Admissions 2015

Are Board Exam Results the end of our world? – The harsh story of college admissions in India

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Come May and one can see around is the extravagant anticipation regarding the year’s board results. Every year, the fate of thousands of students is sealed in envelopes stamped upon by vintage authorities who seldom realise the worth of the work they’re doing.

And while the kids develop anxiety disorders hoping to be able to ‘make the cut’, we tend to see reassurances from all around that board exam results are not the end of the world after all. When comedian and celebrity, Vir Das broke the internet with his marksheet; the youth seemed to be infused with an unusual gusto to break away the status quo. However, the question, and a very important one in the Indian society, still stands staring at us- Are Board Exam results really NOT the end of the world?

The answer, sadly, is a big fat no. Because let’s face it, when the nosey aunt shows pity when you just scored a 90% while some Sharma ji’s son managed to score a 98% all you want to do is to get away from the situation as soon as you can. Let’s take a simple example. An author at the age of 17 would not be able to pursue English Honours course in DU’s premier colleges simply because she failed to score a 99% in her board exams; which is the metric for her intelligence and brilliance, isn’t it? Because being an author at such a young age means nothing but messing up that Physics numerical and losing out on a few marks keeps her from attending the best college in the country.

And with this big question follows another big one- Is it fair? And that’s a question all of us know the answer to. Certainly, students who aren’t able to score exceptionally alien 100% scores also make it big in life. But at this point in this developing country, we cannot turn a blind eye to this mismatch. As an observer, one can see aspirants crying when they score a 98.25% because Stephen’s has set its cut off at 98.5%.

With 28 boards running in India, there is no common metric that can keep all students at par. While someone with “mah lyf, mah rulezz” captions is able to score a 95 in English, the other one with “full fathom five thy father lies” cannot climb beyond an 85. So even though the Indian education system runs away from practical knowledge, the system of theoretical knowledge is full of loopholes which indeed make the board result a life changing event for all students.

When we realise the problem of increase in student suicides across the country, why is it so difficult to think of a solution that brings all of us out of this 100% cut-off mesh? Are the students who are not 95% scorers any less deserving than the ones who are? Why are marks solely our judgement metric for a student’s intelligence? Most importantly, why is the flowchart shaped like: Less than 95% is equal to losing out on the country’s best education facilities?

So no matter how much Vir Das or Amitabh Bachchan or Arvind Kejriwal harp about board exam results not being the end of the world, the hard reality is that the status quo points out very different facts which in fact prove the very opposite. And while we’ve all faced it in our lives at some point or the other, there isn’t much that has changed in the Indian Education System in the past three decades.

Acche din might help. We’ll know soon!

Image Credits-

Arushi Pathak
[email protected]

Arushi Pathak is a (over-enthusiastic) senior pursuing Economics Honours from DU. The Associate Editor at DU Beat, she is an avid debater and can’t refrain from expressing her opinion over everything. Somehow obsessed with New York City (and all sitcoms set in NYC), she day-dreams to live there soon. She is a die-hard Grey’s Anatomy fan and can’t have enough of tragedy-themed novels. She believes that she has got the best of both worlds-Economics and Journalism. Always ready for a pep-talk or a life-changing discussion equally readily, she can be contacted at [email protected].

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