Board Exam Pressure: Is It Really Necessary?

Board Exam
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The time spent in high school is often remembered as a period of growth, exploration, and self-discovery. But for many students, it also comes with an overwhelming sense of pressure, particularly when it’s time to face the high-stakes 10th and 12th board exams. Parents, teachers, and society often instil the belief that the board exam is the make-or-break moment for one’s entire future. The pressure can be immense, leading us to wonder, is it really needed?

The Weight of Board Exam Pressure

Board exams, such as the 10th and 12th-grade examinations, are seen as crucial milestones in a student’s life. Success in these exams is often perceived as a gateway to a bright future, including securing admission to prestigious colleges and universities. While a certain level of examination pressure is natural and can motivate students to perform better, an excessive amount can be detrimental to their mental and emotional well-being.

The Issue of Excessive Pressure:

Mental Health: A Ticking Time Bomb

根据研究所的一项研究Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), India, a significant increase in anxiety and depression cases among students is observed during the board exam season. The relentless pressure to perform exceptionally well in board exams can set off a ticking time bomb of mental health issues. Students face severe stress, anxiety, and even depression, which can have profound and lasting consequences on their mental well-being. The toll on their psychological health is akin to a silent epidemic, with repercussions that extend far beyond the exam hall.

The Weight of Unrealistic Expectations

Unattainable expectations from parents and society cast a long shadow over students. According to a survey by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), 68% of students felt that they were under extreme pressure due to the expectations of their parents during board exams. These relentless demands create an unrelenting sense of failure, even when students achieve above-average scores. The end result is a generation plagued by low self-esteem and an eroded sense of self-worth.

The Narrowing of Dreams: Traditional Career Compulsion

The pressure of board exams forces students into a predefined mould, compelling them to pursue traditional career paths. An analysis by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), indicates that a significant percentage of students opt for traditional career paths and courses based on societal expectations rather than their true interests and talents. In doing so, we inadvertently steer them away from their true interests and passions. The consequence is a generation of young minds whose dreams are shackled by societal norms and parental expectations.

Ways to Cope with Board Exam Pressure:

Open Communication: Encouraging open and honest communication between parents, teachers, and students provides a crucial emotional outlet. When students express their feelings, fears, and doubts, it can help alleviate the burden of anxiety and foster a supportive environment that promotes their mental well-being.

Balanced Lifestyle: A balanced lifestyle is essential for managing board exam pressure. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health conditions are one of the leading causes of illness among adolescents aged 10-19 globally. Regular physical activity, sufficient sleep, and a nutritious diet not only promote physical health but also improve mental resilience, enhancing a student’s capacity to deal with stress effectively.

Set Realistic Goals: Helping students establish realistic goals aligned with their abilities and interests is vital. An analysis of successful individuals in various fields by Forbes magazine shows that 40% of them did not excel in their school or college exams but found their niche later in life. Acknowledging that a single exam does not determine their entire future can alleviate unnecessary pressure, allowing them to focus on personal growth and learning.

Stress Management Techniques: Teaching stress management techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises equips students with valuable tools to combat anxiety and stress. These techniques empower them to regain control over their emotions and maintain a calm and focused mindset during exams.

Seek Professional Help: If the pressure becomes overwhelming, it’s essential to recognize when professional help is needed. According to the study by the NCPCR, nearly 57% of students were not comfortable discussing their academic concerns with their parents, often due to the fear of disappointing them. Mental health professionals can provide guidance and support, offering strategies to cope with intense stress and anxiety, ensuring a student’s emotional well-being during this challenging time.

Examples of Success Beyond Scores

There are many examples of real-life people who have made successful business empires and brands in spite of not having graduated nor scored high in their grades.

There are many tech, business, political and media stars of the 20th century and beyond who left school without undergrad degrees, but with plenty of ambition and talent to make things happen. All these tycoons relied on their skills, street smartness and sheer hard work to reach their goals.

Richard Branson – Business Icon, who left school at 16, founded the Virgin Group, a conglomerate of more than 400 companies. His journey exemplifies how ambition and talent can propel someone to become a global business icon.

奥普拉·温弗瑞-奥普拉·温弗瑞dropped out of college after just one semester to pursue her broadcasting career. Her story of perseverance and determination serves as an inspiration to many, as she later returned to finish her degree after achieving incredible success in the media industry.

Bill Gates – Co-founded Microsoft and became one of the most successful entrepreneurs globally. Despite leaving Harvard after two years, he played a pivotal role in shaping the technology landscape, illustrating how innovation and vision can outweigh the need for a traditional degree.

萨钦Tendulkar——神童在板球,决ded not to continue his formal education after the 10th grade. He went on to become a global cricket legend, earning admiration from millions of fans for his exceptional skills on the field.

Amir Khan – An actor, and filmmaker, realized his passion for acting early in life. He chose to discontinue his studies after completing school and, under the guidance of his uncle Nasir Hussain, pursued a successful career in the film industry, demonstrating that talent and dedication can override academic qualifications.

Gautam Adani – He left his Commerce degree halfway and established the Adani Group, one of India’s largest and most successful enterprises. With a net worth of $8.8 billion and over 23,000 employees, his journey showcases how determination, entrepreneurial spirit, and hard work can lead to self-made success.

The pressure surrounding 10th and 12th board exams is a pervasive issue in many societies. While a certain degree of pressure can act as a motivator, excessive stress can have detrimental effects on students’ mental health and personal growth. It is imperative for parents, teachers, and society as a whole to reevaluate the importance placed on these exams and advocate for a more well-rounded and holistic approach to education. Success can be realized through diverse paths, and it is crucial to understand that board exam scores are not the sole indicators of a promising future. Students should be encouraged to pursue their passions and interests, and a nurturing and supportive environment is paramount for their overall well-being.

We are not suggesting that you should drop out or leave your education, but it’s important to remember that academic performance in 10th and 12th boards is not the be-all and end-all in life. Many careers and skills don’t require you to be a topper in these exams. What truly matters is finding your unique path, following your passions, and nurturing your individual talents. It’s through a combination of education, experience, and personal growth that one can achieve success and fulfilment in life. Let’s celebrate the diversity of talents and journeys that lead to success, rather than confining ourselves to a narrow definition of achievement based solely on exam scores.


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