Students with exam anxiety or who haven’t even studied for the big test can now be guaranteed of passing with flying colors simply by filling in the answers using a “magic pen” from a temple in India. Is this a gateway to Harvard or the biggest scam since the invention of x-ray glasses and Nigerian princes?
According to India Today, the magic pen allegedly comes from the Kashthabhanjan Temple in the Panchmahal district of Gujarat in western India. The temple is apparently advertising the magic pen by having leaflets distributed at schools or wherever the parents of students taking board exams hang out. The pen is explained in the leaflet by Dushyant Bapuji, who claims to be a Hanuman sevak (a servant or devotee of Hanuman, a yogi and shapeshifter with many temples in his honor) and explains that the power of the pen comes from a Hanuman Saraswati Yagya, which is a ritual performed in front of a sacred fire honoring the goddess Saraswati.
All of that test-taking power can be yours for the low, low price of 1900 Rs (about $29). But wait … there’s more.
The leaflet seems to focus on the Class 8, 9, SSC, HSC and college exams, which means its power is geared more towards older students and not elementary school kids worried about spelling tests. But the biggest benefit of the magic pen is the money-back guarantee if the student fails his or her exam. All of the 1900 rupees will be cheerfully refunded when the student or parent provides the receipt for the pen, receipt for the exam, a cell phone number, a copy of the admission ticket for the exam and a copy of the student’s school ID.
With magic pen in hand, how would you answer this question: Is this for real?
Dushyant Bapuji is confident enough in the power of his magic pens that he even includes his own picture on the flyer. However, he neglects to provide the names or photographs of satisfied customers holding their A+ test grades, diplomas or admission letters to good old Gujarat State. Warning sign number 2 (like the pencil that the student should have taken the exam with) is the money-back guarantee which doesn’t cost Dushyant Bapuji anything and leaves him with a slightly used pen plus valuable personal info on the students and their gullible parents.
Psychologists will tell you that the magic pen could act as a placebo in reducing a student’s test anxiety, but it won’t replace studying or natural ability. Hindu religious leaders stress that results don’t matter and Karma is more important.
Is the magic pen a scam? Most likely. Can it relieve a student’s test anxiety? Highly unlikely. Can it help them at all? Definitely! The magic pen will teach students that no matter what they score on their exams, they can still make money selling magic pens to next year’s students.