Essay On For and Against Examinations
Examinations have been considered as the only means to judge the achievement of students. They are conducted term-wise, half-yearly and annually. There are percentages of marks fixed in accordance with which divisions are awarded First, Second, third 60%, 45% or 48% and 44% or 47% and one failing to secure even 33% is declared as failed.
In the present Scenario of examinations, particularly in the English medium system, upto the 12th. Class students are found to be scoring even 90% or even above and those who secure 70% or less are treated as mediocres. Students suffer a sense of disappointment at securing this percentage and so do the parents. There is a lot of mental pressure on the young mind to secure higher and still higher a percentage. Examination papers have their patterns changing objective type questions of 1 or 2 marks each for a part of the question paper while some are descriptive to test the writing power of candidates. There are All India Boards while there are State Educational Boards conducting these examinations.
Even for getting into the University or the Colleges offering Degree and Post-graduate degrees or the professional degrees like Engineering, Medical or such other professional courses, there are entrance examinations held. And so are examinations held for services India, State level, for Bank services or Life Insurance services and the like. All Examinations, thus are the only way to judge a candidate’s ability and mental competence and no other method, thus far, has been able to be mooted out as an alternative to this system.
No doubt, it is very difficult to judge a candidate’s competence and his or her mental calibre except by putting him or her to a test – this test can only be in writing short answers or long answers that is another question but something must be recorded to be judged. But is all this good about the system?
It has been found that students or even their teachers select out the probable questions or the type of questions at the that can be expected in that year’s examination lower level say upto the Intermediate level students mug up the answers, without understanding what they are mugging up and if fortunately they get the same questions, the answers to which they had mugged up, they pour that out and secure good marks. Even, an otherwise, more intelligent students might be found securing a poor percentage. Has the examinations judged the real merit? The answer will be a ‘no’; but what is the remedy. What is to be done then to decide the better one? And this system of anticipation of probable questions goes on and on till the highest level and preparations are done accordingly.
All the candidates they number in lacs cannot be personally interviewed and questioned to judge their individual grade of intelligence or attainment. All these compulsions make the examination system to go on in the manner that it goes on.
And then the aptitude, the attitude and the mood of the examiner also plays its part while evaluating an answer sheet. The same examiner, if required to examine the same answersheet again without the knowledge that he had evaluated it earlier may award marks quite different from what he had awarded earlier.
What is the yardstick to judge how the candidate getting 89% marks is indeed lesser intelligent than the one getting 92%? So all these are the points that can go against the present examination system. With the present system going on there remains so much of pressure and stress over the candidates that even stress management centres prior to the examinations have come into existence.
What is to be done to redress the situation?
The CBSE is contemplating a grading system instead of a division awarding system. The thinking behind this is the same as in the case of one getting 89% and the other one getting 92%. Grading system may place both of them in the same grade. That may be all right.
But then how will these grades help in the admission to a higher class? There again the entrance test will have to be gone through. The Public Service Examinations hold a Prelim before holding the final. This is more a process of elimination than judging true merit. It is the large number which has led to the introduction of this system.
So it has to be admitted that examination system will go on and cannot be done away with. The only way up to the University level is to have the Semester system, or class tests on weekly or monthly basis and the result culled at the end of the year. This system would greatly eliminate the tension that candidates suffer from as the examination approaches. But this system would need teachers who should be objective and unbiased and impartial – a rare quality in the modern times though. But this is the only way to improve the system.
At the public service level standardization of marking should be brought about. Examiners should be made to sit together, discuss the subject matter of each question with and the requirement of an answer for grading checks and balances at different levels. This can bring uniformity and standardization.
Examinations have to go on; the system cannot be given up.
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