Examination means a test of capacity and Knowledge. It is a thing that a student hates most. According to him the system of examinations is the most absurd thing so far invented by man. He usually compares it to a night mare. Examinations may be a pleasure for a few brilliant students but they are a necessity for an average student and a bore for a majority of them. Yet examinations are not altogether devoid of good. As lord Christ said “Trials are a veritable curse. But they have their use.”
Examinations have uses. First, they serve as a test of efficiency. It is only by giving an examination that we can know what progress a particular student has made during a period. Examinations supply as a tangible proof of the fitness of a student for the higher class. A university degree or diploma shows that a particular student has acquired knowledge of a fixed standard. Thus an employer can safely entrust a job to the degree holder after examining the degree. We, without hesitation entrust our sick body to a man holding a medical degree. In a word, a degree is a guarantee that the holder is not a quack or a fool. In the absence of examinations and degrees, we will be at a loss to find out a man whose efficiency is tested. Secondly, examinations are test of ability and degrees; we will be at a loss to find out a man whose efficiency is tested. Secondly, examinations are test of ability and help us to make a distinction between the scholar land dullard the genius and the dunce. They help us to find out the ablest candidate out of a group of many. To fill all higher services, examinations are conducted by the public service commission, and the top students are selected to fill the vacancies. Thirdly, examinations goad us to study properly. It is the fear of examinations that makes us work. Many careless students grow serious near examinations. They try to be systematic and regular. About half of the students in a school or college read for the sake of examinations. Nobody would have cared to work if there were no examinations. Thus examinations are the most effective way of inspiring a student to read.
But examinations have their darker aspects as well. Firstly, they shatter the blooming health of young students. They sit up late in the night to prepare for the examination. A number of them fall ill or develop nervous disorders. Some of them are reduced to shadows, even to skeletons. They lose their peace of mind and suffer at times from utter sleeplessness owning to excessive brain exercise. From this point of view, examinations are a curse Secondly examinations encourage the very bad habit of cramming. They are a test of memory rather than of intelligence or knowledge. Good marks of mere success in the examination is looked upon as the only test of true knowledge. Students read help books to get good marks and neglect the prescribed books. Thirdly, examinations are no sure test of one’s ability. Chance plays a great part in all examinations. Intelligent students may fail and dullard may pass. Many eminent persons of the world are not holders of high academic degrees or distinctions. We can mention the names of Stevenson, Keats, Shelley, Shakespeare, Tagore, Maulana Maudoodi, and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.