Utmost Pressure on Student Ratings, Permanent Mind Rust

Author's note : This was an essay for what was once YouthMalaysia, and later a blog project called YouthEcho, for which the author was one of the writers.

Having been through the first three examinations - PTS (Penilaian Tahap Satu), UPSR (Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah) and PMR (Penilaian Menengah Rendah - Lower Certificate Examination), I daresay, I have been through a lot. To be honest, I would never ever want to relive the dreadful past of having to study over and over again, suffer mockery, beatings and not-so-satisfactory results. Despite the fact that I have done well in these three examinations, I would never want to go through them ever again. The students themselves - the young ones - dread the fact that they have to go through a major examination against millions of other Malaysian students.

The capability of students to handle work from Year 1 to Year 6 (and up to Form 3) is tested in these major examinations. School-based examinations do that too. The level of major examinations are set to be attemptable for everyone. School-based examinations are harder. In major examinations, we compete with the multitude of students to get our deserving grades. School examinations do the same too. The only difference is such - in school examinations, you never find stupid questions such as What is spelling bee ? A. A bee that spells… in your examination paper. In short, having major examinations, or abolishing them for that matter, does not make any difference.

Oh, yeah, and talk about repetitive secondary school syllabus (especially for History). Haven’t they anything new to share with us ?

I know a handful of students who do not study for anything but the final examination, then wash their hands clean off the paper. The major examinations are for them. For most of us students who take every single test as a hurdle, we would be so used to doing the test papers. The emotional high of “major examinations” may just as well pass us by ! At the end of the day, UPSR and PMR are nothing compared to our school-based examinations. (I can’t say the same thing for SPM.)

Over the years, the only thing I’ve noticed about the major examinations is such - throughout the year, people are enveloped in a cloud of fear and unnecessary stress. Then, when they get the result slip and they have done really well, they go on an emotional high - it’s time to celebrate !!!!!! However, when they do not as well as they expected (example : they missed just one A instead of getting 12 straight As), they weep as though Armageddon is drawing near. Check out the pictures in the media every year, people !

With or without major examinations, we are students, called to study hard and be good examples of all-rounders. Having two big rocks in front of us - the major examinations - only causes us to bury ourselves in books much more. Now, do people allege that too much study causes insanity ? Or pressure from too much study causes insanity ?

To explain it all, I have made another definition for UPSR and PMR.

UPSR is Utmost Pressure on Student Ratings.
PMR is Permanent Mind Rust.

So if these conditions continue to persist, and if all else fails, abolish.
Man, now they'd accuse me for causing corruption to people's minds.


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