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Being educated by the Indian education system means that we all pick up the same quirks and habits along the way. For a country famous for its many languages, it is unsurprising that students, their parents and teachers have come up with a dialect of their own. For those of you who wish to learn student speak, here’s a helpful ‘crash course'(see list item 2).

1) Ranker: Someone who consistently ranks first in their school/college/district/state (synonym: Topper)

Autocorrect kept trying to change this one to ‘rancor’.

2) Crash course: Something you attend when the exam is coming up and you need to go through your syllabus quickly

I went for one once. The teacher began by telling everyone not to expect to achieve much more than passing. It was not particularly motivating.

3) Digest: Book of any publishing house other than the standard textbook; used by all the students as a textbook substitute (synonym: guide)

Almost every publishing house in the country will publish their own version of these infamous pseudo-textbooks, one book for every subject no matter which standard or course you are in. Moreover, every publishing house will always claim that their version is far superior to all the others available in the market.

4) Question bank: A list of questions that is provided by the learning institute shortly before exams.

Legend has it that any question that one has not encountered on this magical scroll shall never appear. This legend is a lie and when allegations of falsehood are cast upon the learned imparters of knowledge the response is always “Well you should be prepared with the whole syllabus”, which most students feel is quite unfair. Either spoon-feed completely or not at all.

5) Objective: Questions requiring only a few words or sentences as the answer

It does not matter what the true dictionary definition of this word is. When you are a student, this is what it means.

6) MCQs: Short for Multiple Choice Questions

This acronym is official at this point. It is printed on book covers as a title.

7) Scoring subject: An easy subject which one opts for not out of interest but because it is comparatively easier to score well in.


Every school or college will have an overabundance of applicants for this subject.

8) Coaching classes: Where the actual learning happens

These ‘cram schools’ are also referred to as tuitions. At this point they are so notorious that many teachers do not bother to teach large parts of the syllabus, assuming that most of their students attend these classes.

9) Importants: The important questions that teachers, examiners, exam moderators and possibly even God think will be asked in the exams

This is an abbreviation of ‘Important questions’ but no one has time for two extra syllables. One of our teachers used to pronounce this as ‘impotence’. Being immature pre-teens, we never corrected her.