Personally I have long felt that these youngsters requiring a pass mark of 150+ out of 200, are unjustly pressurized (more like forced) at too young an age to compete in a national exam, the results of which will determine if they can go to a better school, and if the marks are high enough, and there are sufficient places to Royal and Visakha, the all boys, and all girls school that requires the highest marks.
One must remember that tuition and coaching for this exam start two years earlier, that is at about age 7, where they are sent to special classes to help them achieve a high mark at these exams.
Firstly I question the need for such a competitive exam at too young an age.
Secondly I question segregation of students into different schools arising from this.
Thirdly I question that as people mature at different ages many gifted students who fail to qualify may unfairly underestimate their capabilities as they may be led to believe that they failed.
Fourthly, the pressure put on by parents may permanently scar the under achievers, who are at the most vulnerable and impressionable stage into a mental breakdown of sorts.
Fifthly, focused study at this early age stifles children’s creative talents, and prevents the establishment of a creative, thinking, and energetic class of intelligentsia essential to compete in the global workplace.
Finally can one give one advantage of this exam to this country where we believe it has resulted in a highly educated, visionary competitive workforce!
Some schools have prevented students who are clearly not up to the mark to sit this exam so that their individual performance percentages look good, and thereby falsify their true value. Students are asked, and remember till their deathbed what their mark at the year 5 scholarship exam was till their dying day even though they may not remember their O level and A level grades! That shows the indelible impact this exam has on the individual psyche.
Let us just drop this exam once and for all, and not change it from a memory test to an aptitude, IQ or intelligence test that may pick future stars most likely to succeed than this exam. It has been proved that the mark here IS NOT an indicator of those who will get into the University system, as the chance of those below the pass mark getting into University is no different from those who pass!!