Marks,Exams,Success : Chetan Bhagat & Vir Das

An exam is just an exam it doesn’t define you as a person neither it defines your fate. The academic marks have been mistakenly termed as judge of student’s ability in all spheres of life.  Here We talk about Marks and Exams, letter to Parents, shared an article of Chetan Bhagat, who is the best selling author in India.  He scored that 76% in Class X. I felt horrible then, but eventually I didn’t let it define me. It doesn’t matter today. Also, an interesting video by Vir Das on your marks, Screw your marks, life does not require mark sheet. 

Marks and Exams

As the exam season is here students and their parents across India, have their stress mode ON. The academic marks has been mistakenly termed as judge of student’s ability in all spheres of life. Every parent wants their children to score well in boards and they pressurise them to study hard.  People confuse education with the ability to memorize facts.

Lots of people just study for the sake of getting a job. If your aim is to get a job then, by all means, you have to get good marks(even companies are no exception). If you want to be a creative person or a scientist or a researcher, then you don’t have to worry about getting good marks but just learning about the subject is enough. Remember Thomas Alva Edison? he didn’t go to school.

Ill effects of Broad Based Education : Shiv Khera

Let me share a story from Shiv Khera You Can Win.

Some animals in a forest decided to start a school. The students included a bird, a squirrel, a fish, a dog , a rabbit & a mentally retarded eel. A board was formed and it was decided that flying, tree climbing, swimming, and burrowing would be part of the curriculum in order to give a broad-based education. All animals were required to take all subjects.
The bird was excellent at flying and was getting A’s but when it came to burrowing, it kept breaking its beak and wings and started failing. Pretty soon, it started making C’s in flying and of course in tree climbing and swimming it was getting F’s. The squirrel was great at tree climbing and was getting A’s, but was failing in swimming.

The fish was the best swimmer but couldn’t get out of the water and got F’s in everything else.

The dog didn’t join the school, stopped paying taxes and kept fighting with the administration to include barking as part of the curriculum.

The rabbit got A’s in burrowing but tree climbing was a real problem. It kept falling and landing on its head, suffered brain damage, and soon couldn’t even burrow properly and got C’s in that too.

The mentally retarded eel, who did everything half as well became the valedictorian of the class. The board was happy because everybody was getting a broad-based education.

Our education System focuses on exam
Our education System focuses on exam

What a  education really means is that the student is prepared for life, without losing their areas of specialization or competence.

Grades/Marks are just a measure of hard-work that a student has put into memorizing that particular subject. Memorizing does not mean comprehension. Did they get their marks but did they get an education?

Letter to Parents on Not Putting too much pressure on Kids

Dear Parents
The exams of your children are to start soon. I know you are all really anxious for your child to do well. But, please do remember, amongst the students who will be sitting for the exams

there is an artist, who doesn’t need to understand Math…

There is an entrepreneur, who doesn’t care about History or English literature…

There is a musician, whose Chemistry marks won’t matter…

There’s an athlete… whose physical fitness is more Important than Physics…

If your child does get top marks, that’s great! But If he or she doesn’t… please don’t take away their self-confidence and dignity from them. Tell them it’s OK. It’s just an exam! They are cut out for much bigger things In life. Tell them, no matter what they score… you love them and will not judge them. Please do this, and when you do…watch your children conquer the world. One exam or a low mark won’t take away-Their dreams and talent. And please, do not think that doctors and engineers… are the only happy people in the world.

A successful life and Good marks both are two different areas.  A person can and will be successful with or without a formal education if they have the 5 Cs:
• character
• commitment
• conviction
• courtesy
• courage

Chetan Bhagat and His views on exams and Marks

Chetan Bhagat is the author of bestselling novels Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008), 2 States (2009), Revolution 2020 (2011), What Young India Wants (2012) (speeches and columns), Half Girlfriend (2014), Making India Awesome (2015) and One Indian Girl (2016).

All the books have remained bestsellers since their release and five have inspired Bollywood films (which are the hit films Kai Po Che!, 2 States, 3 idiots, Half Girlfriend and Hello). In 2008, The New York Times cited Bhagat as “the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history”.

Chetan Bhagat’s views on marks from his article THE UNDERAGE OPTIMIST – Scored low in exams? Some life lessons from a 76 percenter

The CBSE class X and XII results will come out soon/came out earlier this week. As a 90% aggregate becomes as common as kissing in our movies (no big deal) and cut-offs for good colleges become insane, we wonder if there is anyone who hasn’t scored amazing marks. In the noise of high scorers, we often forget the lakhs of students who score in the fifties, sixties and seventies. We brand them mediocre. We offer them succour with a few articles that cite low scorers who became billionaires or movie stars and have headlines that scream marks don’t matter. Well, if they didn’t matter, why on earth would everyone be chasing them, is a question they don’t answer.

This article is addressed to those low scorers. It’s boards. X, the overweight kid who isn’t that confident and has become even less so after the results came out. X, whose relatives and neighbours come to console him with it doesn’t matter, but deep down wonder if this boy will do anything in life. If you relate to this guy, or know someone who does, this article is for you. These are some no-nonsense tips on what to do when you have scores that suck and people have given up on you. Here goes:

You are not your marks

Yes, marks are important. They make life hell of a lot easier. High marks make people think you are smart. Colleges with a brand name let you come in. Companies with a brand name come to these colleges. They give you a job, which pays rather well. You can use that money to pay bills, get married, have sex, start a family, and produce kids who you will push to get higher marks and repeat the cycle of torment. This, for most people, is life -making it as predictable, safe and stable as possible. Indian parents particularly love this zero-risk appetite life, where a monthly cash flow is assured and kids are born and raised as per plan. They have a word for it -settled. Indians love that word. We want to settle, we don’t want to roam, have adventures and fly. Settle, or in other words, produce kids, work in office, watch TV at home, repeat for a few decades, die. Toppers find it easier to settle. Nontoppers take a bit longer. A delay in `settling’, the ultimate Indian dream, is just about the only sucky thing about low marks.

The Game of Life is not over

These marks are in certain subjects, which are not exactly what leads to success in life. Sure, you study Maths and Science, but these are standard concepts, recycled and drilled into students and tested in the exams. The only thing high marks indicate is that the student has the tenacity and perseverance to excel at something. Hence, I am not going to say toppers don’t deserve praise. But life is more than just tenacity and mathematics. Exams don’t test creativity, imagination, people skills and communication. In life, these are what matter. You build these skills through study or actual practice, and it is highly likely you will get somewhere in life. However, you must add hard work to it. Ask yourself, whether you had low marks because you don’t have an aptitude for these subjects, or did you slack off ? If you slacked off, don’t do that again if you want to get anywhere in life. Take that lesson, and then build your communication, English and people skills. Learn how business works. Not everyone in India can get plum jobs, there are just way too many of us. Entrepreneurship is something a lot of youngsters will have to learn and try .

Strive for excellence

In whatever you do, try to excel. Excellence in board exams can be measured through marks, but over time in life, the marks will stop. What will matter is what people think of you. Your reputation, your reliability, and your word will build your own mini-brand. Once that happens, people will stop asking about your marks, or where you studied. You will be the brand.

Nobody has asked me for my marks in a long time. However, you know the boy I wrote about above? Well, that’s me. I scored that 76% in Class X. I felt horrible then, but eventually I didn’t let it define me. It doesn’t matter today. After all, you still read this article, right?

Video on Marks by Vir Das

Interesting video ON YOUR MARKS – Vir Das’ Message for Kids with Exam results SCREW Your Marks. Life doesn’t require a marksheet! The transcript is given below

You may get into the big college of your dreams or get into a college that makes you get out of college with really big dreams.
Your body is finally a body and you’re gonna look at that body and work on that body look for some body who works to put next to that body.
You’re gonna read stuff you never heard of before or you’re hear stuff that you’re never gonna read or you’ll write the stuff everyones gonna read because they heard about you. .
You’re gonna leave your parents who took care of you only to realise that they took care of you and that you left them till you leave whatever your taking care of to take care of your parents.
You’re gonna have a little sex which is a big deal and its gonna be really good and you probably wont be very good at it at it until you have a lot of sex and get good at it to discover that its not a big deal at all and its all good.
You’re gonna meet someone, go looking for someone or just be waiting for someone and the person you were waiting for will never be the person you were looking at or ever thought you’d meet.
You’re gonna fall in love and your hearts gonna get broken or you’re gonna break someone’s heart because you hadn’t fallen in love yet.
You’re gonna lose all your money which will make you lose mind until you make your mind up to make some money and forever mind your money.
You’re gonna drink, smoke, dance, run which will make you vommit, choke, faint and pant until you eventually savour, talk, groove and chill.
You’re gonna arrange your own wedding to someone else or be in your own wedding that someone else arranged.
You’re gonna get hired and fired and both will just give you a fire to go higher.
You’re gonna hold your baby and contemplate the meaning of life, you’re gonna hold someone else’s baby and contemplate death.
You’re gonna fight for each other and with each other and she’ll win…and you’ll lose because when she wins you win with nothing to lose.
You’re gonna yourself buy things from other people and then discover that buying things for other people gets you better things from other people.
You’ll meet lots of new friends who will give you lots of new reasons to love the old ones.
You will beg, borrow, steal so that eventually you can risk, rent and lose so that maybe you can own, invest and grow.
You will talk shit, take shit, give shit, eat shit until you don’t give a shit because you think you’re the shit.

Now, what do all of these things have in common? None of them, none of them, none of them…..require a mark sheet.

Are you ready? The minute this Video ends…you begin.

Conclusion on Marks, Exams

Education is important—there’s no denying that fact. For the most part, the more schooling you receive, the more successful you will be in your chosen path. In general, people who drop out or receive minimal education are probably headed toward a long, torturous career slinging burgers at a fast food joint.

Marks are important, but they are not be all and end all. In this competitive world where there are more people than jobs, good marks helps access to higher education, jobs like oil which reduces the friction. But then life is much more than marks. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Ramanujan, Bill Gates, Steve jobs, Dhirubhai Ambani, Aziz Premji, Sachin Tendulkar have shown that education is not related to success.

Quote by Bill Gates on Exams marks
Quote by Bill Gates on Exams marks

Related Articles:

Success doesn’t mean the absence of failures; it means the attainment of ultimate objectives. It means winning the war, not every battle


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