Why exam results have been off the mark

Students are scurrying around in a tizzy as junior college admissions are on. Degree college admissions have closed, but desperate students are still scouring colleges hoping to get admission, even after all the lists are out.

On one hand, there is some reason to rejoice. Youngsters have many avenues to choose from with reference to careers. The doors are much wider open than before and there is also so much more opportunity to go overseas or even pursue unconventional career paths.

Yet, it is worrying to see such a plethora of students scoring as high as 99 per cent, without any real evidence that they are super intelligent or just smarter than earlier generations. Percentages have zoomed, like Mumbai’s real estate, to unrealistic levels. Could it be that it is just the way papers are corrected that has changed? Are marks being given away too liberally?

The education authorities need to address this urgently. This kind of leniency is laughable. What this means is an overall fall in standards, giving young persons a false sense of confidence and an inflated idea of their intelligence. It also puts unbearable pressure on kids, where a 90-per cent student may not get admission into a college because the last list closed at 95 per cent.

One wonders why action has not been taken in the last couple of years, when we began to see this trend. It is part of what is wrong with the education system.

The authorities have to take another look at the way marks are being doled out in examinations and check for undeserved leniency. There has to be a yardstick for all subjects and those marking have to be much stricter in assessment. This will automatically set percentages to a lower level, ease the pressure on college admissions and, in a way, the students as well. It will set the youngsters on the correct, more reasonable path, and push them to really earn their grades.

Let us turn around this marking charade as soon as possible.

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