Examinations are an age – old practice of evaluating students’ performance. Dronacharya had also held examinations for his students. God had tested the devotion of Ibrahim. But the modern system of examination is the gift of the British rule.

Form of examination today:

Prior notice regarding the date and programme of examination; many students curse it; the examination sects the students’ heart pounding; however, students concentrate on studies with longer hours; date approaches; question – papers distributed by the invigilators; certain number of questions to be done in allotted hours; answer – books given to examiners; evaluation and allotment of marks; results published…

Why examination taken:


To test student’s mental ability and knowledge.

Why examinations are necessary:

To make students work – fear of failure and humiliation; to know the comparative merit of students and place them accordingly in their careers…

Why examinations are evil:


Examinations encourage cramming rather than true and applicable knowledge; a game of chance and skill; standard of making not uniform; personal moods and approach of the examiners may affect objectivity; one year’s efforts tested in just two – three hours (?)…. Etc.

Suggestions for reform:

A series of practical tests, weekly tests, objective – plus –subjective tests; counseling for examinations to help students to take the examinations in a sporting spirit; progressive idea is to allow text-books in examination halls….



The analysis shows that despite the evil nature of examinations we are bound to go along with them. This is because we have not hitherto evolved any effective alternatives to them. However, the tests and evaluation systems should be so designed that they make a real test of a student’s mental ability, originality and faculty of critical thinking.