Are Board Exams Worth it?


Pragya and her family were overjoyed. Applause and cheer were heard from two floors down. The reason for the reveller’s cheers was no big secret. ICSE board results had just been announced. Now, being an average scorer of 70-80% throughout, Pragya scored an exceptional 96% in her boards. Impressive isn’t it?

While we all wonder how and why statistical analysis shows that 99.34% of students passed along with the success rates shooting up over the past 3 years. The marks are bestowed for skilful rote learning, precise definitions laced by mediocre questioning skills. Does it equip the child enough to compete in the real world? How far along will the parroting help?

This got me thinking if the Indian education system is inherently flawed. The stress, the unrequired competition these exams bring with it. Is it worth it? The fact they cause unbearable amounts of distress to students leading to a rise in teenage suicide rates, depression issues and a very apparent prejudiced grading system. A consistent hardworking performer gets equalised with someone who mechanically memorises at the last minute. How fair does this sound!?

The Indian board exam system is leaving its students increasingly less prepared to compete in the international marketplace, which is a failure that has long-term academic, economic and political consequences for India. Strict adherence to systems of memorisation-based or rote learning is leaving students ill-equipped in critical thinking, creative expression and effective communication—the very values that are driving global innovation, which is the real test of life. Research and analytical thinking are mighty suppressed through these exams.

So I did congratulate an ecstatic Pragya as well as Rahul, the consistent super sharp performer who scored 98% and it left me wondering if they both got what they deserved.

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2 thoughts on “Are Board Exams Worth it?”

  1. Definitely not only board exams but a various other entrance exams have their own flaws!
    But with the new education policy 2020, I suppose gradual changes will start and maybe then we could get closer to a better education system! Change requires time, and so will this!

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