Examinations are regarded as a test of determining the merit .Students prepare for the examinations, days and months in advance. The day of the examination is always awaited with a mixed feeling. There is a fear of facing a tough paper and there is also a sense of relief to know that, once the papers are over, there can be enough time to play and enjoy. Examinations are a bug-bear. They are like electric shocks for most students. Children have all sorts of nightmares before the preparation of an examination. They often privilege cramming. Unintelligent cramming leads to stunting of the thinking power. They are a farce. The examiners sometimes themselves are not sure how to mark the papers. The outstanding advantage of examinations is that the teacher and student tend to be industrious. Examinations inspire them to work hard and score maximum marks in each subject. The teacher and students consider examinations as their only goal. They even compete with other classes. This means that without examinations, teachers and students would tend to become idle. After the result, the meritorious student is easily known by the teacher or principal. Students are not to be found in restaurants and other places of entertainment during examination days. If there were no examinations, the merits of various students could not be judged, nor would the majority of students take any interest as it is only the fear of examinations that makes students work. They know that if they keep on neglecting books, they will be exposed on examination days. Now do examinations really test an individual? A student may memorize certain portions of the text and if a question is set from the portions he has prepared, he will no doubt secure good marks, while another student, brighter and more intelligent than the first, may not show good results because he did not especially prepare the questions which were set in the examination. A student may play football or cricket during the whole academic year and yet get through the examination. Another student may work hard throughout the year but unfortunately fall ill during the examination days and be thus declared unsuccessful. Is it justice? Is it fair play? It is a mockery. Papers of a lucky candidate may go to a lenient examiner, while bad luck may take yours to a stiff one. A marginal case may pass in the hands of one examiner and fail in others. It is a lottery. A lucky one may draw a prize ticket, while an unlucky one may draw blank. The mood of an examiner counts. If he has fallen out with his short-tempered wife, he may fail you. Are then again examinations a true test of one’s ability? When they come even the gayest of them forget all play and turn to worshippers at the altar of books day and night. This gives one some idea of the terror they strike into the heart of the poor examinees. Examinations are a plague. They are blood-suckers. Their after effects are pale cheeks and sunken eyes, grey hair, sleepless nights, physical and mental disorders. A number of young men go mad year after year as a result of these examinations. Many more commit suicide for or after failing in them. How sad! How deplorable! Most educationists now agree that a simple crucial examination is certainly no test of ability, they insist upon a series of practical tests of knowledge and intelligence over a period of two or three years .The results of all these tests, they say, should be taken into account when judging a student’s ability. On the whole, it may be said that good students do not usually show bad results and that negligent students do not generally pass. They kill all originality. They play with the health and lives of the student. Examinations are a game of chance and skill.
Examinations are tests which aim to determine the ability of a student. Academically, an examination is an official test of knowledge. Different types of Examinations are conducted all over the world for evaluating a person’s skills and intelligence. Examinations are usually written tests, although some may be practical or have practical components, and vary greatly in structure, content, and difficulty depending on the subject. Life today has become so complex that examinations have come to play an important part in one’s educational career. The importance of examinations is so high that most students are afraid of them. The examinations are hated by many and Loved by many. Here are some reasons for and against Examinations.
Advantages of Exams
• Self Analysis of One’s Own Abilities: With examinations, a person is able to know his level of Performance and Knowledge.
• Tool for Learning and Working: Examination provides encouragement to people for Learning and Working.
• Spirit of Competition: Examinations also create a sense of Competition which pushes the limit of a person’s ability to do more and to do best.
• Development of Personality and Confidence: Spirit of Competition and Realisation of Self -Analysis leads to the development of one’s Personality and Confidence.
• Scholarships and Awards: Good Performance in Examinations brings Scholarships and Awards
• Good Future: Good Grades translate into better Job Placement and remuneration
• Examination Anxiety is Good: Anxiety due to examinations is good. It is a necessary part of life. The occurrence of Examinations prepares students to get used to the pressures of examinations, their mentality becomes much stronger. And when they go out to work, they are able to withstand the pressures of their career, instead of crumbling under the huge amount of stress
• Single Examination-Multiple Students: One can judge the progress of many students at once by holding a single Examination for all.
• Easy Detection of Teaching Flaws: Examinations also measure a Teachers skills and flaws and if any subject should be re-taught or explained differently.
Disadvantages of Exams
• Source of Stress and Pressure: Some people are burdened with stress with the onset of Examinations. The Stress of Performance creates Pressure for many.
• Health Problems: Examinations also lead to various health problems like Headaches, Nausea, Loose Motions, V omitting etc.
• Loss of Confidence: Failure in Exams leads to loss of confidence for many.
• The tendency of Suicide: Failure in Examinationsharborss Low Self Esteem which induces Tendency Of Suicide.
• Breaking of Companionship: Competitive traits during Examinations sometimes leads to Peer Problems like ruined friendships, bonds etc.
• Exams are a Formality: Students are unable to identify the real purpose of Examinations. For them passing their examinations is a formality for entering into good schools. Therefore they all are all learning just for the sake of a formality.
• Pressure Creates Disinterest in Studies: Exhaustion, stress and other problems related to examinations create fear and hatred which in turn leads to loss of interest and faith in studies.
• Examinations are not the Real Test: Examinations measure relatively superficial knowledge or learning which totally defeats the purpose of Examinations. A person with lees grades may turn out to be a successful person while a good grader may end up unsuccessful in life. Some students do not score well even if they know the material, poor reading skills can handicap a student, questions on examination might not test progress as well as they could.
Examinations have good and bad sides but it is how a person deals with them. They can be Constructive as well as Destructive. It all depends on the Personality and Character of a person. Examinations are an important part of academic studies. Good Examinations are those which prepare you for a Bright Future and not for creating unnecessary competition and burden.
( The author is a teacher at Government High School Brakpora Anantnag. Views are his own)