by Amitoj Singh Kalsi

Grades – A Problematic Obsession!

Grades matter, but not the most

The system of marking or grades is directly linked to the system of examination. An examination is meant to test the knowledge of one’s subject and the level of understanding of that subject is interpreted by the different scores attained in that examination.

Many would argue against the concept of formal examination and markings. However, it must be noted that some system of examining one’s knowledge of one’s field is important, or else there will be little incentive for students to work hard and the employers wouldn’t know much about the student’s credentials and hard work. Also, if exams are held in a creative manner and in a way in which the student is tested of his/her knowledge as well as the application of that knowledge, examination and marks can also act as a means for a student to assess the possible problems that they face in a given subject and improve upon the same.

Obsession with grades

However, over the past decade, there has been an increasing frenzy revolving obsession around the importance of marks and examinations. This phenomenon has become so prevalent that scoring good grades in school and college examinations is considered to be the supreme goal of any student. The very notion of getting good grades has become so important that other ideas which are even more intrinsic to the concept of education, like personality development, mental health, passion for one’s subjects of study etc., get blurred within our society.

This obsession with grades is problematic at many levels because not everybody is equally adept at giving examinations and memorizing facts. Every individual has a different pace of understanding and also, has different interests, obsession and likings. Many students are so much caught in the idea of scoring well and getting a good job that they don’t even consider if they’re actually passionate about what they are pursuing. Also, this obsession is worrisome because our system of checking answer scripts and examinations have many flaws.

Another important issue over the past decade has been the rise of coaching institutions and their influence over the minds of the students. These institutes are clearly capitalizing over the fears and insecurities of the Indian parents and have created a fully-fledged industry promoting the same.

Grades and mental health

We must realize that overestimating the importance of examinations and obsessing over good grades could have a serious impact on a student’s mental health, and in the past, there have been several instances of students committing suicides after not being able to meet the expectations of their parents or their own, in school and college examinations.

Hence, we must reform our education system in a way in which focus is shifted from, not only attaining good grades but also, to work towards intellectual and academic growth and becoming better-skilled individuals to better serve the future of our country.

When we talk of places of work, sports and entertainment, we see that there has been a tremendous improvement over the past century owing to the digital revolution and increase in overall living conditions.

However, when we look at the places of education we see a major consistency over not only the physical environment but also the methods of curriculum design followed by academic institutions.

This insight is particularly relevant in the context of Schools, where there is little scope for a student to study diverse subjects and the areas of study are majorly predetermined as a part of the curriculum.

However, structuring our curriculum in a way in which the students have little ability to choose among a wide range of subjects comes with innumerable and significantly important drawbacks. Due to this, the students are left with no option but to study the five or six mundane subjects throughout their school life. Most of these subjects are fairly generalized and theoretical in nature. There are some subjects like Physical Education or Personality Development but these are treated with little seriousness.

Importance of hobbies

The opportunity of offering the students the choice to study a wide range of hobbies or skills is lost. This particularly has a dent on the students’ future because, in the real world, lack of having done extra curricular activities and being skilled in different hobbies leaves one at a disadvantage not only because the employers prefer candidates with holistic and diverse personalities but also because these experiences help a person become adept at facing challenging situations, emotionally or academically.

Hence, it is the high time since we impart students with the ability to study different hobbies or practical skills like photography, acting, debating, video editing etc. so that they have real-life skills which would matter more than just bookish or theoretical knowledge.

Author – Amitoj Singh Kalsi

ProTeen helps students understand their strength and interest which allies with real-world professions. Its career counselling services help you make the right academic and career decisions




  • Pooja Purohit
    December 30, 2019

    Exactly! Our education system needs reforms to upgrade its quality. & especially the mentality of judging students by their grades must be changed.

  • Disha
    December 26, 2019

    Why does this even exist in the 21st century where kids are soo smart!!! Grades are just a part of kids life which don’t deserve much attention!!! But one must see to it that he or she fares well !! That’s a

  • Maryam
    December 11, 2019

    Grades are actually rubbish. It promotes competition among students triggering their minds to score marks at any cost. What benefit do they get other than this? Very few get benefitted from this. Our educational system needs some refinement.

  • Katyayani Nath
    December 7, 2019

    Absolutely loved the article

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