Why do we have exams? Without even conducting a simple survey – we can unanimously come to the conclusion that no student really likes exams or even studying for that matter.
The students’ perspective of exams
YOLO – You only live once – is the latest mantra. Students are young, and all of us make conscious efforts to ensure that we live our lives fully and freely. There are games to play, friends to hang out with, movies to watch and malls to visit. A simple exam timetable forces us to start flipping the pages of our books.
Then we progress to the next stage of cramming all the knowledge of our books into our minds at the very last minute. We feel it is enough if we remember the facts/equations/definitions and diagrams till we write the exam.
All of us know a few students who believe in securing marks by hook or by crook. There is no need to elaborate about the how they go about doing this because we all know what we are talking about.
The next day or next week we will not even remember the questions that we attempted in the exam.
A mark sheet displaying good marks relieves us of the burden of facing our parents’ wrath. Our parents are satisfied or proud of us depending on the scores that we managed to secure. We can now continue to lead our lives as coolly as we want to.
Visualizing the big picture
- Childhood/adolescence is that phase of life where we can completely dedicate our time to amassing knowledge.
- This knowledge stands us in good stead throughout our lives. We may lose everything in life ………our money/ friends/house/family members, ……but we can never lose our knowledge.
- Studying different subjects is compulsory until grade 10 because all students need a strong base of the different components of knowledge.
- After spending a decade pursuing 8 diverse subjects – students can clearly find out their areas of interest and also the subjects that they are inherently good at.
- Some may excel in Math, others are excellent creative writers, and some will discover their passion for chemicals or fluid dynamics during these years. Others will want to know the intricacies of how the human body works.
- Schools/Colleges give us the right infrastructure and ambiance so that we can imbibe these concepts in the right manner from experts.
- Tests/ exams are just tools to ensure that we focus on assimilating small chunks of knowledge at a steady pace throughout our childhood days.
- Tests/ exams instill a sense of discipline in students. They learn to:
- Study regularly.
- Adhere to a schedule.
- Take up the responsibility of doing things on time.
- Plan their day.
- Compete in a healthy atmosphere.
- Gauge their inherent/dormant potential.
- Work hard to realize their true
- Knowledge does not mean excellent marks alone.
- Grades/Marks are just a benchmark to gauge our understanding of that particular part of the subject. If we get good marks – it simply means, we have grasped that concept correctly.
Just think for a while
- Don’t youngsters learn things quickly and correctly compared to their parents or grandparents?
- Don’t you honestly think that childhood is the best stage of life for garnering knowledge when our mental faculties are still developing, and we have no other responsibilities to shoulder?
Bridging the gap
Somewhere down the line, the meaning and value of exams have been lost. Several factors may have contributed to the stress that is now related to exams. Competition has increased because the population has increased. Good schools, quality education, international boards have created such hype around education that even parents are clueless and don’t really know what will work best for their children.
We cannot change these constants. We cannot control the population nor do anything about the competition. Neither can we change the system of our education. If we actually look at it objectively – it may have its share of flaws, but there are a lot of imperceptible benefits too.
What we can do is change our perspective and our approach regarding education. Our parents may have worked hard to ensure that we study in the best schools and colleges. A good school or college means good facilities, better equipment, talented expert teachers all of which contribute to great quality education.
We need to consider ourselves fortunate if we are studying in such reputed institutions. But sadly, we take things for granted. After a couple of years, we even get used to excellence. Instead of taking full advantage from these institutions, we will adopt the ‘Just Chill attitude!’
We feel exams don’t actually serve any purpose (apart from placating parents of course!)
As students, we don’t really understand how studying differentiation or the anatomy of frog or antonyms or Shakespeare will help us in the future.
Again -Just think for a while
At a very elementary level, studying Math improves your logic and helps us understand how various businesses operate at a basic level. Studying languages helps us communicate politely using the right words at the right time. Sciences will help us understand how our bodies work, and we learn how to take care of it properly. Physics and Chemistry help us understand how the material things around us work.
Before we even attempt to study one particular subject properly – we need to figure out why we are going to school or college in the first place. In other words, we need to visualize the big picture more often.
When we see things with the right perspective – we will be able to study with the right spirit enthusiastically and zealously. Every school ensures that their students get ample free time to play, interact with friends, watch movies and visit malls. No parent, school or teacher will ever endorse the fact that they want their children to study 24x7x365.
All adults have experienced childhood. They know and understand that children need to enjoy their childhood years. But they also know the value of good quality education. Most mature adults understand that higher or better marks don’t really mean more knowledge. Multinational companies also realize that great scores reflect just one part of the person’s personality.
Yes, we can feel and sense that education around the world is slowly but surely changing for the better. It may take a few more years for us to see and experience the change.
As students – as future citizens of a global world – all we can do is change our ‘Just Chill Attitude’ and focus on accruing knowledge with the right spirit and perspective!