Monday, August 08, 2011

Examination – A Necessary Evil

Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.” – Charles Caleb Colton, English sportsman and writer.

 “Just 5 minutes, Ammi”, I replied. The dial of the wall clock was showing the time to be 3.35AM, but I still wanted to double check and mobile phone was showing it to be 3.34AM. What a relief! Every minute was so important. I had not even drink the glass of milk that Ammi gave me at 12 AM with strict orders of going to bed early. This was the 3rd time Ammi came into my room and urged me to sleep. But how could I? I had a last paper in the morning of what was my final exam. Like most students, I too have a habit of falling asleep the moment I start reading my books. But I had to study. Just one last chapter. O clock, please tick slowly. In my heart I knew that just 8 more hours and I would be free of all the tensions in the world. No more study. No more papers. No more cramming. The next thing I knew was that Ammi was holding a tray of breakfast and gently waking me up. I did not realize when I slept. And with this, it occurred to me that my mind went totally blank. I could not remember a single word. I rushed to the exam hall. With lot of praying and cramming, I was finally able to write something in the answer sheets. O God! Please help me!

‘EXAMS’, when this word touches the ear drums and the signals by the auditory nerves are sent to the brain than the symptoms observed are not less than those of fever and the fever is called THE EXAM FEVER.

Examinations are believed to be the tools which make a teacher feel like an absolute dictator, a despot, albeit for a short time. (Some of you might contest this view and I still know some people who believe that Examinations are the best measuring and evaluating tools to judge whether or not the learner had grasped the substance of material taught to them called education). This is actually the touch stone which helps the teacher for assessment of his/her efforts. The main purpose to conduct examination is to judge that how much the educational program is effective and successful in its aims and objectives. That is why examination plays a pivotal role in the process of education system.

Examinations are not only the tool for evaluation of students but they are also helpful to assess the performance of the teachers and the educational institutes. It is quiet helpful to determine the effectiveness of teaching methodologies.

Another very important role for examination is to select the proper candidates for recruitment in various public services or to determine the fitness of students for higher studies. They are also of great importance because of the fact that they provide proper guidance to the students. They give us the results about the tendencies and aptitude of the students for various course of study and which profession they should adapt in the future.

When we talk about the sub continent than in 1857 there were only three universities of Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras which were established on the pattern of London University. In that education system the examination system was perfect and under great supervision but after partition more and more malpractices were observed in the education system of Pakistan. The Examination system has now become the end itself and it had dominated the teaching. Now the entire teaching process is marks oriented instead of academic one.

Unfortunately the examination system of Pakistan has received such a prominence as well as disrepute that the teaching and learning processes become insignificant. From 1947 to 2010 many commissions and committees were constituted to bring some useful reforms in the Examination system. Their recommendations have been utilized and implemented but still the credibility of our examination system is doubtful.

This ongoing Examination system encourages indolence in the students and is responsible for the freezing of a specific curriculum. It had restricted the intellectual freedom, exploration and zest for inquiry as it encourages the rote memorization concept. It has the major drawback that it lacks all those necessary equipment which are required to evaluate and judge the development of learner. In a nut shell it can be said that the Examination system of Pakistan is now not more than a formality of passing a grade as it is not fulfilling the standards of an ideal examination system and there is a dire need of revolutionary steps to be taken if we are to put it in order.


  1. almas... great commentary on exam system of our country... yes lot of problems...after almost every exam, there are allegations of cheating and out of course papers and walkouts and more of these things :(

    hope you will continue to write on important issues like this one in the future :)

  2. Vary interesting beginning Almas, I remembered my own situation during axame and smiled. You are absolutely right our examination system is just a formality now a days. Their is a great need to take some positive steps in this regard.

  3. @israr...thnkz for the appreciation. yup these things have almost ruin our education system thus responsible for the substandard education.

    yup surely i will try my level best to share my views on ur blog :)

  4. @kiran...thnkz for liking :)
    yup a lot of efforts in this regard is required as all four wheels of our education system are worsly effected by these malpractices.

  5. hahaha good stuff...
    Alrams... I hate alrams in nornal routine and in exams... you took a good start to grab the attention of the reader :)

    yes i do agree that examination system in Pakistan is only a formality now and this is a drawback!!

    We have to take step in order to improve this system.

  6. @shama....thnkz for reading my work :) yup alarm is always an irritating piece especially in examz when we are already tensed. thnkz for the appreciation i have check out your place rite now and i really like ur way of writing and making it more attractive by adding picz.

    yup like many other ignored issues it is one of the top most ignored one which had greatly effect the backbone of our education in the last few decades.

  7. Brings back memories! Something will be done... I suppose... one day!

  8. @israr... thanks for kind words :)

  9. haha..interesting post..reminded me my days of exmaes..

  10. @ Dave... yes a ray of hope for that day to come soon.

  11. @Mishi... thanks. yup we r from the same system :)

  12. Hello Maria.
    It's always interesting to hear what's going on in other areas of the world.
    I remember exams only too well. I never liked school and exams used to be the most stressful times. I think life is one big exam...always putting us to the test!

    I wish you much success with your results.
    Thank you for sharing this post.

    To Muhammad: As always, thank you, my friend for your continued support of my blog. It means a lot to me.
    Have a great week ahead!

  13. today i got rid of my PhD papers :)

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  16. Fascinating, and very well written!

  17. your comprehensive is still left, so dont smile Niaz.

  18. nice outstanding imagination of exam's night.
    I agree that here examinations are just formality.
    May the new generation(including me) improve the whole system.....ameen

  19. Ahh, burning the midnight oil is never fun. Good luck with the outcome!

  20. hello Andy.
    yes it is more fascinating to know what is happening on the other side of the World when we are not familiar with the trends of some parts.
    O yes the school time is not to be like by us but we learn a lot in that time even we don't know by our selves but we realize it after long time. the reason for the disliking of school and exams is due to the teacher centered education instead of learner centered.
    yup life is a never ending exam each day is a new challenge for us now it up to us how we tackle the situation.

    thank you for liking and appreciating i will try to share some more in the near future :)

  21. @ Niaz... Congratulation. but still a few steps are left over. good luck for them.

  22. @ deborah... thnks for ur time to read :)

  23. @ sarah .... yup but when the burning of oil is not in the right place than it is more gloomy :(
    hoping for the best !

  24. @Bsharat... thnkz for the compliment.
    yup m praying the same ....Ameen!

  25. @andy... is always my pleasure to read your writings :)

  26. A nice analysis of our education system.....I just want to contribute something regarding the ultimate results of our education system,,,,,and which can guide us very easily to the goals we achieved in last 60 years,,,,According to Hussain Haqani, there are 4,861 universities in the United States whereas Pakistan has produced only 6,478 PhDs since its birth. While today the number of living PhDs in Pakistan are far less than the total degree awarding institutions in the United States.... by comparing PhDs I never mean to predict the progress we r making but in a society the main think tanks are usually product of educational caliber and the culture of research and novelty. There are so many sectors in our country where we are still dependent on foreign expertise. The most important but funny sector is our finance ministry where every govt has to hire a finance minister from one of the big US banks,,,,,and then sometimes their policies can help u in sinking ur economy like today,,,,,so unfortunately till now our system is not fulfilling this deficit. I think we need some dozens of think tanks like Dr. Attaurehman, who really is capable of bringing a revolution in our ancient edu system....otherwise alien expertise will first think about US interest and then Pakistan....!

  27. Sorry
    Due to some problem my comments posted three times. are welcome.

  28. Oh mu God that reminded me of my exams and is sending me goose bumps cos I didnt study for my last paper and now iam dreading the result real badly..and yeah pretty creative that is :)

  29. @ adian... thnks for reading and getting the original theme of my article. yup u are cent percent rite about the education system of pakistan and for very sure the ministry of education is responsible for all this system running and this is due to the reason that the people heading actually don't have heads(minds) unfortunately. so, their is no concept of think tanks in pakistan and this is reason because of which the number of phd is so low. i want to add one thing more that phd is much higher level if u ever visit a government school or college basic labs u will not find an graded %purity chemical when the roots are infected how the education tree can be healthy. actually the basics of all is corruption which is main cause of almost every problem when this element is washed away than automatic the fuel in the think tanks will be charged. and thanks for ur contribution it is very much related to the topic under the heading which i actually want to share. looking forward for ur informative contribution in my next wriring.:)

  30. @ Maham
    thanks. yup to sit in an exam without prep is not less than to go for a war without armaments. good luck for ur result.

  31. It's been a long time since I've taken an exam but I do remember how I felt I was always going to do poorly but I usually did very well, a most pleasant surprise!
    I enjoyed this writing!
    Thank you!

    Margie :)

  32. maria
    nice contribution.....i enjoyed ur creative wrriting

  33. @Bsharat
    yes sometimes it may occur when comment is posted via mobile phone.

  34. @Margie
    thanks for reading and liking and it give me a pleasure that the stuff was a source of refreshing ur memories :)

  35. Good effort to high light some of significant issues hanging around our obsolete education system. I will add a suggestion to improve education by emerging Knowledge based Work Stations (bringing high intellectuals into work), in the form of Dr. Atta ur Rehman, one of prominent example. He is a pioneer of Higher Education System, only system we ever seen in this country, producing think tanks. Whereas, on the other hand, our education system and teachers’ community is emphasizing thoroughly on rote learning, which become main reason building brains with no intellect? Our students’ facing massive difficulty whenever goes abroad as we are still too slow to pick up the pace of modern knowledge dissemination there. We as a nation is still in struggling phase should be spick with modern mechanisms of educating youth under supervision of most sophisticated and best knowledge work Stations.

  36. @Atif
    thanks for giving ur time to the article.this field is very much in cosideration by the high intellectuals and by very reliable research teams and the teams formulate very useful reforms but now the point is to impliment them and for that one need resources and this is the dark area of the story that the think tanks dont have authorities they can just suggest things. we need some practical implimentation not just paper work. yes the teaching learning methodoligies is again a topic of debate will share the real picture soon as well.yes the picking tendenceies of our students are weak due to lack of opportunities over here other wise i believe that our students are not less than any nation of the world. yes we are stuggling to our best level.and thanks for sharing ur views.

  37. agree with you
    necessary evil

  38. @Maria very nice and informative topic...
    its true tat every year v have to face a stressful time just bcos of xame but as u said its da requirement to slect a proper person for a proper seat so v can not deny the importance of xame...
    now come to xamination system of pakistan so i thinks over all it is not good but this is not the case in all the departments.
    and last think that u did not mention is the approach which is badly afecting our xamination system v hv to think abt this..thanks

  39. Looking for followers now, are we? =P

    Good post btw. :)

  40. @sm
    yes we had to go through this necessary evil.

  41. @sadia
    thanks for giving your time yes exams are stressful and their importance cant be denied in any time and part of life as it is very much important for taking out the best among the compete-ting candidates. no i am not talking about any specific department or school etc but its not the ideal one which it should be. you can evaluate by CSS Examination that the seats are already booked even before exam held so my point is the actual purpose of exam which is not fulfilled by our education system.
    o yes the approach is indirectly affected just because of the what we are inducing to our students. what we are sowing we are cutting that. we not only have to think we have to work on it at our levels. thanks for sharing your views :)

  42. Good gracious! This brings back such vivid memories of college exam cramming. Your words brought back every tension and memory. Good luck on all your exams. I hope things are going better in Pakistan. Thank you very much for your visit. It was wonderful to meet you.

  43. @kay
    thanks for your time on the blog. yup we are hoping for the same. thnks for the wel wishes.
    same here :)

  44. I think exams are an UNNECESSARY evil... :D... Lovely post!

  45. hey MAria...
    awsome post...!!
    the 3rd and 4rth line is so true
    " “Just 5 minutes, Ammi”, I replied. The dial of the wall clock was showing the time to be 3.35AM, but I still wanted to double check and mobile phone was showing it to be 3.34AM. What a relief! Every minute was so important."

    well this is the way life of a student works...!!
    keep rytimg
    suvaiba.! :)

  46. @sadia... thnkz for liking but they are the evaluating tool if not conducted than how could be one able to distinguish between the ordinary and xtra-ordinary !

  47. @suvabita
    thanks alot for ur time at our blog :)
    yup thats whats actually happens with us,
    the same psychological condition with all
    students .

    thanks for ur precious comment keep visiting Misterio vida :)

  48. one thing is quite sure that if there were no examinations life would have been dull ;;;;nobody would have bothered to study even ;;;;THANKS FOR THIS ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

  49. You might get some help from Evolution Writers Success and best regards!

  50. Very good write-up. I absolutely love this website.
    Keep it up!

  51. Hi there friends, fastidious post and good urging commented
    here, I am really enjoying by these.

  52. Excellent post however , I was wanting to know if you could write
    a litte more on this topic? I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little
    bit further. Kudos!



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