Academia v/s Intelligence

Posted on January 25, 2010

Shreya Krishnan:

Browsing the net, I stopped by to read about a day in IIM-B (here). I have never been to an Ivy league institute, though I have always affectionately associated all my alma mater as premier J. Like most kids, I have dreamt of studying in one of the IITs, IIMs and the likes. Who wouldn’t wish to study there? Nevertheless, I haven’t had an iota of regret for my education.

Yes, indeed academia has always chased me almost to the extent of killing me. I have always detested slogging to clear exams like most of my peers (this fact I’m sure of). And my academic marks have just justified the same. For your information, they are not worth publishing but I have never shied away from learning. From time immemorial, I have always been curious and inquisitive, which I have learnt is a good trait. And so has been my learning curve.

Though academia has not been my forte, I realized pretty soon that intelligence and academics do not implicate the same thing. Intelligence per se defers from areas of interest of the person and the medium of evaluation. On the contrary, academic performance, in India is measured most likely on the same pattern which has been proven time and again to be ineffective. Most likely after 10 years of clearing your 10th, you wouldn’t care how much you scored in Science or Math. If it isn’t so important in life, then do we exaggerate its importance? If academic performance doesn’t imply your capability or your intelligence per se, then why does the corporate sector still insist on a good academic performance? Why are we so critical of the mark sheet and not critical of our knowledge and learning? Does a 90% ensure that I have the equivalent knowledge required? If that was the case, then there would be many more successful and happier people in all fields.

After 3+ years of work ex, I am sure when you get down to real business, it really never matters how and why you scored a 90%. What matters is all that you have learnt. All that a good degree and a score card do is get you an entry into the boat. But to sail and survive in the deep sea, you need to survive the real test. The best learning you can ever get is from yourself. Learn all that you can every minute. Learning is a continuous process and should always remain exponential. The best judgement line would be to evaluate your knowledge from time to time. If you have learnt something that you didn’t know yesterday, you are surely on the right track.

So the next time you are sitting up all night long wondering if you will at least score a 35 on the next day’s paper, think again. What you might spend the whole night mugging up, may not even be useful 10 years later. Of course do not take exams lightly unless you do not want a degree. But in the process, please don’t forget the most essential part of learning. Get a degree to improve you and your personality as a whole, and not to find just another job!

Strive for excellence, and success will be at your foothold.

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