The System of Examination:
Examinations are a cause of fear to every student. They are condemned with one voice. Still, they are regarded as the test of man’s attainment in the educational field. After one has passed a certain examination, a student is given the necessary diploma or degree certifying the standard of knowledge. But is it really so? All thinking men will say, No’.
All agree that our present system of education is meant to test the ability of a young man but it is in fact a test of the capacity of cramming in a student for it is humanly impossible to remember so many facts and figures all the same time. So a boy, who has understood his subject well, will cut a sorry figure at the examinations if his memory is not sharp while another boy who does not know even the ABC of things, may come out with flying colours as he crams up more easily.
Besides an element of luck plays a very important part in the examinations. A student who has done nothing at all throughout the year but sits down in the night before the examinations and crams up the answers to a few important questions may farewell while a more intelligent student may be unsuccessful because of his failure to cram.
In addition to this, while judging the ability by written answers there is every possibility that two different examiners may give different marks to the same answer. Sometimes the same examiner will give different marks to the same answer at different times. Much, therefore, depends upon the mood of the examiners. There is thus no uniformity in the judgement.
All this leads us to think that there is something basically wrong with our present system of examinations. A closer study has shown that the present system of examinations has done more harm than good. The aim of true education is not to make a clerk of a boy but to make him capable of doing something more constructive. It consists in learning not only a few formulae of Physics or Chemistry or certain facts of History or Geography but in their cultural values also. It consists of moral and ethical values. Examinations may be the test of a boy’s skill in a particular subject but how to test the moral standard of a boy has attained and his creative ability? Thus examinations prove a serious disadvantage to true progress.
If we want to do away with all these evils, we need a change in our system of examinations. This can only be done if a day-to-day record of a boy’s progress is maintained by his teachers and at the end, he is awarded his class or grade on the basis of his record. This record will give us a summary of the courses the student took up. Such a system should be far more valuable than a mere degree.
Still, we have to admit that examinations are a necessary evil. We cannot do away with examinations. Life itself offers a test and God gives his judgement on the basis of how well we act in this world.