowhere to hide. Most markers give no feedback which is a pity.

LollyPop said...

Couldnt stop myself from laughing after reading the post :-)


Arvind Iyer said...

Nice! I enjoyed this one.


Reema said...

@Sridevi :D :D

@Arvind Thanks! :)

sandeep said...

Whew.. :O :O

what's your specialization?

so that they'll know what not to do! :)
that'll make your job easier, isn't it? ;)

Anonymous said...

I think your posts are getting funnier and more interesting..
Having done both teaching and grading, I agree with you on many points here.

Reema said...

@Sandeep Hmm if for that reason then okay! :)

@Dev Thanks!! Hmm I have to do some serious post too..hmm..

Anubha said...

heehhehehhe... reallllyyy funniiiiii :D
especially da "Jai KaalBhairavi" part !!! :D

Nice one "ma'am" !! :D

Liked ya post.. :)

Reema said...

@Anubha Thanks :D :D Keep visiting!

Anonymous said...

Reema, I didn't know that you are in the teaching profession! :)

I used to work as a Grad Assistant when I was doing my MBA and have come across so many of these papers! The biggest problem that I encountered was dealing with situations where the students would copy answers off each others' papers. Acad dishonesty is taken very seriously here. Some other times, I've caught people snoring in classes too :)

Anonymous said...

You're right about everything obviously. My mum is also a teacher so I do get to see exam papers all the time and it's very easy to tell if it's a guy's paper or a girl's paper. Even if our lives depended on it, we won't be neat.

Anonymous said...

eeps, i have exams coming up from monday,engineering :) this post has given me d creeps ! HELP :)

Reema said...

@Ruhi Oh sleepy heads in class just freak me out especially if its the 1st class of the day!!! Yup I'm a lecturer in Electrical Engineering.

@Ish Thanks for agreeing :)

@Meg Lol :) dont worry dear. Just write clearly and to the point :) and no glitter pens!! All the best!Btw u r doing engineering in which stream?

RJ said...

@Reems - I used the 15cms plastic scale :D :P - you can write a hell lot in that. This post reminded me of my college days and the exams. TERROR!

Reema said...

@RJ Hmm that was an old one used in school. Now they write behind admit card with invisible ink and read with the red laser light available as keyrings or pens. check out this post

Vaibhav said...

I remember all these instances happening during my school days. Teachers know everything, more things than what students can think of. Nice post.

Reema said...

@Vaibhav :D :D Thanks!!

| Balu | said...

I really wish I could read the answer papers you were referring to =/ ; )

Anonymous said...

cool. so the teachers did know what we were upto.
Once an invigilator almost caught my friend copying with a bit of paper, he threw it down his throat....
The invigilator did not get the evidence. :D

Another friend keeps all the bits in his shirt collar, pockets sleeves etc, but always confused on where he kept that particular answer !!! :D

Yet another from my engg days painstakingly spent atleast 5 hours preparing the bits... the alternatively folded ones...
I always used to tell him that studying that part was more easier. !! :D

Reema said...

@Balu Welcome to my blog!! I also wish i could take snaps n upload but.... :) keep visiting!!

@Xylene ohh nowadays it has become v advanced..check out my post

| Balu | said...

Sure will added urs to my blogroll and reader

Reema said...

@Balu thanks!