Work hard, work smartly- You got to keep going

Work hard, work smartly- You got to keep going

Recent incidents of question paper leaks have caused significant psychological distress among students preparing for medical entrance exams. These scandals have shaken the confidence of students, parents, and educators alike, putting the future of many young aspirants at risk

Of late the students in the country, especially those preparing for medical entrance exams are being subjected to a lot of psychological traumas. The paper leak scandal has rocked and blown off the minds of the government, the bureaucrats, the parents and the students. The most affected are the young aspirants whose future is in doldrums. Having been in the field of education for more than four decades and having dealt with such aspirants, their fear and trauma is not new to me.

Leaked question papers, re-exams, suspended results, vacancies unfilled were being experienced by most of us. The truth is that every generation, some time or the other had tasted this bitter pill, ‘The Question paper leak’. During our student days too, we experienced the pain of unsolicited political interference in securing admissions in medical and engineering. But who cared to see the ache and agony that non-influential middle -class families went through.

There was no electronic media. The silent cries were hardly heard by anybody. Human memory is very weak, it quickly moves from one phase to another and adopts and adjusts with in no time. During the days of hand written question paper at least by two paper setters, the chances were negligible. The written script was sent to the concerned authorities by a registered post.

The typist was made to sit in an isolated room under the hawk-eyes of an expert. The required number of copies were stenciled a few days before the scheduled date. Government postal system was fully and efficiently used for transporting the material. As a student I remember making a guess question paper and floating it among friends. It is simple. Sat with the question papers of previous 4 to 5 years. Checked for the frequently asked questions as some topics always remained the favorites’ of the paper setters. Noted down the chapters skipped, left to be tested.

Most times our guess was correct. Paper leaked!! We always felt that the rumours of paper leak,was only to distract and a trap to gain attention. Off-course those days were different. Neither we faced pressure from parents nor heard of any ‘coaching factory’.

What could be the reason for failing the aspirations of students? Mis- management and failure on the part of authorities to check cheating and leak of papers. Hackers target the government servers as they are the soft targets and are not well protected. Many a time the question paper would be uploaded on line, making it easier for the hackers to hack the computers.

They are on prowl every second and pounce at the opportune moment. No strict punishment and stringent laws for the criminals. Coaching academies in their anxiety to claim toppers from their institute are also responsible to some extent. The leak could be either from people who deal with the question paper or from someone having access to printing and distribution of the same. The causative factor can be negligence of the authorities and political interference and influence. Bribery and corruption can also lead to the question paper being ‘exposed’. Money is important but not that important that you stoop to abysmal depth and damage the future and aspirations of lakhs of innocent students.

It is easy to blame anybody and everybody other than yourself. I feel the parents, the students and the society, are equally responsible for this mayhem. Most of the students feel pressured by parents. Unable to bear the duress at home as well as from teachers, even intelligent students capable of achieving something in life procrastinate and slowly the never ending cycle of declaring themselves worthless and being stressed out begins.

With the result their confidence and self-esteem shattered because of high expectations. The society and our education system put so much compulsion on the students that they are suffocated and cannot fulfill their dreams. There is super heavy competition in any field you touch. More so with conventional courses like Medical and engineering. Students not successful in plan ‘A’ have no plan ‘B’.

All these compel them to take a non-ethical route without putting any hard work along with over ambitious parents to achieve success. In this race for success often mental health is neglected and all ‘stake holders’ think that the child is not putting required hard work. No one makes an effort to find out the genuine reason behind the students’ apathy. It is so dreadful to imagine the stress levels of students on different problems and on different platforms. Success in exams comes through hard work, dedication and ethical practices. Believe in your ability to achieve your goals through honest ways and means.

There would be many repercussions when caught. Academically you are disqualified or expelled from appearing for the exam. It is a criminal offence punishable under law. If the authorities cancel the exam and order for re-test, it is a disadvantage to honest students who diligently work for their exams. They often start doubting their abilities and fall prey to ‘Imposter Syndrome’. When you encounter challenges in preparing for an exam, or when you are sitting in a test stuck or lost, try and unlock yourself. Even if you don’t pretend that you do and, at some point you will. There is a spark inside you dear students which is greater than any obstacle. So don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

Believe in yourself, take on your challenges, and dig deep within yourself to overcome your fears. Don’t let anyone bring you down. You gotta keep going. Work smart. Everybody is a genius. Don’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree; it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.

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