The Curse of Copying in the Examination:
Examinations are a necessary evil. Everybody is afraid of them. But they are necessary to test a student’s knowledge and proficiency acquired in some subjects within a specified time limit.
One of the greatest defects in the present system of examinations is that it is not an accurate and scientific method of measuring one’s intelligence and ability. Those who are successful are not always the best and those who fail are not necessarily the worst candidates. More often than not a student who mugs up or crams, copies or smuggles into the hall written answers to expected or set questions, comes out with flying colours, while another who studies his courses more thoroughly and diligently but falls ill near the examination, has to cut a sorry figure.
The curse of copying in the examination is another great danger. We are having illiterate and uneducated graduates. They have degrees but they know next to nothing. Formerly the examinees used to cram, now they copy which is a less laborious process. As a result of it, any serious and systematic study of the courses is discouraged. It has led to the use of unfair means on a large scale. Any superintendent or supervisor who dares to check the student runs a serious risk of his life. The students have grown violent and fearless. By copying a student is able to answer some questions satisfactorily even if he knows next to nothing about the subjects he has taken up.
If the cause of copying continues we will have the next generation of ignorant and uneducated persons. Because of mass copying, the present system of examination has outlived its usefulness. No doubt, when examinations were conducted in a fair and impartial manner without resorting to copying and other underhand means, the system worked well to a great extent. It kept alive the spirit of healthy competition. It provided some incentive to work. But in the new set up it has lost its usefulness. It is a patent fact today that the prevailing system of examination is more a test of cramming and copying than that of intellectual attainments.
The curse of copying does great harm to the really good students. Those who copy get a high position, while those who do not, suffer in comparison.
In order to end the course of copying strict measures should be taken. Those who are caught red-handed, should not be spared. Moreover, we need urgent reform in the system of education. Time has come when stress should be laid on classwork and periodical and practical oral tests. Marks should be given from day to day and a cumulative record should be maintained on the basis of which the progress in studies, intelligence and ability of a student should be judged. This procedure will go a long way in putting an end to the evil of copying in the examinations.