21 Comments

  1. Soupayan Dutta

    Class 12 marks is necessary only if you have a dream college !!
    Or else take a chill pill mate.. !!
    Yes score a presentable marks and let the society bark !!

    • Pramit

      We study to keep our faces in society. We have lost passion for subjects. We study to earn money. What is the point of getting 90- 99% if you don’t have passion???

  2. Rupsha Bhadra

    Although I’m perhaps too young to comment, but I totally agree with whatever you have written. I had taken up science partly because my parents wanted me to and partly because I was unsure at all. It was after that, when I realised that this isn’t my cup of tea at all. I hated the subjects but it was really too late. In a way, it was important, because I would have never been sure otherwise. I scraped through ISC with just about above average marks and am glad I dont have to study science ever again. But thankfully enough, I love the subject that I’m studying now, am doing pretty well in college exams and studying doesn’t seem like a burden anymore. (well, mostly :P).
    With lesser than a day to go for ISC and ICSE results to be published, this was a much necessary post.

  3. Rohit Shrivastava

    First of all, kudos for picking up a nice and meaningful subject. Anirban in my opinion class12 marks have very less significance in your life. I have even seen people not gettin 60% and then doing a decent job and having a nice life.my own cousin is a fine example of that. At the same time I also think that parents and elders must judge their wards based on their marks not on how high or low their score is but on the criteria “why the score is high or low” is it because the child is weak,or lack of guidance or is it because he has other passions or interest. Whatever may b the cause must be accepted with open heart. At the same time if it’s because the kid did not study or was in bad company then he/she deserves a different kind of care afterall habits may become addiction so that is a different scenario.
    in the end the kid must be told one thing that in life nothing can be achieved by casual behavior if he needs anything he will have to work day and night for it whether it be IIT, MBA,IAS or creative lines like photography or painting.One must ensure that the kid finds his passion by now.there is no harm in failing once or twice but the pursuit to achieve what you want must always b honest. If a person learns to work with dedication and discipline towards the aim he has in life, then never mind his score for he has passed with flying colours in the test of life.

  4. Avishek Rakshit

    I remember the day my ISC results were declared, I went to meet Anirban Da after that.
    Was I disappointed with my score? Yes, I was. It was my dream as well to study Economics at Delhi University.
    Anirban Da was pissed at me. I had perhaps let a lot of people including him down.
    I remember feeling numb for quite some time. I did not know where to go from there. I knew I wanted to study Economics Honours and I was ready to study it in even the worst college in the country. Me scoring very poor meant that the only two good colleges that I could still consider were Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandir, Belur and Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, Narendrapur.
    However, cracking the entrance exam and the viva was not an easy thing to do either. I was low on confidence. But at the same time, I had faith in myself.
    Now almost a year later, I am studying Economics Honours at Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, Narendrapur. I think good board marks help you get a college the easy way. It is nothing more than that. It doesn’t define your life. You define yourself. If you screw up, don’t stop believing. Have faith in yourself. It’ll pay off.
    This blogpost brings back so many memories of what I went through exactly one year back today.

  5. Like I told you, on a very personal note I completely understand from where this discourse is coming. That our ICSE and our ISC percentages unfortunately define our lives at an age that’s rather impressionable is something that parents and teachers, and society as a whole need to understand. To tell a child that he or she is ‘worthless’ (as I was called), for not achieving the required scores is what is a step toward killing a child. This does not however, mean that the importance of academics needn’t be stressed upon.
    I remember walking into St Xavier’s College and being told by their Vice Principal, “You want to study English here? With those marks?” I remember asking him what my scores in Economics had to do with my desire to pursue English – something that I’d done exceedingly well in.

    Secondly, how reliable are these exams anyway if all they evaluate is your ability to mug up information only to forget everything minutes after the final bell? I think I took back far more from my Economics teacher in terms of values than knowing what Price Index is. I understand that that is important, but that cannot be the be all and end all of it.

    I had a batch-mate who went on to study at SRCC in New Delhi. He had topped the exams in our school and had scored the highest percentage in English – 97%. I was 2% short of his scores. He misspelt ‘believe’ in an update on Facebook celebrating his scores. The defense rests, Your Honour. 🙂

  6. Good marks in ISC is a way to avoid negative social comments, especially from those people who are ready to find an opportunity and criticise you.

    It’s necessary to get into certain colleges like Xavier’s. Xavier’s was a dream to me. One of the prime reasons I wanted to avoid engineering. Studying “pure” computer science in At. Xavier’s college.

    I don’t wish to insult Xavierians, but I dislike their admission system. I could not make it for half marks and frankly, it did sadden me. Now, however, I feel blessed that I did not get admitted into Xavier’s, simply because what I got was better, according to me.

    ISC marks to me are simply a social status symbol. Because the finest colleges (no offence) offer admission tests, and like you said, they don’t judge a dolphin by their tree climbing skills 🙂

  7. Ronit Roy

    Perception of board marks are a perfect example of hypocrisy. If a student gets 90%, he or she is automatically assumed to study science. Whereas I know many people who scored above 90% and are pursuing different fields. Also, students become so engrossed in scoring well, they fail to enjoy an unique experience – high school. This is worsened by the feeling of competition. It is not enough to score above 90%. You have to score above your fellow competitors. This race to the finish line has completely eradicated the values in the education system is the primary reason for introduction of mugging and lack of application in the field. When one’s aptitude in computer science is measured by his ability to score marks in chemistry, it really defies logic. This reaction is however extended to your college selection and the field itself. This extension is actually harming this generation rather than helping it.

  8. Good to see you writing on such issues! As someone who got across the marks usually viewed as the “socially acceptable norms” (and then some!), let me assure you, beyond bragging rights, my 12th class marks have not been very useful. And, when I look back to that one day wonder over a decade ago, it has paled away in my memory. What it has done, is helped me create a “career narrative”, one which fits in with my profile as an academic physician. A 60% mark would be a jolt in a career otherwise speaking of higher grades, and would attract unwanted attention (but then again, till date, in all of the interviews and career stuff that I have forayed into, I did not need to mention my 12th class marks: I just mentioned them anyway because they were pretty!). Unfortunately, nowadays, I see people running after marks in the exam because in the Delhi University admissions, the cut-offs are INSANELY high!

    At the end of the day, I believe that marks are but one measure of our intellectual capabilities, and not a very good one at that either. So, do what you will, society wants you score high, but I guess if you’re a high scoring student without the requisite skills, you’re pretty useless in the real world setting.

    Reminds me of T.S. Eliot’s poem:
    Where is the Life we have lost in living?
    Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
    Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
    The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
    Brings us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

    Apologies for such a long comment…

  9. Rajarshi

    Being a B-school aspirant(joining an IIM this year) and not having good ISC marks myself, what I can only say is to get into a top B school(specifically the IIMs) you need very good board marks. The top B-school’s claim that people who have been academically consistent throughout their lives have better chances at becoming good managers. My interpretation of this is that they believe its easier to place people/get people jobs, those who have been good throughout their academic careers at top notch MNC’s. This system of using board marks for elimination of aspirants is a norm in most selection processes in India. So what I would say is to be successful in this country and to gain access to better avenues, you ought to have a good board score.. An average or below average score will only make it tougher..
    There are always exceptions. People get spurred on by their passion no matter what. But for that one exception, there are thousands and lacs of other failure stories. So even though I would like to agree with your viewpoint ideally but in India it’s all just an eye-wash. Unless the system and society here changes drastically.

  10. Souryadeep Basak

    If you want to get into Stephen’s, DU or JU with honours, yes it does. If you want to go for engineering to an NIT, yes it does. If you want to go for medical no it doesn’t.

    Most importantly if you’ve worked for your boards for two longs years it most definitely does. I don’t judge people who get less marks, but I found your blog to be a little partial towards those who performed below par. I agree that one examination does not reserve the capacity to determine one’s aptitude holistically. However, it doesn’t take away the hard work and dedication that the guys at the top put in.

    Just my humble opinion.

  11. 1.Gifted abd academically brilliant.
    2. Gifted but no brilliance in academics.
    3. Academically brilliant
    4. Not gifted nor brilliant.
    A SMART goal and target for high marks are generally set for Catagory 2&4. The main cause being our venerated band of HRswhose first scan is on CV and not a F2F interview. People who talk about marks not being important are either the ones who have acclaimed academic pedegree or have made it good with sheer hard work. But this goal is generally for those who do not have any focus or most of the time do not know what they will do in future. Scoring well is the safety shield they must carry in the face of uncertainties. Our system is critised and wrong but the main question is ‘Can anyone stay out of this system?’ What is the alternative?

  12. Rahul Poddar

    In midst of scoring more and more, somewhere down the line i think we’re loosing what should have been our greatest priority,to learn something to get the bases strong, not just because we need to score but because we’re here to learn for knowledge.
    I’ve been to places where people are taught how to score more and more, not how to retain and implement what you’ve learnt, it’s really sad for the kind of society we’re growing up in.

  13. ShilpI Mukherjee

    I think that the way the society is presently structured , 12 marks does matter to the extent that it gives you a leverage , and it makes the assessing and judging process way too easier without actually having to devote time to find out about a person. As a student of economics, I can partly see how this set-up has evolved as the dominant paradigm. But, having said that , I earnestly, emphatically feel that one result , one exam , two digits CANNOT tell me what a person is , and what he is capable of doing . so, for somebody who knows his/her goals, priorities and is ready to sweat it out , marks don’t matter. But sadly that kind of determination and grit is difficult to sustain in the midst of constant humiliation . So, probably 12 marks are not that important for the brave ,or for the faint hearted to grow up to be brave .
    Also, I personally have a criticism against the board results , because I have seen a lot of deserving, hard-working students score much below than what the should have ,and some very underprepared students get astoundingly good marks. A friend of mine from a very reputed school in Kolkata had told me that she has left 6 marks in Maths and went on to score 97. On that grounds I feel , board results are stupid and unfairly so.

  14. Abhisek Kundu

    It is in the pure science/humanities streams where the marks play an important part, clubbed with the student’s performance in the respective admission tests.
    Being in the engineering line, other than clearing the 60% cutoff, my CBSE score have barely mattered anywhere except getting some praises and a copy of Gitanjali (thank you KMC!)
    Considering jobs, only a handful of companies seem to refer to the boards’ marks for their selection procedure.

    The worst part is in the present day educational system. It forces the student to study solely for the sake of getting a good score, and the present day makes sure to look down upon him if he fails to achieve that. That, Anirban da, is the epicenter of all the woes regarding marks, grades, and eventually, social statuses.

    • Apoorva

      Listen on being a meritorious student till class 10th..I wasnt able to score good in 12..If I want to pursue my career in engineering..Does the board% really matter during placements in MNC’s

  15. It might not be necessary to earn a 90% or 80% marks in 12th however a decent score of 70-75% is important. The reason lies behind the speech of Steve Job – “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”.

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