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Mantra for Success: Grades or Passion



“ I failed in some subjects, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.”- Quote popularly attributed to Bill Gates. First, I would like all my readers to think whether examinations can reflect the ability or determination of a student’s actual talent or their intelligence quotient. A student’s grades in exams are being used as the most common indicator to determine their intellect but the question is whether only grades can reflect the true intellect or potential of a student or not. Examinations only require students to write and deliver what they have been taught and what they have been able to understand, learn and remember. Based on these examinations, the students are awarded grades which decide whether they can move forward in their learning process or they are given another chance to improve their grades. These examination grades cannot determine if the student can implement that subject knowledge in real life or not. There may be students who can score very good grades in their examinations but at the same time when it comes to implementing their knowledge in real life, they may not be able to do so. This happens because students only remember things that are asked in their exams for a short period and then once their exams are over, they start learning new things for their next exams and tend to forget what they may have learned previously. Good grades may definitely lead students to get better opportunities in life, but at the same time if students are only asked to focus on their grades, their talent for something else in life may always stay hidden. I think hard work in areas of students’ interest can help them be more successful in life rather than asking them to focus on their grades right from the time their schooling begins. Aamir Khan, an actor who is looked up to by many aspiring actors, is a school dropout at the age of 17, who then followed his passion for Bollywood. Mark Zuckerberg, who is also known as the ‘King of Social Media’ is a Harvard University dropout at the age of 19. Other such personalities such as MF Hussain, Smriti Irani, Kapil Dev and many more have proved that success is not only achieved through academics, it can be achieved if we work hard towards achieving our passions or dreams. Following our dreams and passions can help us achieve greater things in life. In my life I know an individual who has struggled to clear almost all his exams, has never been quite good in academics, has passed most of his exams on the borderline and was not able to score very good grades in school. But he is able to do things which most of us would not be able to do. He can solve an 8*8 cube in just a few seconds, he can think of creative ideas which no one may have thought about until now, his way of seeing life is way too different than most of us might see it. Seeing his passion for a start- up idea, his parents are supporting him so that he can achieve his dream and become a young successful entrepreneur. Many parents today want their children to be toppers in their class and score good grades which may be right because all parents want their children to be the best, and the child should also aim high in life. But with this desire, many parents knowingly or unknowingly start comparing their child with other children. Further, the children are expected to score high in order to make their parents feel proud of them. In the new era, parents track regularly the academic performance of their child and tend to stress so much upon the grades scored by them that they tend to forget about the other curricular activities that their child may be good at. It is healthy that parents want to bring out the best in their children, but at times due to this increasing desire parents unknowingly pressurise their child so much that the child faces a lot of problems. In fact, there have been studies which have shown concern that children cannot be children anymore because they are pressurised to perform well and get into prestigious schools and colleges, get good grades or get the best scholarships. A few problems that children face when their parents put them under enormous amount of pressure are stress, anxiety, depression, low self esteem and many more. These problems further lead to children not achieving things which they may be capable of achieving, which further leads to disappointment. Parents need to understand that it is not necessary for the child to score good grades in order to succeed in life. If their child is not good in academics, he or she may be excellent in something else, be it sports, music, dance, and so on. It is important for parents to support their children in achieving success by encouraging them to follow their passion. In my opinion, many talented and intelligent people are lost if intelligence is only defined through tests that are wholly inadequate and constricting. Intelligence can’t be adequately graded only by the means of an exam as it is a very broad concept derived from many factors which are not limited to one’s performance in an examination. For students to succeed in life we must look wider and encourage entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation and encourage students to follow their passion.