Indeed examinations are regarded by the teachers and other prominent intellectuals as a test of merit . Students prepare for the examinations, days and months in advance. The day of the examination is always awaited with a mixed feeling. There is a fear of facing a tough paper and there is also a sense of relief to know that once the papers are over, there can be enough time to play and enjoy. Examinations are a bug-bear. They are like electric shocks for most students. Children have all sorts of nightmares before the preparation of an examination.
They encourage cramming . Unintelligent cramming leads to stunting of the thinking power. They are a farce. The examinees themselves are not sure how to mark the papers . The outstanding advantage of examinations is that the teacher as well as the student tend to be industrious . Examinations inspire them to work hard and score maximum marks in each subject. The teacher and students consider examinations as their only goal. They even compete with other classes. This means that without examinations, the teacher as well as the student would tend to become idle.
After the result, the meritorious student is easily known by the teacher or principal. Students are not to be found at the cinema houses, restaurant and other places of entertainment during the examination days. If there were no examinations, the merits of various students could not be judged, nor would the majority of students take any interest as it is only the fear of examinations that makes students work. They know that if they keep on neglecting books, they will be exposed on examination days. Now do examinations really test an individual?
A student may memorize certain portions of the text and if a question is set from the portions he has prepared, he will no doubt secure good marks, while another student, brighter and more intelligent than the first, may not show good results because he did not especially prepare the questions which were set in the examination. A student may play football during the whole the academic year and yet get through the examination. Another student may work hard throughout the year but may unfortunately fall ill during the examination days and be thus declared unsuccessful.
Is it justice? Is it fair play? It is a mockery. Papers of a lucky candidate may go to a lenient examiner, while bad luck may take yours to a stiff one. A marginal case may pass at the hands of one examiner and fail at the hands of another. It is a lottery. A lucky one may draw a prize ticket. While an unlucky one may draw blank. The mood of an examiner counts a lot. If he has fallen out with his short-tempered wife, he may fail you. An examiner, who has just received news of his promotion to class one, would like to share his good luck with his examinees.
Are then again examinations a true test of one’s ability? When they come even the gayest of them forget all play and turn to worshippers at the altar of books day and night. Even Christ said, “O God; Save me from trial”. This gives one some idea of the terror they strike into the heart of the poor examinees. Examinations are a plague. They are blood-suckers . Their after effects are pale cheeks and sunken eyes, grey hair, sleepless nights, physical and mental disorders. A number of young men go mad year after year as a result of these examinations.
Most educationists now agree that a simple crucial examination is certainly no test of ability; they insist upon a series of practical tests of knowledge and intelligence over a period of two or three years . The results of all these tests, they say, should be taken into account when judging a student’s ability. On the whole, it may be said that good students do not usually show bad results and that negligent students do not generally pass. They kill all originality. They play with the health and lives of the student. Examinations are a game of chance and skill.