Marks alone don’t mark success in life

Meera Srinivasan

There are cases of failure turning into success

Communication skills, practical approach and presence of mind are more important in the longer run

CHENNAI: High scorers in school usually hog the attention when the examination results are declared. But, there are many students once dismissed as “failures” by kith and kin, who are now successful in their careers.

Their message, at a time when this year’s Class XII examinations are being declared, is: Marks are not all. Communication skills, practical approach and presence of mind are more important aspects in the longer run.

V. Sasikumar works in the credit card section of a private bank.

A very busy professional, he has hardly any time to think of his academic background. “So what if I failed in class X examination? Today, I am doing really well in my job,” he says.

Mr. Sasikumar, an enthusiastic 28-year-old, says students should not take failure in examinations too seriously. “It could be very saddening at that moment, but with support from family and friends, you can easily overcome the depression,” he says.

Failure, he says, offers more lessons than success. “Even if I had passed, I may not have acquired the grit I now possess.”

R. Nethra, who works as a public relations professional also feels being brave during the first few days is half the battle won. “I failed in my Class XII and later took the supplementary examinations and got over 80 per cent,” she says.

Ms. Nethra, in her early thirties now, pursued law and then switched over to the PR industry, which she found very interesting. Today, she not only sets an example for peers but also has climbed the professional ladder fast.

“Earlier, we had to wait for one year and then take the supplementary examination. It wasn’t easy. But today, I have absolutely no regrets,” she adds.

C. Ramesh (name changed), too, feels failure in examinations has not impacted success in his chosen career one bit. “There are greater challenges in life. You should not let sarcastic comments made by family members or friends disappoint you.”

Not all his friends who scored a first class are as well-settled as this young salesman. “In fact, a few of them who did really well in school are not doing too well for themselves now,” he adds.

“Your books don’t have answers for all the problems you encounter in life. At some point, you have to go by sheer instinct and practical sense,” Mr. Sasikumar says.

Jayanthi Seeman, Principal of Seeman Tutorials, which trains students for supplementary examinations, says many students who fail in core subjects, later do well enough to earn a medical or engineering seat. “What such students need is not just practice and concentration. They need a lot of affection and encouragement from parents and teachers,” she says.

Director of the Juvenile Guidance Bureau S. Karunanidhi, who has been counselling students, says failure in an examination is by no means an indication of a student’s intelligence. “A very intelligent student may have simply found a subject dull. It doesn’t mean he or she is not intelligent,” he says.

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