On your marks…

We were sitting in office today when a colleague got a call that his sister had scored 91% in her Board exams. A whoop of joy went around! Soon after, another colleague got a call telling how her nephew had also scored 91% in his Boards. Apparently, he was crying because his marks were too low!

Thankfully, we’re beyond the stage of looking to our percentages and exam results as the be-all-and end-all of our lives! But even we were not I wouldn’t mind it so much. Because strangely, I loved studying! And I loved my Class X Boards – they were a breeze! I scored a 90.4% in them (I never forgot to mention the .4 because another o.1 and I could’ve said 91%), Β 15 years ago! And I was jumping for joy, not wallowing in sorrow.

I love to relive the moment when I got my result. It’s one of my favourite moments in life. IΒ was the first one to collect my marksheet from the school, because I was the first in the queue. And when I came out of the Principal’s office, there was no one outside with whom I could compare marks.

I used to be pathetic in Maths and had taken a calculator along to calculate my percentage. And I must have punched in my marks at least thrice before I could believe it actually was a 90.4%! A friend’s mom who watching me, came up to me and asked how much I had scored. I gave her a perplexed look and said ‘it can’t be true’ and calculated my percentage all over again. And the sweetheart that she was, she understood I was too dazed to know I’d done really well, and hugged me so warmly, I still remember that hug. By the way, she’s one of my favourit-est aunties because she shared in my joy when there was no one else to share it with me. And she still meets me with as much warmth as on that hot summer day when she congratulated me on my result.

Interestingly, a lot of my friends and classmates who were straight-As students, did not score as well as me that year. And though I was the one pathetic at Maths, they’d scored lesser than me! That really put them off! Not that I was ever less than an above-average student, but they were the ones who always excelled. Honestly, it surprised me Β too that they’d scored lesser than me.

But over the years, I realised who cared for a Class X percentage? When I went to take admission in college, no one even gave my 90.4% a second look. It meant nothing. And it means very little now. When I applied for my job too, I don’t think my 90.4 stood me in any good stead, and I’d have fared as well in my interview had I scored an 85%. But back then, it meant the world to me.

Also, academic performances have very little to do with how successful you are in life. A lot of successful people from my batch are the ones we used to call back-benchers.

The CBSE Board has now done away with Class X Boards, to reduce stress on students. A wise decision, methinks, because there’s undue emphasis on marks and percentages these days. I think academic performances are important, just as performing well in anything you attempt in life is. And if I were to go back to school, I would like to ace my exams and tests, but I don’t think it’s fair to every student who doesn’t have an aptitude for the kind of studies that our system offers and still has to appear for the exams. My sister hated exams! She could never understand why despite studying everything, she wasn’t in the top 10 in the class.

But most of us have our Board exam/result memories. Tell me if your memories are made of stressful experiences or joyful remembrances?

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18 responses »

  1. ah, well yes, we posted on the same topic!
    and i do relate to parts of this post as well. I scored a 89% in 10th a good 14 yrs back! and no i wasnt the studious types. i liked studying and much as i liked other things. the best part was my parents attitude. they never ever forced me and my sis to get highest marks etc etc.. we were just asked to give our best.. each result was celebrated. whatever marks we got, we still use to get gifts! it was a little insane but damn cute!

    • Something similar used to be the scene at our place. When I say I loved studies I don’t mean that I was buried in books all day long. It just means that I wasn’t afraid or bored of studies, or ran away from them. But yes, I was from the studious types. For people like us, the system seemed fair enough. But I’m not sure everyone had it that easy.

  2. Very true. Marks or lack of them do not sum up the person and his/her intelligence and knowledge.

    I’ll have to update my reading list with you and Iya moving to WordPress. Will return to catch up on older posts.

  3. I scored somewhere around 80% in Class X.. and yes I was happy with them.. The best part was 90% in Hindi… Everyone is my house was happy… They had anticipated a little more from me, but still they were happy with what I got.. I officially got the title of being a ‘pandit’, thanks to 90% in Hindi.. πŸ™‚
    I was only scared about my science marks.. Science = Scary.. but still I managed to get decent marks in it…

  4. hey hi, i did the exact same thing in my class 12 results….i must have calculated it some 6 times before i got sure that i scored the score i did….. and completely agree on the no correlation between acad performance and sucess in life …………..

  5. Hey…..those were excatly the words to the group of classmates I met after 18 yrs….”the backbenchers are doing much better today”….I loved to study too but seriously maths did pissed me off;(…my class X was ok though but I was shocked when I topped during my MBA….i may have calculated my % 5 times just to be sure that nothing went wrong….and so true marks have really little to do when u are on right track …..

  6. oh i so understand where you are coming from! my board exam experience was a rather scary one, full of stress and undue worry. at that time, i believed that scoring the best of percentages was the best way to a good life in future, even though my parents did nothing to inculcate that belief in me. in fact, they wanted to see me studying peacefully and not so stressed out. but i never understood, till later in life.

    i realised later that percentages are not all, and wished i had spent more time on the other stuff in life as well. today, i feel board exams are over-hyped. there is a lot of hype and stress created around it; which is not really required. what matters is teaching a child the basics, and the rest would definitely fall in place. if a child has perfected the basic concepts, it does not matter if it is a school exam or a board exam. i don’t know about ICSE and Central Board syllabi but the State Board exams that I cleared were actually quite simple – in fact, simpler than the preliminary exams we used to have at school!

    i cleared my SSC with 79% and my HSC with 81% and got admission into one of the best colleges in my city. today, i am working in a completely different field, not using my education at all. I wish children were taught ‘life skills’ rather than just scoring marks in exams.

  7. Just to play devils advocate, any kid who didn’t score in 90s this result and read this post, s/he wont be taking away your point that marks don’t matter in the long run but would be feeling miserable for scoring an 88. I’ve always been lucky enough to be one of the toppers you mention and although I agree marks hold no importance career wise but they do plenty to fuel your self esteem and allow you gloating rights as you expressed. Been there done that. What kid wouldn’t want to earn those gloating rights and to proudly flash the high scores 15 years later too? All of us do. So yeah, in that sense, grades do matter. But I agree that parents should not put any expectations on their kids to stress them into steps as extreme as suicide.

  8. I don’t agree with the grade system because I am seeing the difference in the attitude of students (regarding studies..the seriousness..the drive etc) taking admission in engineering now and then first hand! But thats a separate issue. as for your question my post-Class X board vacation was one of the best of my life! So I have joyful memories πŸ™‚

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