The Tipex Catastrophe

As I’ve previously mentioned in my article “The Pencil Case Essentials”, a roll-on tipex is a must have for me. I stopped using liquid tipex in my last year of college, after having made the most idiotic mistake in an exam.

It was the final exam in my Spanish class. Up until this point I was holding strong with an 82% average and was hoping to be given a 90% final mark.

I studied as much as I could for that exam; I did extra practice essays, I studied Spanish words I didn’t yet know and worked on set phrases to improve the fluidity of my essays. Let’s just say I felt confident and very prepared.

When it came to the day of the exam and I was faced with the text I was supposed to analyse and write about, I found I had little problem comprehending it and got straight to work on my written assignment.

However, a couple of paragraphs in, I decided there was a better way to phrase my explanation of the text’s main idea and so I tippexed it out with liquid tipex. Obviously I needed to wait for it to dry, but so as not to waste time I simply carried on with the rest of my essay. Ten minutes before the end of the exam and I was frantically trying to finish my last paragraph on the grammatical characteristics of the text, but the problem I was having was that there were a lot of them!

Just in the nick of time I completed the task and handed it in, confident that I had just achieved anywhere between an 80% and a 100% score.

A week later, our essays were returned to us and I almost went into shock when I saw that I had been given a 72%. I quickly revised my essay, but couldn’t understand the mark I had been given, as there were very few spelling mistakes and/or grammatical errors and the examiner had even gone as far as to compliment me on my correct identification of certain text characteristics.

I turned my essay back over to have another look at my score and make sure I had read it correctly and that’s when I saw it. My tipex, blanked out line. It was still there. I’d completely forgotten about it and had never written in my reviewed version of the main idea, worth 20% of the total score! I couldn’t believe it. How could I have been so careless?

When the teacher finally got around to discussing my grade with me, she commented on the blank space. She asked me what I had written in there originally. I told her the sentence that had formerly filled the space and explained that I’d come up with a better way to phrase the sentence and so had tippexed it out, however had later on forgotten to re-write it.

She warned me not to make the same mistake in the university entrance exams, before informing me that my mark would have been a 92% if I hadn’t have used my liquid tipex, as I had identified the main idea correctly.

If anything, that just made it worse. It’s one thing to get a lower mark than you expected because you didn’t know the answer, it’s a whole other story to get a lower mark than you expected simply because you didn’t invest in a roll-on tipex!