As a continuation of the previous post, I’ll talk a bit about my high school. Make sure you’ve read that post before this one, or you’ll be confused.
In the beginning of the 2016 – 2017 school year, for some reason I absolutely didn’t care where I went to high school. I didn’t think it was important seeing as I was this proud douchebag who thought the world was his oyster. I don’t even remember how I had planned my life back then, I don’t even think I had a plan for it.
But it all changed when this guy took me to an anime festival called INORI in Bandung’s State High School 3 (SMAN 3).
Getting accepted into a State High School requires you to be ranked among other potential students based on your Middle School National Exam (4 subjects, total score of 400) score. If the number of applicants exceeds the quota, the lowest get kicked out. So it really is a top cut.
You see, SMAN 3 is this elite school of the smartest youth of Bandung. Out of all of the other State High Schools, SMAN 3 almost always tops the charts with their high passing grades and high average test scores. And it’s relatively simpler to continue to a better university the better your school is here in Indonesia (not necessarily).
While the two of us were shopping for anime posters (I bought a sweet Kirisaki Chitoge calender) and playing odd boardgames, my pal was also somewhat advertising the school to me. His sister went to the school, as did his mother, and his grandmother, and the rest of his family with the exception of one uncle, so they had the same expectations for him.
I was instantly hooked with the overall studious aura of the place, the aesthetic garden, the classes, the smart people (and ghosts because it’s apparently haunted, so that’s a plus) roaming around the halls, the tables (I don’t like standard Indonesian wooden tables) and there my motivation kicked in. I wanted to go there.
Over the year, I studied and prepared by myself (my own school’s help was disappointingly minimal) and there it was, the exam.
The first subject was Bahasa Indonesian, or the Indonesian Language. The exam tryouts were usually a grueling 50 questions where most of the questions required some abstract form of inferring to extract the correct answer from four answers which were basically identical. And the actual exam was exactly that.
Second was Math. Don’t need to go into detail with that. It wasn’t much of a problem.
The third was English. I’m great at English! Right? According to this exam, nope. The exam was shitty, riddled with grammatical errors, tons of things copy-pasted from Wikipedia, and the questions made no sense.
One of the questions had some sort of sweet Father’s Day card detailing appreciation to the father receiving it. Normal stuff. The punctuation was bad though. Then came the answers.
What can we tell from the text?
a. The writer of the text is going to be a father.
b. The writer of the text is informing the reader how to be a good father.
c. A father wrote the text for his kids.
d. The writer of the text is inviting the reader to a Father’s Day party.
What kind of abstract inferring do I need to use? The text had absolutely nothing about anything above.
And that was only one of the 50 bad questions.
Finally was Science. The physics problems were okay, the biology was a tad bit more trivial than usual. Other than that, no complaints.
A month later, the scores came out. I got an 88 in Indonesian, a 97.5 in Math, an 86 (wtf) in English, and a 92.5 in Science. That totaled up to 364/400. Last time, the lowest score to get into SMAN 3 was 373. Welp.
My friend was more skillful than I was, and probably had a lot more hours of after school practice. He got a 371.
But he was like, “Naw man, what the heck, just try signing up for it. This year, the average scores went down by 40 points.”
So we signed up for SMAN 3 another month later. I got a +7 point incentive for my house distance (the closer your house is, the bigger the incentive) and he got a +6. So I was 371, and he was 377. If you got kicked out of the list for your first choice, you would be put into the list for your second choice unless you got kicked out of there too. Then, you would have to go to a private school.
I picked SMAN 5 as my second choice. SMAN 3 and SMAN 5 are literally right next to each other. They share the same address and building. Once upon a time in the Dutch days, they were together as one school known as the Hogere Burgerschool te Bandoeng which was already elite in the past. Then for some reason, they split into two schools. SMAN 5 is also one of Bandung’s best, hovering around the 2nd and 3rd place usually.
Unfortunately, I was kicked out of the list three days after I had signed up. My friend wasn’t though. He got accepted into the school of his dreams and subsequently became my school neighbor, because I got accepted into SMAN 5, right next to SMAN 3.
It’s not exactly what I had expected, but I’m not too surprised either. Actually, now, I honestly think that 5 might actually be more ‘me’. But I’ll leave my stories about my first days in 5 for later on. Rock on, guys!
Congrats, you survived this post. Thanks for reading!