Examinations play a pivotal role in student success. Perceived benefits of examinations are the raising of standards, the easy access to a guaranteed benchmark of excellence for employers and universities, and the raised aspirations and efforts of students when they know there is a test at the end of all their lessons. Today education has lost its importance completely. And examinations could be a very lethal reason behind it.

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Academic competence and intelligence are not straightforward to measure and no method will fully capture the scope of a student’s ability, but the fact remains that we need at least some formal system, otherwise the academic system will not work. Examinations help to evaluate an individual academically. They help the student understand the pressure which he/she will face in their professional lives. If we qualify a person without exams, it may lead to critical situations like a doctor would kill many of his patients.

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Exams are not vague, they have measurable guidelines. But today, we are having a complete counter-view about preparing and giving exams. Most of the exams pattern is not sufficient to evaluate the real capabilities of the student. What this system encourages is practicing past papers in the hopes of mastering tests and not the subject. Exam-centric education causes extreme stress for students because tests are regarded as a means to prove their worth. An exam-oriented education system not only increases a students’ burden but also restricts a student’s ability to learn using techniques that a particular student finds most effective. Intellectual exploration is impeded with constant pulls towards mastering guess work and memorizing ‘standard’ methods of answering ‘repeated types’ of question.

This year, Sarthak Agarwal, secured 99.6 per cent marks in Class 12th board exams and is the CBSE topper. Competition is going on increasing in a similar way and students are trying to score 100% by just mugging up and having no knowledge about the subject they are studying. Tests simply require students to cram when studying, and after the test is taken, the information studied is almost immediately forgotten, so the purpose of the test in the first place is gone.

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This needs to get reformed. Examinations are not killing the education, but the pattern of some exams is killing it. Exams must include projects, assignments and presentations to judge the actual worth of a student. Standardized tests have myriad limitations in that they are almost without fail culturally biased, biased towards certain socio-economic groups, or administered in such a way that they have no bearing on real-world situations, knowledge or experience. But examining a student’s ability on his own capability of learning and presenting himself would be more advantageous. Moreover, it should be understood that judging a student mere on marks cannot be justified.

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 -Tanvi Shah

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Smita Singh

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