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.