We might marvel at the progress made in every field of study,but the methods of testing a person's knowledge and ability remain as primitive as ever they were. It really is extraordinary that after all these years, educationists have still failed to devise anything more efficient and reliable than examinations. For all the pious claim that examinations test what you know, it is common knowledge that they more often do the exact opposite. They may be a good means of testing memory, or the knack of working rapidly under extreme pressure, but they can tell you nothing about a person's true ability and aptitude.
As anxiety makers, examinations are second to none.That is because so much depends on them. They are the mark of success or failure in our society. Your whole future may be decided in one fateful day. The moment a child begins school,he enters a world of sharp competition where success and failure are clearly defined and measured. Can we wonder at the increasing number of drop-outs, young people who are written off as utter failures before they have even begun a career? Can we be surprised at the suicide rate among students?
A good education should, among other things, train you to think for yourself. The examination system does anything but that. What has to be learnt is rigidly laid down by a syllabus, so 'the student is encouraged to memories. Examinations do not motivate a student to read widely, but to restrict his reading; they do not enable him to seek more and more knowledge, but induce cramming. The most successful candidates are not always the best educated; they are the best trained in the technique of working under pressure.