Should the Examination System Be Overhauled?
“Every day news of leaking of paper of one or another examination has resulted into total loss of credibility and collapse of examination system in the country. The students feel that the system of examination has shattered to such an extent that they find to search a person who could leak them the ensuing paper is better course of option than to toil all the nights prepare for that.”
Examinations have remained a bench-mark for the evaluation of a student’s performance. By judging the student’s performance on a common platform. Their individual talents are overlooked. But, examinations help the teachers and parents in judging the performance of the child. They also make the students strive for excellence. However, the assessment of the examinees’ performance depend entirely on the examiner. The children without applying their mind learn the subject by heart parental expectations and peer pressure take toll on them. Even after graduating from a college, they are unable to secure a job. There have been several recommendations by various educational commissions to scrap (overhaul) the present examination system. Though some public schools have tried to bring about a few reforms, examination remains the only tool to measure that facilities of a child.
Examinations have remained a bench-mark for evaluating a student’s performance, through the centuries. The Kauravas and Pandavas, in the Mahabharata, were put a common test of shooting the eye of a wooden bird, kept on a tree by Dronacharya, their teacher. Except Arjuna, who was skilled in archery, the other failed because they could not wield the bow and arrow. The rest excelled in different forms of warfare, thought that remained unaccounted for in that examination. Even .to this day, students are judged on the common platform of an annual examination and their individual talents are overlooked. The need for examination in judging the individual’s performance at the end of a session has often been questioned.
Examinations help the teachers and the parents in analyzing the amount of labour put in by the students in gaining knowledge. Teaching is always followed by tests because the tests give an impression as to how well the students have looked the subject. A good result helps the teacher feel relieved at his success in imparting education to his pupils while a bad result indicates that there is a need of more effort at the teacher’s front. Thus, examinations are also a mean of judging a teacher’s dedication towards his profession. With the help of the result of examinations parents can make the right assessment of their child’s calibre. If he is weak in his studies, they could guide him further in the subject. If his performance is to the satisfaction of his parents, they would be proud of him.
The prevailing system of examination is everywhere an object of criticism. It suffers from a large number of drawbacks and requires complete overhauling. It has failed to deliver the goods.
The system of examinations is not the real test of the student’s ability. It does not ensure accurate results in judging the real worth of an examinee. It is rather a game of chance. The mood and whims of examiners count more than any rules or regulations. The standard of marking varies from examiner to examiner and even with the same examiner at different times. Again, the ability and worth of a student cannot be judged through a three-hour test.
The present examination system encourages cramming. It is a test of memory only. Our colleges have become laboratories of cram work. Only the crammed facts are tested in the examination. The aim of education is not simply to stuff the brain with bookish knowledge but to improve the character and personality of the student. The present system does not make him fit for taking up the practical duties of life. This system discourages general knowledge. It limits a student’s range of study. He studies only that part of his syllabus which is important from the examination point of view. He knows nothing about the world around him. The real aim of education is thus defeated.
Thus the present system of education suffers from glaring defects and it requires speedy reforms. The educationist in the country are already attempting to incorporate certain reforms in this system. In the fact, the system, has already been changed in some of the universities in India. Other universities are pondering over introducing the new reforms. The old system of marking is being replaced by a grading system. This makes the marking of the answer-books more objective. Question papers are being so framed that they cover the entire syllabus and discourage guess work and cramming. Seasonal work is assessed regularly and the marks obtained during the various terms in the year are counted towards the making up of the final grade. The concept of ‘open book examination’ is also being accepted and put into practice in some of the universities in the country. All these reforms are accepted to make the examination more reliable, objective and valid.