Marks Don’t Matter

Jun 07, 2018

Year after year, classes change, so do teachers, curriculum changes and so do exam papers, but the gripping fear and anxiety of scoring well in examinations refuses to change. In a country obsessed with marks, the one where a student is asked for his percentage before name and scores before interests, it is not surprising that the mania refuses to die down. Marks are often mistaken for success, and scoring less is frowned upon. It’s not just the society that a student faces pressure from, often times the pressure begins at home, when parents unfortunately link pride with progress cards. All the hullabaloo around mark sheets and examination scores, takes the attention away from the truth – that marks don’t matter, when it comes to succeeding in life.

While education is undeniably important, the scope of your life doesn’t limit itself within the confines of an exam paper. Exam scores are often misunderstood to be a direct indicator of student intelligence. The truth however, is far from it. Intelligence is highly subjective, and a common measure will never be able to judge it. Several visionaries and successful individuals across the world, vouch by their own experience that they didn’t excel in their field by scoring a certain percentage or topping their schools, but by talent, belief, determination and hard work, that no exam papers have ever captured.

Despite how well you’ve learned and understood a concept, you may not be able to express the understanding in a way that gets you more marks, but that is absolutely fine, as long as you learn, and find joy in learning. Just as it is important to cherish the journey irrespective of the destination, it’s important to keep yourself invested in the process of learning and enjoy the same.

More students that graduate and get into a professional environment, realize that academic scores that they obsessed over for years, has no bearing on their professional life, or the money they make. Most organizations look for employees who are determined and willing to work proactively, irrespective of what they scored in their examinations. Nowadays, several corporations do not even look at the mark sheet, since they believe it does not reflect the true personality and skills of a professional. A good professional with low scores can be trained at work, but a bad professional with great scores would only end up being a liability. This is why the attitude of learning matters more than the intent of scoring.

Besides theoretical knowledge and practice, talent and skills go a long way in shaping futures. There probably are no examinations for boxing or badminton, yet the likes of Muhammad Ali and PV Sindhu didn’t just excel in their respective fields, but also went on to place their countries on the global map. Each student, and every human as a matter of fact, holds different creative skills and talent. Sometimes, these talents and skills take them farther in life, than a good mark sheet could ever have. For instance, how much you scored in physics, may not matter when your true intent is to be a writer, actor or a designer. Even if you wish to be a rocket scientist, you’ll still receive ample opportunities in the field, as long as you are determined and interested.

While in school, exams may feel like the ultimate test of success, it is when you step out and experience life outside school, that you realize life has several other ways to test your ability for success, providing you with ample opportunities to excel. Life beyond classroom walls, doesn’t take a look at your mark sheet before helping you succeed. Highly respected and successful people are not the ones who don’t fail, but the ones who try another time after each failure.

In the end, it’s not how much you score that matters, it’s how well you’ve learnt, how confident you are about your own self, how determinant you are and how hard you’re willing to work towards your dreams and goals, that does.

So, if your report card doesn’t look as bright as you hoped it would, don’t let it pull you down. Celebrate the spirit of learning and the several opportunities that wait ahead. Your score card is just another memorabilia of school life, and the future only gets brighter.

- Jiji Tharayil