Taking Exams While Fasting

Marim Badran

Ramadan starts every year at the beginning of the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and this year it began at sunset on May 5. During Ramadan, the Muslim community fasts 16 hours a day for a month from sunrise to sunset. Being a diverse school, Curtis has a considerable amount of Muslim students that fast during this month. When Ramadan comes in the summer it is much harder for students to fast, but because it is obligatory, they try their best to complete the whole month. “The hardest part about fasting while also going to school has been waking up at 3:00 in the morning to eat, then going back to sleep, and waking up again at 7:30 to go to school when I’ve barely gotten any sleep. I go to school running on 5 or 6 hours of sleep so I’m tired. I have no energy plus I’m not eating or drinking. So once I go home I just end up falling asleep and making up the hours I missed at night. Then I wake up, I do my prayers, eat dinner, then repeat the routine,” said Abdoulaye Gueye.

Most Muslim students in the school have been fasting somewhere from 5 to 7 years and  many students are accustomed to it. Despite doing it for many years, the first few days are difficult.  “The first day is hard because we are not used to it. I’ve been fasting since a very young age so I got used to it quickly and it is not as hard as it was anymore,” said Habiba Elsayed.

This year Ramadan came during AP and IB exams. “Taking an IB exam on the eighth  day of Ramadan was hard since it was the first week. I felt more stressed because I had to take an IB test while fasting and I had to stay for the rest of the day after the test.  The test and lack of food made me tired so I went home and slept but had to get up to study for the next exam,” said Marim Badran. Luckily, the weather wasn’t a factor this year because it wasn’t hot and going without water wasn’t too difficult. When Ramadan comes in the summer when school is out it is hard for students to distract themselves until sunset. “I prefer to be fasting during school because it keeps me occupied making it easier for me to complete the day,” Abdoulaye Gueye commented.