Students at schools, colleges and universities all over the world have to take exams. Teachers use them to find out what we have learned. An exam certificate can also tell an employer how much we know. This can help us to get a job. Here are two stories about taking exams.
Mphatso's story tells how God helped him when he was taking his exams.
I thought I would fail
My name is Mphatso and I come from Misuku, Malawi. I passed my exam because God helped me. This is a true story about what happened to me. I was in form two. About three weeks before we were to write our exams, I felt very ill. My friends were all studying for the exams, but all I could do was sleep. I could not read because of the bad pains I had. I was still ill when the exam time came. I said to God, "I will fail, I feel so ill. Please help me." Then the day for the exam results came. I had passed! I told my friends and they did not believe me. But God had helped me when I could not help myself.
Lawrence is a SOON reader from Lagos State, Nigeria. Lawrence had to learn the lesson about taking exams - that it is not right to cheat, but he also learned it is not enough just to say "sorry". We must try to put right the wrong we have done.
I passed by cheating
I did not have good marks for my exams when I finished studying at secondary school. I took the exams two more times and still my marks were not good. Then a friend told me to enrol for the National Teachers' Institute. It was a two-year course. I now know that what I did during the exams was not good …
Before the exams began, God told me in my mind several times, "Don't cheat." But I did not listen because I knew it was not easy for me to get good marks in exams. I did not cheat in the first paper, but after that, I took my note-book into the exams. I copied the answers from it. I passed the exams with very good marks. I knew in my mind that this was wrong. I felt guilty and ashamed. I asked God to forgive me. I thought this was all I needed to do, so I used my good exam results to go on further with my education.
I was able to go to Kwara State College of Education. I went to the lessons, but I did not have peace in my mind. I thought, "You have done wrong. The result is not yours." Then I would say to myself, "I have said I am sorry to God so it is all right."
These thoughts did not give me any peace.
I asked for help
At last I went to the leaders of my church to ask for help. They told me that it is not enough to say sorry to God. I must show that I am sorry by putting right what I did wrong.
For me, that meant telling the Principal (leader) of the college that I cheated in the exams. I should not have got into the college. I wrote a letter to him, telling him what I had done. I took the letter to the Principal's office and gave it to his secretary. She read the letter. "If this gets to the Principal you will go to prison," she said.
This made me very afraid. The secretary said, "Go away and think about it."
I went back to the church leaders and told them what the secretary said. They said I must still go to the principal. So the next day, I went back. I saw the secretary first and told her, "I want to see the Principal."
She took me to him. Do you know? He was good to me. He told me not to be afraid, but to go to the person who was in charge of the exams. I was to tell him what I had done. That person let me take the exams again. I passed! Now I am back at the college, but, more important, God has taken away the feelings of guilt and I have peace in my mind.
Something to think about
Is there something you have done wrong in the past, and you feel guilty and ashamed? God will forgive you when you ask him. But sometimes you need to put things right with the person you have wronged. This is what Lawrence did. Maybe you have stolen something – you need to give back what you have stolen or pay for it. Maybe you have said something unkind to someone – you need to ask them to forgive you, as well as asking God to forgive you. It is not an easy thing to do, but God will help you. It will bring peace into your mind and heal the friendship between you and your family or friend.