TODAY -

Examination and its importance or limitation

Pukhrambam Kumarjeet *



A testing of knowledge or ability in one's standard is known as examination. Examinations have, to most of us, a cause of trouble. That is what every student thinks that they seen only unnecessary hurdles to hold up a student's rapid progress. They serve meaningless to hold up a students' rapid progress. They serve meaningless purpose, because they seen to be abolished, or some other practical substitute must be found.

All India survey conducted by a private farm based on Kochi namely, "Education on line.com" confirmed that the consensus among students is against examination. The HRD ministry, Govt of India issued a fresh guideline for the optional examination of standard X (ten) may be their proposed draft or may not be but all are in the way of student's welfare.

But whatever students may feel about examination on the face of it, the plea for their abolition can't be supported. For it goes without saying that there must be periodical tests and assessment of merits and the progress in studies achieved by students, has to be measured. An annual and terminal examination with this objects seems only way of doing this. But whether it really serves this purpose depends on a correct analysis of the importance and limitations of this exam system.

Let us take the limitations first. The fact that the end of the academic session students must pass an examination, too often has an undesirable influence on teaching. The teacher will always have his eye on the examination, and his teaching will be more in the nature of coaching students for a pass than building up his mind.

All that a student acquires in the process is the crammer's art which may help him through the examination. Students depend more upon memory and a manual type of preparation of answer to questions than a proper assimilation of knowledge.

On other hand, examiners have thin whims and fancies, and many of them are capricious and wiful. The setting of paper is often subjective, so there is a wide difference between one examiner and another. It has been found that sometimes the same paper is awarded marks ranging from 36 to 63 by different examiners or even same examiner at different times.

The mentioned difficulties are more than ever accentuated in examination involving large number of candidates. Because of the time factor the work of examination has to be rushed through assessment hasty and therefore make unreliable. It is cleared that contemporary examination system does not inspire confidence.

Examinations are competitive test in which each student tries to overcome his rival. A spirit of healthy rivalry is not to be condemned outright, but rivalry soon degenerates into selfish competition. VIP's , Officer's and rich's families student take help of tutors which places then in a position of advantage.

Many are led to keep their knowledge selfishly to themselves, refusing to help their rivals. It makes students narrow-minded and selfish. It may be put on ambitious students an unnatural strain. Instead of knowledge being the end of learning, the art of displaying the little one knows to the best advantage, becomes the be-all and end-all of study.

Let us come to the importance last. Let us at once admit that fear of examinations keep students at their books when they might have wasted their time otherwise. It serves the purpose of compelling students to read their books and to acquire at lease some of the rudiments of learning. As to the test of merit, examination might not do absolute justice to the examinees, but it certainly does substantial justice.

In our state where little money is spent for education, a better alternative has not yet been devised. For this reason examinations must continue in our schools colleges and universities till state is ready to finance more and more expensive alternatives. Even than examination cannot be entirely abolished.

But the nature of the test might be suitably amended in order to minimize the defects. Thus greater stress might be laid on the interview. It may be difficult to gange the actual quality of a student from the written answer, but an interview for a quarter of an hour will soon convince the examiner as to his real merits. Greater importance should be attached to class examination.

A students' month-to-month record of progress ought to be taken into consideration, for steady work all through the year. These improvements are rendered difficult in our schools, colleges because there are too many students per teacher of vice versa. Individual attention to each student is impossible. Hence class records are often incomplete and unsatisfactory.

Lastly, one suggestion can be made in the interest of the whole student society that instead of one final test examinations might be taken compartmentally twice each academic year. The final assessment should depend on a consideration of the results of these examination.

That would mean less concentration of effort on the part of the examines and more systematic work all through the year. The reform might not be so very difficult to organize. Let us hope for a speedy examination reform for peaceful and mouthful society.


* Pukhrambam Kumarjeet wrote this article for Huieyen Lanpao (English Edition). This article was webcasted at e-pao.net on 05th April 2010.

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