Essay on Examinations:
Examinations have become an indispensable part of our present educational system. A student is subjected to examinations right from the beginning of his education and has to go through all sorts of examinations until he completes his education. In fact, nowadays, the examination starts even before education begins. The innocent toddler, or at times even his parent, has to go through a test to secure admission to the K.G. class. The examinations continue to chase a young man even after his education is completed. For, recruitment even for the lowest service depends on some sort of test or examination. Thus examinations have assumed an importance out of proportion to their actual educational value. Indeed, we have no education worth the name. Our schools and colleges are no longer seats of learning and enlightenment but are only examining and promoting bodies turning out educated youth in their thousands. The chief anxiety of a student is not how to study but how to prepare for and pass his examination; and that of the teacher is not how to teach or what to teach but how to coach his pupils for their examinations. A school or a college is judged not by its overall contribution to the all-around progress of its pupils, but by its examination results. Thus, examinations have become the be-all and end-all of our educational system.
Because of their exaggerated importance, examinations have become a veritable nightmare for our pupils. The whole career of a pupil depends on his performance, in the examination hall. If for any reason he cannot appear for the examination he has to lose a whole year. If the question happens to be the ones he has anticipated, he is lucky to pass. If they are unfamiliar, he is doomed to fail. Assessment standards being subjective varies from examiner to examiner. Even in the case of the same examiner, it depends upon his mood.
Thus, our examinations kill all interest of students in the study. They put a high premium on memory. They encourage cramming, hunting about for likely questions, and even visits to examiners with a view to influencing them. Some examiners take pleasure, not in testing what the pupil knows, but in trying to find out what he does not know.
Examinations of today are games of chance, mere gambles, and are sometimes known to fail scholars and pass dunces. The end-products of these unreliable examinations are only degree-holders and job-hunters, not learned and cultured citizens. We need to overall the entire present system of examinations in the best interest of our students. Mass examinations and mass assessments must be scrapped forthwith. The element of chance must be eliminated as much as possible. Instead, a system of evaluation of the student’s overall performance and progress throughout the year should be introduced.
Lastly, the degree-job nexus must be needed. Those who do not want to pursue higher studies and instead want to take up jobs should be provided both in-job and out-of-the-job training which would help them to achieve the skills and knowledge necessary for the job and get a promotion.