Examinations cause a kind of turmoil and panic among students. Examination days are the most critical days in the life of students. During these days there prevails examination fever. Then they are awfully busy witch their books, lessons, notes, learning and cramming. The very thought of failure or low percentage of marks would send a chill down their spines. They forget all other activities and spare no efforts, nay turn heaven and earth to prepare for the examinations. As the day of examination approaches nearer, the fever touches the highest point and there is much restlessness and agitation. But examinations urge and inspire the students to work and study hard. It is because of these that the students are serious, regular, punctual, and disciplined as regards their studies and other activities.
Examinations create a sense of responsibility and a desire to fare better and score better than others in the examination. A healthy competition is there because of these examinations and tests. These prepare the student for far more severe and complicated tests of real life. The discipline and skills acquired here pass on and help them in real life situations. Thus the talent, skills, abilities and discipline acquired during studies and training, stand in good stead later in real life.
Ho doubt we cannot dispense with the examination system. But is it not noV an outdated method of testing a student’s achievements? Does the system not place too much premium and emphasis on cramming, mechanical memory and elements of chance? Does it not promote such undesirable practices as copying, leakage of question papers, giving and accepting of bribes, etc? Does it not encourage mere bookish knowledge, publication of cheap notes, question papers etc? Are these tests really objective and a fool proof method of judging one’s academic achievements? Can you really judge a student’s worth just in three hours by asking him to answer a set of 5 or questions? What about the subjective element in examining the answer books? These are some of the very critical questions and need to be answered.
Because of these serious defects, the examinations have become a necessary evil. Time and again students have revolted against it. They have really become a nightmare for them and caused considerable strain and stress to them. They feel cheated and frustrated because of the prevailing system of examinations. What purpose mere cramming and mechanical learning does serve? Students forget soon what they have thus learned. Then the examiner has no objective and set standards to judge and evaluate answer-books. I am guided by his own whims, moods, bent of mind and predicates. Wide disparities have been found in the assessment of the same answer-book. Mr. A may judge a particular answer as excellent, Mr. B may find it average and Mr. C not of any worth at all, or the same examiner may give different grades or marks for the same answer when examined at different points of time and in different moods.
Examinations have become more speculative in nature. There is too much chance element in them. They are more or less like a hit or miss game. The examinees first become victims of the whims and vagary of a paper setter and then of an examiner. It has resulted in a confusion most confounded. An examinee may not be physically well; he may be mentally upset because of one or another reason at the time of examination. He may get nervous in spite of his excellent preparation and memory, and may not fare well.
The failure in tests and examinations discourages and disheartens intelligent, hard-working and talented students. They develop a sort of repulsion for tests and so the students seek short-cuts to get through them. They aim at getting through either by hook or crook. They resort to selective study, copying or even to gratifying the concerned examiner, paper setter or invigilator. They depend on cheap market notes, guess papers or sometimes even on soothsayers. The fear of examinations turns them superstitious, dishonest, and imbalanced and shirker. Then there are pressures and other dishonest means which are being used to influence the results of the examinations.
All the ideals have been thrown overboard in such a whirlpool of tests and examinations. That is why our schools, colleges, universities and training institutions, are producing degree, diploma and certificate-holders in
ot Xian’s every years, won are not educated and trained in the real sense of the term. They just manage to get through the tests and obtain a diploma, degree or certificate as a passport to the realm of service and employment. What Charles Colton once said is very appropriate in this context. He said ” Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest candidate can answer”.
Examinations are necessary but we should see to it that they no more remain an evil. They should be reformed, humanized and reoriented. A news system of evaluation of a student’s day-to-day progress, conduct and co- curricular activities should be evolved. The examinees and students can be saved from the tyranny of examinations by making suitable changes in the system so as to make it more scientific, realistic and objective in judging a student’s worth, performance or achievement.