Do Marks Really Matter?

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Contrary to the popular opinion among the youth that marks don’t really matter, the truth of the situation is that, marks do matter, and even if they do not define your entire life and career, they do certainly help in getting an individual one step closer to their desired goals.

Class 12th boards are a stressful period for parents and students alike. Months of mock exams, tuitions, and hefty amounts of money are spent on preparing students for the most important school level exam in India. A whole new industry is booming as a consequence of the average Indian parent and student stress. The competitiveness of exams has increased as a consequence of shortage of seats owing to the increasing population. The coaching industry is bearing its ugly head at every level of education. Lakhs of students burn the midnight oil to get that extra edge over their counterparts, in a bid to outbid the best for a seat in prestigious institutes like the University of Delhi.

Saying that marks don’t matter is a stretch, especially considering the amount of preparation that goes into making students ready for any exam at any level. If marks truly did not matter, the coaching industry would perish, and the country’s stress levels would plummet. With a population as large as a country like India, a basic criteria which comes even slightly close to fair selection are marks, where performance decides results. Not to say that the marking system and whole education system is not flawed in various ways, but so far it is the closest thing to fair that is considered for entry into college and work.

Point in case marks do help get you into your desired school, college, or even work place, they are the sole criteria in terms of segregating the deserving from the undeserving, those who work hard, versus those who don’t, according to Indian societal standards.

Another argument supporting the concept of marks is that, saying marks don’t matter, disregards the months or even years of hard work put in by lakhs of students in colleges and schools across the country and even the world. The sugar coated world that exclaims that “marks don’t define you” is letting you down easy, with an attempt not to hurt any feelings. In practical life, a student with good marks is unlikely to say that marks don’t matter, whereas those with sub par or ‘bad’ marks is more likely to say the controversial phrase.

The college coaching industry is second to the school, and competitive exam industry, but equally big, and expensive. The end goal of these institutions is not to impart knowledge, but rather to help students attain a certain number of marks. The main question we grapple with, as a society is the question of knowledge versus marks, are we teaching students something new, or merely how to attain marks ?

In a system where marks serve as the deciding criteria for most important life decisions, completely denying their value is unreasonable. Until we move forward as a nation to create fairer ways to determine individual talent, aptitude, and ability, marks do matter.


Feature Image Credits: The Times of India


Meher Gill

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