Marks aren’t everything!!


 Marks aren’t everything


Why do we consider scoring good marks as essential to having a good career?

Why do we attach so much value to the system of grading?

Are scores a sufficient form of evaluation?

With the onslaught of board results being declared, I was forced to ask these questions to myself. Most students securing above 95% made me question our education system.

Thinkers and academicians like Thomas Jefferson, William Shakespeare, Galileo and Plato never received any grades or marks. Today, however the contrast is starkly present. Scoring excellent marks has become the end-goal of every household. Every parent and the society therefore, is structurally dependent on grades which has led to an inflated level of importance being attributed to it.


Each parent has expectations that their child will excel in his/her career and at the base of those dreams are the essential high-marks. From early childhood to their 12th board exams, children are brought up with the constant pressure of securing high marks .But the question that remains is, does that guarantee a successful career?


Surely, primary education is essential as it helps children shape their minds and choose the right paths. But marks are a short-term criterion of evaluation which does not promise a bright future. While a good score will help you get into a good college, then it solely depends on a students’ ability to adapt and develop his/her skills. They have to reap the benefits of the opportunity given to them. A good score card from your school does not guarantee that.


A student’s counsellor at my son’s school held an interesting session when he was appearing for his 10th boards. She had taken feedback from the children and the one thing which a majority of them jotted down was how they felt pressurized by their parents. Most children said they did not intend to take their exams like a do or die situation but the over enthusiastic parents forced them to study and secure excellent results. She asked us, parents to back off and take it easy.


Today, having given his 12th boards (this being a pandemic-academic year), the expectations, pressure, struggle are all still present. And on a much higher scale. With competitive exams on their head the stress level is insane. Yet I have heard of stories where a 99% topper throughout her school years could not make it to a top University at Singapore. Inspite of scoring near 100% she did not get the college of her choice. What was the outcome of her hard work?  Such children develop a bitter outlook and undergo depression. What message are we passing onto these burnt-out kids?


Many international colleges/university boards have completely scrapped the practice of relying on marks as a sole indicator of a student’s potential. On the contrary they have adopted aptitude-based entrances. The sooner this is adopted by every university ,the better it will be.


“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything learned in school”. – Albert Einstein


Marks don’t matter in the long run. But a child’s inner-ability leads them to a world of success. Our education system focuses on marks whereas skill-based learning during early education will enhance children’s ability to face challenges head-on. It will benefit them to having a meaningful life. Assessing a child is essential .it provides educators, parents, and families with critical information about a child’s growth and development. That cannot be done away with. But to mark them at every test, every class and semester does more harm. It damages first hand, laying extreme anxiety on children and deep rooted phycological issues.

Children should always be encouraged to follow their interests and passions. No board exam is bigger than the exam of life. Students are like young birds, ready to take off. They should learn, explore, fail, repeat, learn more and they will eventually take the flight. They will gain knowledge in the process.


If we want our children to be  successful then we have to provide an education rich in context and relevance, accomplished through quality instructional time devoid of unnecessary marking system.

Not every child will get full marks and have a successful career but each child can live a happy , meaningful life. That should be our ultimate dream .