Grades, the sweetest yet scariest word in the academic world, is hailed as the sole criteria of judging a student. Parents, Children, Tutors, Schools and Colleges; any person or institution, even remotely associated with education, goes gung-ho about marks and grades. They feel that anyone scoring above 90% needs to be treated differently and the student must be exceptional in not only education but all other walks of life.
The result? As per NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau) data, in 2018 alone, 10,159 students committed suicide, which translates to 28 deaths every day, owing to parental and peer pressure. These include students from premium institutes like IIT, coaching institutes, schools and many more. Grades, or the obsession with it, are creating more damage to the learning process and in this blog, we will discuss it further.
Why Do Grades Mean So Much?
Getting accepted into a decent college is not on top of the to-do list if one does not get good grades . To put that into perspective, in 2019, the cut off of one of India’s finest institutions (Hindu College), shot up to 99% for entry to their political science stream! Weird? Definitely, and that’s where the problem lies.
Unlike Europe and the USA, where SAT, TOEFL, GRE and various other entrance exams are conducted worldwide to screen the best students, Indian universities look at class 12 marks as the sole criteria for admission. This makes students go crazy over their percentages and those who are not on those lists feel dejected.
Any standard university checks students’ marks, entrance scores, interview performance, and decides whether it is worth selecting the candidate, much like the IIMs and other higher learning institutions. However, in India, degree course colleges bring out merit lists only on the marks obtained in the boards leading to this problem.
Grades Cannot Define IQ
In the midst of all these, academicians have repeatedly shown concern about the lack of encouragement given towards innovation and analytical ability leading to a fall in student qualities. PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), takes an examination to assess students’ analytical ability globally. In 2009, India finished at 72, second last, ahead of only Kyrgyzstan. This shocking result has indicated that application-based questions are something students are still not comfortable with.
The urge to score high and the competition among schools rarely gives space to new ideas coming or debating new research. Learning a science subject requires more practical classes than theories. Real life examples, learning tours, videos/images along with latest updates from journals are some of the most engaging ways to help students understand the subject. The interest in the subjects grows and students can easily relate to it.
Giving them challenging projects also brings out the best and those who have creative ideas can be groomed further. Instead of mere grades, ideas need to be celebrated.
Are Success and Grades Mutually Inclusive?
Several successful personalities have become entrepreneurs, scientists, musicians, teachers, etc. with average grades. Albert Einstein was so fed up with the schooling system that he never gave much importance to these mechanically conducted exams and performed poorly. There are several examples in India as well, i.e., Ritesh Agarwal, the founder of OYO Rooms, is a college dropout with a net worth of $1.1 billion. The point is, if your target is fixed and you are thinking ten years down the line, then you will have decent progress in your career.
If you look around most high scoring students are doing pretty much the same jobs in the IT/Finance/Consulting sector, as other employees. Yes, scoring high does indeed prove your academic consistency and discipline, but it does not make you an exceptional calibre student by default.
Scoring high marks can never be the end goal of any student at any point of time. At best, it is a validation of memorizing capabilities that gives you the scope of higher learning in good universities. However, in professional courses like engineering, law, medicine, hospitality, and others, there are entrance tests, group discussions, and interviews. Hence, higher scores will not give you an advantage and it’s a level playing field for all. If you get good marks, well and good, if not, get into a lower repute college, but focus on the subjects more. At the end of the day, your professional success will depend on your commitment to the work, expertise and the value that you bring on the table.
MyFavTutor, one of the most promising tutoring platforms in India, is providing you the scope to connect with the best tutors, in any subject. Train yourself from the most experienced faculties, learn and understand the topic well, and gradually improve your marks. Don’t make the learning process a liability; enjoy the subjects as you move along.