By Rida Mohammed
By Rida Mohammed
Morocco World News
Settat, Morocco, March 18, 2012
Bacphobia is a term coined to refer to the negative attitudes and feelings of some students before the Baccalaureate national exam. In fact, most students preparing to sit for the Bac exam get overwhelmed by the amount of lessons they have to review and the preparation required for it. In addition, some students are not thinking of the exam as such, but are rather trying to gather handouts and summaries of the lessons so as to minimize the size of the material that they intend to cheat from. While other students remain really disappointed by the low grades they received on “the regional exam from the previous year.
Though the students are not examined in all the subjects, they always complain that they are overloaded by the lessons of various subjects. They are also afraid of not being able to be fully prepared for all the subjects on the exam because of the lack of time allocated to review for all the material on the test. And yet, there is another category of Bac students who are not afraid of the difficulty of the exam or the overload of lessons, but rather are preoccupied about how they are going to pass the exam. For them, “the Bac is in the bag” since they are “masters” of cheating on tests. They are more interested in developing and inventing new ways and strategies of how to cheat and acquire the Bac certificate with the least effort. Ironically, this type of student deliberately forgets that the teacher was once a student and he/she is fully aware of their ways of cheating.
The third category of Bac students, who I really sympathize with, are those who are afraid of the Bac exam because they received low and discouraging grades on “the regional exam”. In fact, this category has a pessimistic view towards the national Bac exam. More than this, they are going into the test with low confidence due to their prior performance on the regional exam. To quote the words of one of my students: “We are victims of the regional exam. We didn’t take it as seriously as we should have”.
However, it is worth mentioning that there are some students within this category who do not give up. Indeed, they do their best by working very hard to compensate for the low mark on the regional exam, which constitutes only 25% of the total grade of the Baccalaureate. Most importantly, they try to earn good marks in the continuous assessment from class, which constitutes another 25% of their overall grade so as to balance the low grade of the regional exam. Then, they can work at ease to assure a good grade on the final national exam (which represents 50% of their total grade).
Fear, doubt, lack of confidence, loads of lessons are, among others, some of the ideas haunting the minds of Bac students and creating fearful hallucinations, before they sit for the national exam. From my modest experience as a teacher and a student, I advise all the Moroccan students to overcome all these negative and pessimistic attitudes, because they are just myths. They have to believe in themselves and in their capabilities and always remind themselves: “yes, I can do it”. In addition, I don’t want to let this opportunity slip through my fingers without warning the cheaters and those who think of themselves as masters in cheating that their game is now over. It is high time for these types of students to work hard and do their best to obtain the Baccalaureate Certificate.
most students have potential that has to be activated and brought out by helping them to believe in themselves. They need not only to be encouraged by their teachers but also by their parents as well. Accordingly, the other categories of students who had low grades on the regional exam have only to work hard and never give up. They also have to believe in their capabilities and always remember, “Nothing is Impossible”. Yet, if they do fail, it is still worth realizing that will have ample opportunities to achieve noble goals in life. And if they succeed, they have always to remember that the Baccalaureate exam was once “Bacphobia” for some of them.
Edited by Benjamin Villanti
Rida Mohammed is a high school English teacher in Settat. He his a Master’s student at the university of Hassan II Ain Chock in Casablanca, specialized in “The use of ICT in Education” and a member of MATE (Moroccan Association of Teachers of English). He is interested in the field of teaching and the use of ICT in education in addition to other interests such as politics, social life.
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