#MarksDon’tMatter: Just Work Hard, There is No Need to Take Stress
I work just as hard as anyone during my exams but I don’t get exceedingly stressed.
It’s no secret that the stress felt by Indian students during board exams is uncharacteristically high. Many face immense pressure from their families as a result of the fierce competition they experience when applying to universities. Others hail from underprivileged backgrounds and are tasked with lifting their families out of poverty.
Over the years, education in India seems to have become increasingly dependent on rote learning, hours upon hours of mind-numbing memorisation for the sole purpose of a slightly higher percentage.
Exam stress has been the subject of debates for years, but what I wish to focus on here are the individuals upon whom I believe the blame truly lies: The men and women in charge of college admissions and employment. For it is their demands and their needs that are that catalysts for all of this, and it is they who believe that examinations, and the rigid criteria by which they are marked, are the best way of judging a students’ ability. Needless to say, this is a mentality I find to be nothing short of absurd. People’s personalities are individualistic and complex beyond belief.
Are we really expected to believe that it is possible to thoroughly evaluate a prospective student or employee, based on nothing but a series of grades, each of which were obtained by writing a paper for two to three hours?
In addition to the flawed nature of this process, I also find it represents a certain unwillingness to invest in the task at hand. The ability to discuss, to deliberate, to talk, and to truly understand the intricacy of an individual is one we seem to lack in this country. Not because we are unable to, but because those in positions of authority seem reluctant to make the personal and mental investment required in order to perform such a task. As a result, students are ensnared in a discordant frenzy to outscore each other, and countless individuals who are deserving of a particular position or opportunity are denied solely because of their marks.
“But what about work ethics?” some may cry, “The students won’t perform if they’re not under pressure.” To which I offer my very own year as an example.
In the British School, there is a relatively small amount of pressure placed on students during their exams, but that said, the significance of said exams is never understated. Personally speaking, I work just as hard as anyone during my exams but I don’t get exceedingly stressed.
Now, my grades are nothing to set the world alight but the same cannot be said for many of my fellow classmates. And while attaining such marks does elicit a certain amount of stress, it is by no means comparable to amount endured by most students. Many end their lives every year as a result.
Because of this, I believe that the ability to work hard and to remain disciplined is something that depends on the environment in one’s home, as well as the individual’s ability to regulate and control oneself, not the amount of stress one is forced to endure.
Therefore, I cannot help but conclude that the individuals who encourage the existence of exams that inflict gargantuan levels of stress upon students do so, not because of an inherent desire to entice the students to work as hard as they can, but rather an unwillingness to evaluate them in a more thorough and more practical manner.
(The author is a student of the British School. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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