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%), 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. I 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 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?