People put the system of measuring student success with the yardstick called ‘percentage’ so that in general, education imparted can have some set high standards. It also helps filter out the larger section of the population from the incredibly small number of affordable options for higher education.
The average percentage of a student in board exams is, therefore, a convenient tool for some administrative body that lacks categorical focus on student’s abilities. What the percentage of marks cannot be is to become any kind of scale for a student’s intelligence. Intelligence is determined not only by effort but by genetic and environmental factors. A student’s 75% is therefore just as valuable as a 95% considering how steep his/her challenges were, based on those factors.
What does it mean then for the student?
It is an uneven measure to determine the self-will, determination and courage of academically oriented children. While their efforts most certainly need to be applauded, it does not mean that students with a lower percentage are any less respectable. Their efforts can only begin to be visible when they set themselves aside from a system unsuitable for them to one that boosts their confidence.
You could, for instance, start a business, consider a skill-based training, or join the military instead of following the usual path of scrambling to get into a college that has high cut-offs. There are several instances when students have not given up after high school and done wonders at the UPSC examinations, for which high school percentages don’t matter. Many successful self-taught entrepreneurs like Ritesh Agarwal never worried about his marks.
As children, you need to constantly look for avenues where you stand out. There can be no perfect system that fits the needs of everyone. However, if you find one that is conducive to your requirements, one that enables you too to feel like a topper, perhaps that would give you the jumpstart into successful adulthood.
There is no right age to begin investigating the core strengths of students. Set out to find suitable mentors and the opportunity will unfold in innumerable ways.
Education is important and success does depend on hard work and determination but if it’s not working at school or for board exams, it’s perfectly okay. Akshay Kumar became a National Award-winning actor and an influential celebrity, popular these days for having interviewed the Prime Minister of India, not because of his marks in school. In fact, he has had many failures including those in exams before he became a star. Well, the Prime Minister himself was no more than an average student at school who however excelled at debates and plays.
Now having said this, when at school, a constant effort needs to be made to take full advantage of what is on offer. Do take your elders seriously when they tell you so. School work must never be taken lightly. The odds must always be weighed against alternative training and not unproductive hours.
So while especially in the Indian national board exams the disappointment deepens the lower you go under 90 %, it must be remembered that it is not a report card that is representative of all forms of interests. It is also not a guarantee for success in life. Look for role models within your family. Surely not everyone was top scorers at your age.
Be confident when you need to talk about scores no matter what they are. Express happiness. Accept that your efforts have paid off but there is room for improvement. Look ahead, keep an open mind and plan your next step.