I have shared earlier of the near-disastrous incident that I came close to failing the final Mathematics examination paper in the final year of the electrical engineering course in the Singapore Polytechnic. Never did I expect to face another similar incident in the university in 1985.
Fast forward to the day before I would take the last paper in the final year of the electrical and engineering course in the National University of Singapore. The last paper was Design. During the year, the whole cohort of some 200 graduands were divided into 2 groups for this particular subject. One group did 4 experimental projects while the other group did 5 completely different from the first group. I happened to be in the first group.
In this Design exam paper, a total of 4 questions would be set – two from each group – and we only need to answer one question. We were allowed to bring all the textbooks we would need to the exam hall.
In the first group, there was a very difficult project on electrical machines and hardly anyone in the whole group really understood what had been taught. So most in the first group, of which I belonged, would skip bringing the textbooks on this particular project and only brought all the necessary textbooks on the other 3 projects for the open exam. We were thinking even if the question on that difficult Electrical Machines project was set, we could still have the choice to answer the other question since 2 questions would be set for each group.
In the evening before the exam the next morning, I was suddenly warded in the hospital for suspected food poisoning. Being so sick and waiting for lab test results, the hospital refused to discharge me for the exam. I prayed and I was eventually allowed to return to the university to take the exam in the morning.
I prayed for strength to go through the exam as I was without sleep for the whole night and I was so pale with abdominal pain. Thanks be to God for answering my prayer.
When I received the exam paper, I got a rude shock. The exam paper was set with only one question for my group and 3 questions for the other group. It was clearly a big mistake made by the examiners. I believe you can guess that the single exam question for my group was on the Electrical Machines project.
Most in my group just stood up. Many were feeling lost. Some complained loudly. A few were crying. Later when the invigilators realized the mistake. they allowed us to return to our dormitories to pick up the textbooks for that difficult Machines project. Time was extended.
When I was tackling the sole design question of the Electrical Machines project, I could only answer 2 out of the 10 sub questions. It was depressing to think that I would falter at the last hurdle.
It was an agonizing wait of 2 or 3 months before we knew our results. God’s peace, which surpasses all understanding, was with me throughout this agonizing time when I made known my anxieties to Him. I knew in my heart God would answer my prayer that I would pass somehow.
I did pass and I obtained 2nd class honors (Upper Division). All praise and thanks be to God !
Later when I started working as an electronics engineer for a couple of months, I received one of the most prestigious post-graduate scholarship – to study for Masters of any discipline either in Cambridge or Oxford University with full board and lodging, fees, and even a monthly salary which was 25% higher than my current salary.
Hallelujah ! Praise the Lord for watching over me !