Exams: The only motivation to study

A week ago the everyone in the class was to give the preliminary exams for the 5th semester. Later on people found out that the exams were actually optional according to university rules and the other division went and appealed to the principal to scrap the prelims. Now the question that arose in my mind is why would anyone not want to give exams?

Most of my friends said that they’d use those two hours to study than to just sit in the exam hall and give answers to questions which they haven’t studied yet. Others said that they’d rather catch up on sleep. To each his own. For me, the only motivation to study at all, in school, junior or senior college was the exam.

Optional exams.. hmm!
Optional exams.. hmm!

Tried and tested everything – making timetables, collecting all my study material well before the study leave, giving my self sufficient breaks. Nothing worked. I still would end up getting slightly above average marks or average most of the times, due to last minute studying. I would sit in the exam hall and read my question and say to myself “I wish I’d studied harder!”.

Weeks or months later when I thought of the answer of a particular question that I had studied I realized that I remembered it even then. Which was quite strange because the same answer I couldn’t recollect when I was writing my paper.

I came across this article in the newspaper which reported a study on how people recollect images or information that is stored away in their brain. It was found that most people tried to remember the wrong things and interrupted their normal flow of thought that would have made them otherwise recollect a forgotten piece of info rather easily.

Now in order to have a good flow of thoughts in your head, the thoughts need to be arranged well in there. And before they get to your head you need to make sure you’re not cramming it in all at once. That means, that you have to study bit by bit, and gradually things will get in there. If you cram it, you’ll retain only 30% of what you actually studied. So that’s it. That 30% will help me although it’s a small portion.

Exams are a pain almost everytime  http://jewelcityjuice.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/exams.jpg
Exams are a pain almost everytime

So in a way, I’ll actually be studying something albeit at the last moment and retaining even less. But if there were no prelims would I study anything at all in the first place? That’s why I find exams to be motivating enough to study. The whole deal of the teacher correcting your paper and waving it in front of your face and the rest of the class is an embarrassment for sure which makes you study harder!

Some critics wanted exams scrapped in the Maharashtra board owing to the suicides that have taken place due to students not scoring well. But if you scrap the exams, then how will you find out if a person has actually retained anything? If I don’t study, sitting in college will be just like watching a boring movie in a theatre. Its studying that makes the difference and makes a student qualified.

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