It beats the imagination how following simple instructions turns out to be more complicated than it’s worth. Remember after an exam that you discovered you ought to have answered just four questions and you had done six? Maybe the verbal type is easier, although there are people that this is also a difficult process for as well.
The written instructions have turned out to be the devil in the blue dress and the elephant that sits in the room with us. Take for instance when you want to fill a form, the steps to do this are often clearly stated on the page(s) before you and it presupposes the fact that before you proceed you give them the once over i.e. read them thoroughly. Alas and alack this is so not the case in this day and age! Students (all shapes, sizes and age!), professionals and other variants have transgressed this law. On the other hand maybe we all read but we fall short of adequate comprehension of what we ought to do, given the STP at that point in time.
Has it happened to you that you finished filling the form (with your golden customised felt-tip) only for you to discover that you ought to have filled it with black ink?! That little fact was type faced (boldly!) in the two sentences that began the document. With this discovery, you not only had to start over (probably get a new one too) but the time in which to do it was not as conducive as before.
In the case of international exams Nigerians (maybe people in general) have fallen foul of this golden rule and paid dearly for it. An instance where a young lady went for a TOEFL exam without any form of identity after shelling out roughly 40,000 naira is great cause for concern! Thankfully, the printed email was in her possession and the supervisor of the centre pointed out the clause written on the same page with her number and location of the venue. This girl was really determined to take the exam and promptly went home to solicit the help of her parents…it didn’t work since they still could not produce a valid identification document of sorts for her either. Irrational I hear you say or mayhap a case of money miss road or too much of it as the case maybe!
This incident is not the first (I daresay won’t be the last either) but more glaring because it could have been prevented if she had only READ the small print. We can all benefit from taking out the time to be more patient, detailed and focused when we read documents be they examination papers, visa forms etc., and save ourselves a lot of hassle and heartache by reading the instructions before we have at it, after all the chaps that put them there did it for a reason and definitely not to thwart your efforts either. Easier said than done I hear some of you murmur.