What the cat is to the mouse, what the wolf is to the sheep, what the mother – in – law is to the young bride, what the cop is to the burglar, examinations are to the student. They periodically haunt us, and their spectral approach reduces our nerve to a pulp. In course of time we learn to accept them as part of the inevitable evil of the world. It is only by a supreme effort of imagination that a student can visualise a world without examinations.
If there were no examinations! There would be no tension and rickety nerve that now mar the term – end and the year – end. No memorising of date and formulae and all that one doesn’t understand. No perilous conjecture of important and likely questions. No poring over guides and burning the midnight oil. I wonder what the writers and publisher of guides would do, and the teachers who thrive on private tuition and the managers of coaching classes. The mishaps and freaks of chance that plays such an important part in examinations would not occur. An ordinary crammer would not come off with flying colours, nor would a really bright student fail to make the grade. Above all, students would not know the painful suspense of waiting for the results, and the shocks and disappointments they bring in their wake. The spirit of youth would not be cribbed, cabined and confined, and life would be happy throughout the year.
All this doesn’t mean that there would be no education and acquisition of knowledge. One would read and write and learn, but it would be a pleasure. Poetry and fiction would be enjoyed instead of serving as grist to the mill of examinations. Science would satisfy youthful curiosity instead of being crammed up. The emphasis would be on understanding rather than on memory. A student’s intelligence and merit would be assessed, not by a final examination, but by his daily work and behaviour. In short, if there were no examinations, education would perform its real function – bringing out the best in a youngster and developing his personality to the fullest possible extent.