YouthSutra

An Examination of Exams

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So, I have an exam today. A pretty shitty one that I am really not prepared for, but will score well in regardless. Why’s that? Well, it’s just the way the system of exams works in India. If you know how to play it right, you can ace exams and pretty much know nothing afterward.

We really love exams, as a people, you know. The current social narrative we have dictates that your examination scores are a reflection of your value as a person, and how successful you will be. Isn’t that great? Do badly, and you’re worthless. A disgrace to your family. Might as well just pick up some blue collar job, since that’s all you’d be good for. Oh, don’t get me started on the horrible treatment of those guys in India, that’d be a whole ‘nother article.

A lot of professions pretty much require that one pass a specific written exam. Oh, and this is just to see if you’re eligible to get into a college/university for the specific course. JEE and NEET pretty much encompass the most popular two stereotypical Indian professions that parents push their kids into. So, if you don’t do well enough in those, be prepared for scorn! Oh no! My child won’t be an engineer/doctor as I wanted! How dare they!

I’ve heard of plenty of people that do well in written exams, but end up being completely useless when it comes to doing the actual job. The culture, as it is now, encourages you to learn to get a good score in exams, not to learn for the sake of learning. This ends up being bad for those who excel, and for those who don’t.

The ones who know how to score well in exams can usually do just that – score well in exams. Not much else. No soft skills, no practical knowledge, nothing.

And the ones that fail? Rejected by society, pushed into low wage jobs with low prospects of advancing one’s career, and truth be told, given much less respect than anyone that secures a ‘successful’ career path with their scores.

This really begs the question, what are exams good for? It certainly isn’t good for the students, who end up getting the short end of it regardless of what they do. You have to either rote learn plenty of crap to pass, or just accept failure. They don’t teach you anything, other than to repeat what you’re told.

The whole education system needs a major overhaul, really, since exams are the main point of focus for nearly every single educator I’ve ever met. If students score well, it means they’re doing their job well. Right? Well, not really. There’s a lot of ways to assess what one has learned, but we’ve fallen in love with the antiquated written education system, and well, you know. We’re a bit possessive.

So, dear readers, I know exams are a major source of stress because of the pressure they put on you. I’d say just try to deal with that, more than rote learning. If you’re relaxed, and actually know something about your exam, you’ll be able to deal with it a lot better than if you were stressed and knew everything about it.

Probably why my exam prep is usually hours of playing games and watching anime, along with a little study time thrown in there. So just take it easy. Go out there and do your thing. There’s plenty of ways to show the world you’re good at what you do, and exams are probably the worst way to gauge that.

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2 thoughts on “An Examination of Exams

  1. I have nominated your blog for the Blue Sky Challenge Award, guys! I do find your posts very inspiring and thought provocative. Here is the link: humanfulness.wordpress.com/2017/08/28/blue-sky-challenge-award/

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