Examination means a test of the capacity of knowledge. It is the thing that a student hates most. He usually compares the examinations to a nightmare. Examinations may be a pleasure for a few brilliant students but are a necessity for an average student and boring for a majority of them.
Examinations have the following uses. First, they serve as a test of efficiency. It is only by taking an examination that we can know what progress the student has made during a period. Examinations supply us solid proof of the fitness of a student for the higher class. A university degree or diploma shows that a particular student has acquired knowledge of a fixed standard. Thus an employer can safely entrust a job to the degree holder after examining the degree.
In the absence of examinations and degrees, we shall be at a loss to find out a man whose efficiency is tested. Secondly, examinations are the test of ability and help us make a difference between the scholar and the dullard. They help us find out the ablest candidate out of a group of many. To fill all higher services, examinations are conducted by the Public Service Commission, and the top candidates are selected to fill the vacancies.
Firstly, the examinations goad us to study properly. It is the fear of examinations that makes us work. Many careless students become serious near the examinations. They try to be systematic and regular. Thus examinations are the most effective way of inspiring a student to read.
But examinations have their darker aspects as well. First, they shatter the blooming health of young students. They sit up late in the night to prepare for the examinations. A number of them fall ill. They lose their peace of mind. From this point of view, examinations are a curse.
Secondly, the examinations encourage the very bad habit of cramming. They are a test of memory rather than of intelligence or knowledge. Good marks or mere success in the examination is looked upon as the only test of true knowledge. Students read help books to get good marks and neglect the prescribed books.
Thirdly, the examinations are no sure test of one’s ability. Chance plays a great part in all examinations. Intelligent students may fail and dullard’ may pass. Many eminent persons of the world are not holders of high academic degrees.