Will getting good marks and ranks ensure success?

Durga Rao 
on 15 January 2010


Though I was thinking that my writing for CA and CS students has become more and more and I should not write for students for some time, I can not control myself as I believe that only education, younger generation, research, standards in education, makes this country truly developed. 

I would like to expose my views on aiming at ranks and as to whether getting a very good rank will lead to a successful career. I am always of the strong opinion that acquiring true knowledge is more important than anything to become successful in the chosen profession or in life.

I don’t think that the ranks obtained by a student in a professional examination will represent his true knowledge and it is not correct to judge a student’s ability by his marks. Getting good marks in examination or getting ranks etc. is an art and it depends upon many issues.  I do strongly feel that the following thing will contribute to getting good marks in the professional examination. 

        (1)   Good handwriting.

        (2)   Covering the entire syllabus.

        (3)   Remembering the sections, provisions, case laws etc.

        (4)   Art of written communication or presentation. 

I do strongly feel that scrutiny of examination paper is an interesting exercise and it may not be practically possible to look at all the answers in detail. Thus, the presentation and capturing the attention of the scrutinizer is very important in writing examinations. These are not my words and this is what Shri M.P.Vijaya Kumar has expressed. His views are on logical footing and I do believe that many CA and CS students should have heard him through youtube.com and if you have not heard what Shri M.P.Vijaya Kumar has said on writing examination, you can now listen to him through the link below. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjjC2YNpb18 

Shri M.P.Vijaya Kumar has right in his statement that one can have any amount of knowledge, but, the same may not materialize in getting marks unless one is good at the art of writing the examination.

Thus, it is very clear that the marks or ranks obtained by a student in the examination may not truly represent ones knowledge and ability. For example, one can have so much interest and knowledge on one subject and he may not at all be interested in another subject. In such cases, we can not judge the knowledge and ability of that student just by looking at his marks and attempts to complete the examination. Somebody who has attempted many times to complete his CA, may contribute so much to the corporate world in future and it can very much happen.

Thus, we can be very clear at one thing that though passing examination and getting marks are very important, those will not represent ones true knowledge and ability. Ultimately, to succeed in life or the chosen field, a student should possess true knowledge. 

A student who could get good marks and could obtain ranks, may be placed in a very big companies soon after his completion and may be working in an MNC, but, may not be able to establish his own firm and do big things in professional career. On the other hand, a student who struggles even to complete the CA or CS, will be achieving so much later in life as he has true knowledge and ability required to succeed.

There are two perceptions about success. For somebody, getting a good placement in a Company is a success and for other making a substantial contribution to the corporate world or gaining recognition is success. But, I believe that all our students aim very high and they do not limit their goals to just getting placements or employment.

There are different views even on acquiring knowledge too. Some say that one should first complete his course at any cost and later can gain knowledge. 

It is true that one will be gaining so much experience when he sees the real practice, but, at the same, we can not say that theory completely differs from practice. Many will come know about the limitations of auditing only when he looks at the auditing process and difficulties in practice. There can be many inevitable obligations when one completes his course and works for some company. Again, age factor is there though there can not be any age limits for gaining knowledge.

I am of the strong opinion that every student should take advantage of his privilege to focus only on studies and systematic education. Student life is very valuable and it lays the foundation for ones future success or path.

Thus, my personal advice to students is that they should not bother about marks and ranks, but, should focus on understanding the subject and gaining the real knowledge. True knowledge takes one to top positions in professional career when the knowledge is supported by other qualities like courage, hope, hard work, perseverance etc. qualities.

Our Indian society measures ones ability by his marks and ranks, but, we never look at his true knowledge and ability. This is not my statement and this is what even our Indian origin Nobel winner Mr.Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has opined.  Many who have struggled in India have achieved so much in abroad where true knowledge is instantly recognized. Our perceptions should change and students should take a lead in changing the wrong perceptions.

I am not supporting the students who are negligent and can not complete his course, but, expressing my view that a student or a person’s ability should not be estimated only by his marks. There are many living examples. We can see many professionals here in India who could have studied in premier institutions like Harvard and Stanford, but, still they could not have achieved substantially in profession.

Even J.K.Rowling has expressed her view that her success has been measured by passing examinations and marks and she was a biggest failure in life if one looks at her examinations and marks. But, J.K.Rowling was confident of her ability and never lost her hope and finally she has proved what she is and now the world knows her.

You must be knowing about Apple Computers and its founder Steve Jobs. He has discontinued his graduation and founded Apple at 20 and it has become a big firm by 30.

Bill Gates could not get the opportunity of pursuing his graduation as he was so busy striking deals with his great friend Paul Allen and both have established Microsoft when Bill was 19.

How come Bill Gates could succeed in life and could become richest in the world without any degrees? 

How come Steve Jobs could be successful though he has dropped out of graduation and used to bunk his classes on regular basis? 

It is because they possessed true knowledge and confident of their ability. I am not supporting the students who are negligent and who give so many attempts to complete his or her course.

But, my view is that a student should focus on gaining true knowledge and ability. Don’t lay so much emphasis on getting marks and one deserves to complete his course even when he lays so much emphasis on understanding the subject and gaining the true knowledge.

What happens is that when one focuses only on marks and ranks, then, he tends to practice only the art of getting marks and ranks and in the course he may neglect the true understanding of the subject.  If one completes the course without true knowledge, then, for sure, he will face many difficulties in his professional career. If one is good at true understanding of the subject, then, he need not worry at his marks and ranks as his knowledge and ability will reward him in practice or his professional career. Ultimately, the corporates will look at your true knowledge and ability and not marks. Your marks and ranks may ensure good placements at the beginning, but, in the long run, only your knowledge and ability rewards you.

I had the privilege of closely observing one Senior Advocate of Madras High Court Shri Sriram Panchu. I have seen his handwriting and nobody can understand his writing as I believe. But, he has achieved so much in profession and has become a known and established Senior Advocate.  On the same footing, I know that many students who possess great qualities and good ability; still, they are struggling to complete the course.

In my view, every student should remember one thing that if he concentrates on understanding the subject and gaining true knowledge, then, he will automatically completes his course though he may not secure good marks and ranks. Don’t worry at marks and ranks, but, worry at your understanding of the subject and the required abilities.

Note:

1.    My intention is not say that the students with good marks and rank holders are not with suitable knowledge.

2.    My intention is to emphasize the significance of understanding the subject rather focusing only on getting marks and completing the course.

3.    My intention is to encourage the students with true knowledge and ability and nothing more. 


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