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Examinations Exert A Pernicious Influence On Education Essay, Research Paper

Let us begin the discussion by defining the limits of the three keywords, examinations, pernicious and education, in the above statement.

Examination is a form/means of testing a person?s ability to perform in a particular subject which may be academic or non-academic. Pernicious means something which is harmful or has harmful effects. Education is anything a person learns from the time he is born to the time he dies. This includes all academic and non-academic subjects which may be good or bad. Having defined the keywords, the bases of the argument has been formed and now let us start by discussing the pros of the topic.

The student appearing for the exam takes it under extreme tension and pressure because he knows that he has only one chance to prove his worth and if he fails, he will be left behind for the rest of his life. Of course he can re-take the exam after a period of a year or so but since he had failed it once, it wouldn?t be the same. His momentum of studying would have been broken and his failure would serve as a discouraging factor. As a result he would probably show a worse performance the second time and end up losing a year.

The other point in favour of the topic is that the student may be good at the subject itself but may not be a good examinee because he may not be able to attempt fully the question in the set time period. This may not give a chance to the student to express fully and in a comprehensive manner, his opinions and views. Take the example of this essay. If I were given this essay in the examination, I may not be able to explain each and every point properly because of the limited time I would have been allotted.

Let us now make an assumption that the student is able to finish the question in the allotted time. However, his handwriting is difficult to understand and his paper is filled with scribblings towards the end. The student has no knowledge of the examiner nor of his mood/state of mind at the time of checking.

So, what happens if the examiner is in a frustrated mood? First of all, his temper grows as he stares at the untidy paper lying in front of him. Then he takes a deep breath and starts reading the essay. By the time he finishes reading the first paragraph he can take no more of the terrible writing and goes through the rest of the essay reading a few sentences here and there. When he reaches to the end of the essay, his mind contains glimpses of what the student has written and gives marks accordingly which are ten-to-one very low. This results in the student getting a low grade and his future is completely or to a large extent ruined.

Apart from this the last few papers checked by the examiner usually earn a low grade because by that time the examiner is bored checking papers and also by the repetition of points.

When a student knows that he has to study for a particular examination and follow a set syllabus, his approach towards that subject is narrowed down. This restricts his knowledge of the subject even though he would like to study it from a wider perspective.

The element of time limits the student?s answer to memory rather than to analysis. Since the time at hand is extremely short, the student finds it hard to organize all the points. Therefore, he explains all the points that are in his mind in a random order which spoils the flow of the answer and also leads the student to making a lot of mistakes, most of which he could have otherwise avoided. Also, this leaves the student with little or no time to check his paper for spelling and punctuation errors.

What happens if you are an excellent student but are sick on the day of the examination or are under pressure external to the examination? What if your answer is biased or prejudice and conflicts with the opinions and views of the examiner? In such cases, students get low grades even though its not their fault and they cannot help in any way. They therefore have to suffer for the rest of their life.

Let us now examine the cons of the topic. The most important con of the topic may be that it provides a base for people belonging to all classes of the society to show their worth. And if the society is not based on the caste system then members of the low classes would be able to obtain high posts and go far in life if they perform well in the examination. In this way they would be able to achieve all that they had so far only dreamed of.

Examinations can be taken as a test of a student?s knowledge about a particular subject which would tell the student where he stands among others, and how much he knows and how much he ought to know. E.g. we all know that we have to perform deeds of virtue in this world in order to attain salvation in the next phase of life, but how many of us perform this duty? Lastly, examinations can be considered as a standard of measuring how strong a student comes out under extreme conditions.

In the conclusion, I would like to give my own views on the topic. In my opinion, examinations do not have a pernicious influence on education because if desired, the student may collect extra information on the subject through research but he does not necessarily have to implement it in his answers. Also, since all the students taking the examination are judged on the same material, it provides a solid base for judging a student?s ability to perform in a particular subject or profession.


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