Examination – Has It Killed Education?

Don’t Let Examination Kill Students

Fourteen year old Raju looked at the ceiling fan. He started sweating and thought of cancelling his plan but that was not possible. He went ahead, threw the string around the fan and before he could change his mind, hanged himself using the same rope. Later on, it was discovered that Raju was under stress due to coming exams. He felt pressurized and didn’t know whom to talk with.

The above incident is not alone. In India, daily average twenty students use various methods for committing suicide. They all have different Modus Operandi but the same reason. Some have Stress of not getting admissions in esteemed institutions, others fear of not performing well in the exam.

Why students are taking such drastic steps? Have the authorities ever thought what is wrong? Is there any drawback in our education system which is putting pressure on students?

Students are not mentally grown-ups. Many still don’t know how to handle pressure. The students assessment is done based on their performance in few hours. In the examination hall, they have to give their best to do within the given short duration and then accept their destiny when the results come. You may be a scholar but if you fall sick during exams, no one is going to rescue you. I know a son of my friend, who gets so nervous during Mathematics paper that he literally forgets whatever he knows during the tests.

Life is uncertain and even the topper can get depressed and forget everything under the exam pressure. Is it good to leave one’s fate based on the performance in few hours?

What is Education?

Education develops the thinking of a person. It develops the thought process. Education is not about passing an exam or getting good grades. It’s also not about getting a good job after being educated. It’s an enlightening process. In schools, we are taught subjects viz Social Sciences or Poetry not as one day we will earn due to knowledge of such subjects. Social Science grows our knowledge about this world and Poetry enhances us in expressing ourselves. We start earning due to our interest or proficient understanding of a particular subject. Examination is there to assess the knowledge we gained at a particular time.

A person is referred as an Educated Person when he is humble, intellectual, knowledgeable and kind. Being educated and being financially successful is different thing and totally unrelated. However, examination has become a very important link between the two. Examination certifies a person’s knowledge at every step of learning process. It’s very easy to distinguish who is grasping the knowledge quickly and who is intellectual by way of examination. Those who excel in these exams have more chances to achieve success in life and do better in career. They are approached readily by organisations for jobs. They have been certified by examination that they are intellectual and they possess the knowledge well enough in a particular field which enable them to do requisite work swiftly.

However, as in our current education system, the biggest issue is that it has become exams oriented, instead of being education oriented. Today, nobody is interested in training students and to really measure their knowledge and understanding on the subject.  Everyone is just focused on grades and marks. As a result, today’s exams are not a good criteria to assess their genuine education skill, but they have just become a measurement of one’s retention skills. As a result, students have only one goal of how to perform professionally in the examinations. Nobody pays attention to actually gaining knowledge. They are not inclined to go an extra mile and do research which may give them better understanding of the subject.

It’s a sad reality that this kind of system prepares students for materialistic success and monetary gains. The fundamental education has gone in the background and students have lost the focus of learning.

What is the use of making them remember things which they are not going to use in the future? The education system should allow them to learn the subject and understand the fundamentals. Instead, the system emphasizes on how much students mug up and write during the exams.

Protect You Kid From the Pressure of Education

A very important thing to understand here is those who are not excelling in these exams are not actually dumb. Many of them are really very smart. They just don’t have the sharp memory to mug-up things. They might not act quickly and perform well in short duration of exam time. But, can perform well in real-time demand of life situations. Many of my schoolmates who used to score 40-50 % in schools are successful managers. Many who are good in mugging up the things are left behind after school, as they lack the power of analyzing.

Enhancing Our Education System?

There are two major types of learning process that is used world-wide for education.

  1. Rote Learning Method
  2. Critical Thinking Method

Rote Learning is a method of memorizing by way of repetition. Critical thinking method is to educate someone by developing their thinking. Both have its own uses in the education system. Rote learning is used in early stages of our education to learn the basic things like counting, basic mathematical operations, memorizing alphabets, names of fruits,  flowers, birds, etc. Once the child is at a stage when they can analyze, think, act. Critical Thinking method is used to develop their intellectual skills.

In our education system, Rote Learning method is used even after the kid is grown-up. Like I remember in 7th standard, the one who could write each and every step of an experiment given in chemistry book or biology book used to be given full marks. I was unable to memorize well so I used to score poorly.

A balance of both the methods depending on the growth level of the kid should be applied to enhance the learning. The motto should be to impart the education rather than score more.

Schools should have regular meetings with parents to keep them updated about their child’s performances and interests. The pressure of study comes on a child by their parents. Parents wants their child’s future to be easy and secured. A simple way for this is to score high. Get certified that you are intelligent and you will be taken with both hands by companies after completing education. However, showing anger, frustration and admonishing to score high even after being in top ten in the class is quite common in our society.

Apart from this, the people who regulate the rules and make education policies should understand their responsibilities. Due to their ignorance, today our education system has become another name of rat race where learning has no chance to win! And even if the rules are changed, it’s a duty of every institution to see that they are implemented properly. Those in power should make proper changes in the policy. And the parents as well as teachers should make sure that the students do what they love to do instead of compelling them to learn what they don’t like. If the subject is beyond their capacity, they are hardly going to succeed. Letting them do things they like and letting them select their own destiny might be helpful. It might reduce the pressure from young students and reduce the suicide rate.

Hopes Beyond IIT

Students of 10+2 mathematics are crazy about IIT. May be you are one of them too who desperately want to be a part of IIT. But, let me tell you. There is life other than IIT which can be as good as a life with IIT. Here, I’m giving list of …

New Pattern: What is JEE?

Confusion Among Aspirants about JEE

The whole structure of the two major engineering entrance exam in India changed in the year 2013. After much debate, meetings and suggestions, finally ministry of human resource & development have come up with a plan to enhance the importance of 12th board. Now, the marks of 12th board will not only be a cut-off, instead it will impact the rank.

The sudden change in the whole pattern of admission have created an ambience of confusion among the aspirants. The terms has changed. AIEEE name is missing from the whole process. And, importantly CBSE is organizing one of the two JEE exams.

Lets go through the details of JEE

AIEEE becomes JEE (Main) and IIT-JEE becomes JEE (Advanced)

The most important change which is creating highest confusion among the aspirants is modification and alteration in the terminology. The engineering entrance exam AIEEE that CBSE used to conduct has been renamed as JEE (Main). Similarly, JAB which used to conduct entrance exam for IIT known as IIT-JEE has been renamed simply as JEE (Advanced).

In order to correlate both IIT JEE and AIEEE, the bigger brand name JEE has been used for both the exam. However, the structure of examination is nearly unchanged for both the exams.

Weightage for 12th marks

This is the most important change that MHRD wanted in the IIT JEE for years. However, still nothing has changed if IIT JEE is taken into consideration. But, a lot have change for admission to colleges using AIEEE score.

The major reason which was cited in implementation of weightage to 12th board result was variance in the pattern and marks of all the 12th board examination bodies through out the country. The suggested normalization process was always seen as flawed and was resisted from implementation.

This year only admission to NITs, IIITs and other institute which were using AIEEE ranking earlier is going to get affected by the marks of 12th board. After the result of JEE (Main) and 12th board, a ranking will be given by the CBSE with 60 % weightage to JEE (Main) marks and 40 % weightage to 12th board normalized marks. This ranking will be used for admission to NITs and other engineering college for counseling and admission.

As for the IIT-JEE, 12th board result will not impact directly on the ranking. However, a student is required to be in top 20 percentile of their board. Now, the group of words used by the JEE (Advanced) for this eligibility citeria is “admission will be subject to the condition that the candidates are in the top 20 percentile of successful candidate of their boards”.

The use of percentile is very tricky and confusing. Let me explain. Percentile means % of students below you. Percentile starts from 0 and ends to 100. Hence, a top 20 percentile means a percentile greater than or equal to 80. Here, the use of term successful candidate of their board is a very important part which many might ignore. Let me give you an example to explain its importance.

In a board exam 11 students appear, and to be qualified to get a scholarship one needs to be in top 20 percentile of successful candidate, i.e. percentile of 80 or above. Now, the last student who passes will be on zero percentile and topper will be on 100 %. As one must have solved in Arithmetic Progression, the rest students will be equidistant from each other in percentile from 0 to 100.

Now, if all of them gets marks more than passing marks say 35. Then, the 11th position will get zero percentile, then the next one will be 10 percentile, then 20…so on to 100. And, the student with 80, 90 and 100 percentile will get the scholarship.

Now, if one of them either didn’t appear or fail in the exam and rest passes in the exam. Total no. of successful candidate will reduce to 10. Percentile of each students will be 0, 11.11, 22.22……77.77, 88.88, 100. Now, as only those students will be awarded the award which would get percentile of 80 or above. Only top two student will be awarded the scholarship instead of three.

This is the most interesting aspect of the words used by JEE (Advanced) as their criteria. As we see in the example above, even if the third student from the top didn’t do anything wrong and may be even he get the same marks as before. He was not awarded the scholarship.

Normally, if a student is getting a top 20 % rank in his school, which is a good school of his city. It is to be believed that he will be well within top 20 percentiler of his board. However, it is not certain as the percentile will depend on the no. of students passed. If a board is very tough and a lot of students fail in its exam. Even a change of 5 – 10 % success rate of students will hugely impact in the top 20 percentile list. I’m not scaring you. But, keep this aspect in your mind.

Further, whether you score 80 %, 90 % or 95 % in your board exam, it will not change your AIR in JEE (Advanced), neither it will effect in your branch or college. It will be just a bar which you have to clear by a good margin to remove any uncertainty.

Finally, what should be the average percentage of marks required for top 20 percentile. If your board result is not fluctuating much the answer of this question could be found very easily. Ask your school teacher to assist in analyzing your school’s last five year’s result in board exam. The result of your school’s student would not be a perfect sample for whole board. But, even if your school is a good school in the city, expect the bar marks for top 20 percentile in your school for last five years will be better than overall board’s bar mark.

Structure of the Whole JEE

The exam pattern of both the earlier exams AIEEE and IIT JEE are unchanged even though the names have changed. Whether it is JEE (Main) or JEE (Advanced), nothing related to the exam they conduct has changed. However, both the exams are now inter-related.

One have to fill the form for JEE (Main) till 15 Dec, 2012. Then, they have to sit for the JEE (Main) exam as earlier. The score for JEE (Main) will be declared by  7 May, 2013. However, ranking for admission in colleges through JEE (Main) will be declared on or before 7 Jul,2013. The 12th board appearing candidates have to submit their 12th board roll no. before downloading the admit card for JEE (Main).

CBSE along with the score of JEE (Main) will also declare the status of those who qualify for appearing in JEE (Advanced). After this to appear in the JEE (Advanced), the qualified candidates are required to register themselves at JEE (Advanced) website between 8 May, 2013 and 13 May 2013. The exam fee has to be paid through challan at SBI branches by 13 May, 2013. The written test of JEE (Advanced) will be conducted on 2 Jun, 2013 and result will be declared by 23 Jun, 2013.

It is advised to make a chronological schedule for all the events.

Summary

One thing has certainly changed with JEE. Earlier, one could have just sat for IIT JEE. However, now even if one wants to write only JEE (Advanced). He has to sit and fill the form for both the exams.

On a whole I would say even though pattern of the exams have not changed. But, the end result and parameters for selection have changed. The effect of 12th marks may not effect much on JEE (Advanced). However, I expect this year the authorities are trying to assess the impact of 12th marks normalization. It is just a test for the normalization process. If everything worked fine, then I expect from next year or so 12th board marks will be taken into consideration for JEE (Advanced) AIR too.

If you find anything that I missed to cover in this article feel free to let me know. I would suggest to spread this article among your friends or share it on facebook for the benefit of every aspirants around you.

If you like the above article, I’m giving links for articles written on similar topic by me:

  1. How Good Are The New IITs
  2. Good College or Good Branch
  3. When Should I Start Preparing for IIT?
  4. JEE: Should I Take A Drop?
  5. How to Prepare for JEE Mains After Appearing for 12th Board
  6. Most Suitable Date for JEE (Main) Online Test
  7. IIT JEE: What should be Strategy for Partial Droppers?
  8. How to Prepare for IIT JEE?
  9. Kota: Paradise for IIT JEE Aspirants
  10. Role of Coachings in IIT JEE selection
  11. Hopes Beyond IIT
  12. IIT JEE: What should be the strategy for repeaters?