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These 5 Myths About High School Exams Need To Be Debunked Right Away

By Mitali Bhasin:

So it’s that time of the year again. Relatives and neighbours obsessively asking, “Beta, result kaisa raha?” because well, over the generations, we have hyped this modest examination to such a great degree that it has been stamped a benchmark of every Indian teenager’s life. No, I’m not against education, but surely the CBSE Board Exams are beyond overrated. Here are five myths, about the most glorified exam of Indian academics that need busting:

12TH_CBSE_EXAMS_IN_D_13453fMyth #1: These exams are a deciding factor of your life.
Really? So how do we justify Bill Gates, who created Microsoft, without even finishing school? Or the billions out there who fared well in the exams, but are still living aimless lives? If one exam was meant to fashion your destiny, we’d all be CEOs/Ministers/Nobel Laureates/Inventors with effortless ease.

Myth #2: Anything less than 90% isn’t good.
Why have we mercilessly quantified the sanctity of knowledge into grades and marks? If after 13 years of education, all a student can do is pour rote knowledge into blank paper, then we have miserably failed as a society. Concepts learnt at school are forgotten because their application in the real world wasn’t strictly taught. Despite English being the main subject throughout schooling, we are significantly the most grammatically incorrect folk.

Myth #3: Work hard this one time; your life is set then.
Nope. It’s not. Anything great in life shall demand dedication and hard work, be it higher education, a successful career, a steady relationship or even a minor goal like losing weight. If you’re fed on the idea that one-time perseverance is all it takes to make it in life, time to pop that bubble. Life was never meant to be that simple.

Myth #4: Studies first, friends later.
Academics, career, your own self, definitely top the charts of priority, but at the cost of ending up as a loner? Definitely not. Why are we so bent on discouraging the once piece of solace every human deserves-a friend? There shall always be a reason to ignore giving importance to your buddies-starting with school exams, to college exams, to post-grad exams, to jobs, to marriage, to kids…the list goes on. Social skills need encouragement, and shouldn’t be victimised in the name of study. If you aced an academic exam but died without having friends to have the last laugh with, you failed the sport called life.

Myth #5: No one wants to marry someone with poor grades.
Even if we go by the typical Indian standards of the “perfect” girl (fair, doe-eyed virgin) or the “perfect” boy (tall NRI with a 6-figure paycheque), a 90% result in these exams doesn’t guarantee she/he will be that “perfect” spouse. Marriage web-portals need a serious reality check before asking 10th and 12th marks (as mandatory fields) in the profile.

P.S. No, this isn’t an attempt at sending a spiteful uproar amid parents or teachers. But out of personal experience, I was slapped a C- grade in English in 10th grade. My 12th grade English teacher told me, “Language isn’t your forte dear. Try not to consider a career in writing.” And I managed to author my first novel when I was 18 (Book name: I’m in Camp…Get Me Out of Here!) and got published. It wasn’t a must-read or a flying-off-the-shelves bestseller, but it sure wasn’t the work of someone linguistically challenged, as proclaimed by the education system. There’s more to life than exams, let’s try not to forget that.

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  1. Nimisha Bhatia

    The rest may be true, but we can’t allow kids today to weigh friendship above studies. In the name of solidarity, today’s teens spend endless hours on Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp and what not. In life your truest friend is your education, nothing else. I completely stand by it, as a parent, that career needs to be made first…friends can be made later.

    1. Hardik

      You're missing the point. The article means to say that I a person keeps on studying without noticing his friends, he would end up as a loner….. Obivously it first apply to facebook as friend remain permanently. So, in your view, studies first FACEBOOK later.

  2. Mohd Babar Shahid

    You have to get a degree in order to get a job. That is the way it works. And then you need money to put food on the table for your family. You can be really bright and intelligent, but try getting paid a good salary where you can afford to marry, have two kids, buy a house and a car, without a degree. And please avoid the Bill Gates example. for every one Bill Gates out there, there are countless who are either working menial jobs or have committed suicide.

    1. Mita

      At no point does this post discourage education. But making a hype about it, as if a child’s entire life depends on it? Really? Getting a degree and a great job are possible even if a student achieves an average result.

    2. Rohan Verma

      It’s true Mohd, degree is necessary. But failure/success in one exam is not the deciding factor. Even at the college level, in great institutions like IITs too, great jobs don’t just go to the highest GPA students. An exam alone can’t shape your personality.

    3. Madhu

      Point taken. But is it really worth the buzz and attention? Does it make sense in committing suicide just because the results weren’t as expected? Does it make sense in making a child feel like a loser only because it’s a matter of shame to not have a great report-card?

    4. arvind

      So, you’re in the year 2014 and a degree is no longer mandatory for a job.

      Moreover, this post only says getting a stellar grade isn’t the only thing in life.

      Moreover, about avoiding the Bill Gates example, asking to avoid is like, asking why so many people should run a race when only one person is going to come first.

  3. Rohan Verma

    I can totally relate to this. I wasn’t amid the top-scorers or even achieved a 90%. But still managed to secure a seat in a decent college and am presently working with a leading Indian company. Soon, I plan to start something of my own. An exam cannot decide your complete future, or even a part of it.

  4. jeeka krishna

    you have inspired me in more ways than you can imagine dear.. 🙂 well written .

  5. Chavan Bhasker

    First Well Written….

    Then, i don’t know why in india the grades are of much cause…..
    Here your failure relates directly to grades..
    If your grades are round 60… meant you are nothing..and there is nothing to be proud about you……………

  6. Neha Jha

    Good, very good.
    Your teacher couldn’t see through you, I guess!
    I’m 22 and doing my PG in English. Had worked in media before PG and, believe me, your marks are not gonna help you to that extent! Its just being given too much importance! And, that’s not good because we are making everyone believe in herd mentality. Creativity and originality are lost. Those are the things that are most important.

  7. Ardee

    Not badly written.
    However, I think we have overdone the use of the ‘Bill Gates didn’t go to school’ example. We have seen it in memes, articles and whatnot. Please think of original or even creative ways to introduce your write-ups.

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