A candidate in an examination hall is a close cousin of the boxer in the ring. Both are fighting for a prize or, at least, for some commendation. Their goal is to win, and victory brings fame while failure leads to disaster and frustration. Each victory paves the way for a promotion up the ladder, and the higher one climbs, the more exposed to the public glare one gets. A world boxing champion is like a Noble Prize winner among academics; each is at the apex of his career, but the route to the position can be tortuous and rough.
The examination candidate is not a very normal person for the simple reason that he is under severe pressure, although he is alert and his pulse is fast, he is liable to commit elementary errors without knowing it.
Thus, he may repeat or omit one word, miss the spelling of another, or interchange the position of two words. If he reads over, which he hardly ever does, he may see what was originally in his brain rather what is on paper. So, most errors escape him.
More alert than at ordinary times though, his brain maybe; it can play funny tricks in the examination hall. Thus, while struggling with the question, he may suddenly recall an old joke or a long forgotten and obscure incident right there in the examination hall while his pen is dancing furiously on the paper, the candidate may remember beautiful tune as if his mind is saying: "forget this task, enjoy some music". Happily, these do not usually disrupt the exercise at hand: the task goes on while the candidate may smile to himself at the strange recall of the joke or music.
The brain can play a different type of trick. A fact long stored up and remembered a short while before the examination can suddenly evaporate. All attempts to recall it may prove unsuccessful. Usually: till the paper ends. The fact remains elusive only to resurface much later when not needed.
The candidate does not fare better in an oral examination. His problems are heightened by the fact that his fate depends entirely on the examiner's assessment of him rather than what he writes down himself. The facial appearance of the examiner is also a strong factor since a stern, unsmiling examiner can be intimidating.
Yet, an examination candidate need not be frightened. He needs all the calmness he can muster. He should sleep soundly before the exercise trusting that all the preparations he made earlier will not fail him at the hour of need. The fact is that one forgets more when one is tired, especially when one panics unnecessarily.