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Are grades everything?

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As a student, I find that the perception of people around me about intelligence is that they think students who get good grades are intelligent. If someone gets excellent marks just by cramming the entire syllabi, he is termed to be more intelligent than the one who gets 5 marks less but actually understands what he studies. I simply don’t understand this mentality.

My board examinations are just around the corner and while people around me say, “Study for your exams and stop writing your blog”, I consider it more practical to write a blog instead of going through the same things over and over again. I would rather expand my knowledge rather than cramming the same things again and again. Rote learning has no use. As I have already mentioned in one of my previous blogs , children don’t remember what they have studied the previous year. All they care is about exams and marks.

Now, parents especially in India find marks to be of utmost importance. Minimal regard is given to hobbies and extra-curricular activities. A budding footballer is not allowed to pursue his dream just because people think that here in India, pursuing sports will not lead to success. One of my friends isn’t allowed access to internet just because his parents say, “Internet is a distraction and would lead to a fall in marks.” Little do they know internet has more knowledge potential than the outdated books that we cram. In this world, access to internet and phones is really important. We can learn much more from the internet than what we can from our textbooks.

Agreed that exams might check what you have learnt in school. They can check your determination towards getting marks. Moreover, I am not saying that not studying and always partying, watching movies and hanging out with friends is of any use (You are just wasting your parents’ money by doing so). When people say,” Bill Gates was a drop-out too and thus education isn’t necessary” , I tell them that he is just one of thousands of successful people out of whom most received formal education. Also, he dropped out of Harvard University and not from some average institution. Nevertheless, I think having a productive hobby is really important along with your studies. Write a book, read novels, play some sport, participate in olympiads. Just do something. Just studying what is taught in school will seldom lead to success. Go beyond your own textbooks and research more on subjects you love. If you love physics, research on black holes and supernovas. If you love programming, learn new programming languages. So, go beyond your textbooks. Don’t limit yourself to formal education.

Now let me talk about my personal experience. I was always hungry for grades until grade 5. But then I realised marks aren’t everything. Now, I feel more satisfaction in having my article published in a magazine than getting good grades. I feel more happy studying for quizzes and olympiads than studying for exams. Talking to my friends about the latest happenings in the world gives me more delight than studying about different types of nouns and verbs. Learning how to file taxes is much more important than knowing who wrote “Julius Caesar”.

Now, getting good grades is not a bad thing but there are a lot of things that are much more important. People say that you won’t get admission in colleges without grades. I tell them that there is no point getting admission in colleges when you don’t understand what you study. You won’t be able to perform your job after college if you cram things and not comprehend them. Moreover, getting into prestigious universities is not only about grades but also about co-curricular activities. So don’t limit yourself to formal education and always try new things.

Over and Out.