Day 33 – Q 3. Should merit lists be scrapped from school examinations? Substantiate your views. 

  • IASbaba
  • July 17, 2020
  • 0
Ethics Theory, GS 4, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3. Should merit lists be scrapped from school examinations? Substantiate your views. 

क्या स्कूल की परीक्षाओं से मेरिट लिस्ट निकाल देनी जानी चाहिए? अपने विचारों की पुष्टि करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to express their view on whether the merit list be scrapped from school examinations or not. It also expects students to substantiate their views with examples.


The CBSE and CISCE boards declared the Class 10 and Class 12 results this year without a merit list due to the exceptional circumstances created by the corona virus pandemic. This move is seen as progressive by some people and regressive by some other hence, it becomes necessary to assess whether the merit list be scrapped from school examinations or not.


A progressive move:

  • Merit list gives students warped ideas of what achievement means and external validation.
  • It promote unhealthy competition among students.
  • These lists, which rank students on the basis of their exam marks  seems futile exercise. As we grow up, we realise how redundant these merit lists are, for that matter even exam marks are. e.g. Overall success can’t be determined from how many marks a student has gained.  
  • Such lists have over the years  put unnecessary pressure on students and intensified the rat race in our flawed education system.
  • Stigma attached to low marks: The undue importance given to merit lists is actually a symptom of how India is obsessed with good grades in exams, and the stigma attached to low scores.
  • Employers look for talent, not toppers: Now a days the employers recruitment criteria’s are changed, they look for someone with talent, determination, ability to work with others, the right set of skills, and a hard-worker.
  • These skills are unfortunately not what our education system builds in students. Instead of breaking their head over memorising history chapters or chemistry formulae, and obsessing over marks, students must strive to achieve skills and knowledge.
  • In the process to train the student to follow rat race, school curriculum deprives students of vital cognitive life skills. 
  • Right after the CBSE results were declared, several people on social media platforms shared their old board exam marks to underline the fact that marks are not the be-all and end-all in life. IAS officer Nitin Sangwan wrote on Twitter that he barely managed to pass his chemistry exam in Class 12, but that didn’t hinder him.

However, some academicians and rank holders emphasised the importance of merit list as follows:

  • Once the merit list is scrapped, students might not take the board exams seriously.
  • The thought to make it to the merit list instils a sense of competition among students.
  • The token of appreciation received after securing a rank on the merit list gave them satisfaction.

Though merit list encourages students to do better, their overall effect has clear implications that a progressive approach needs to be adopted. Innovative Ideas for Better education outcomes can be applied to overcome the drawbacks of merit based system.

  • Cooperative Learning: Working together on project teams and guided by trained teachers, students learn the skills of collaborating, managing emotions, and resolving conflicts in groups.
  • Comprehensive Assessment: Assessment should be expanded beyond simple test scores to instead provide a detailed, continuous profile of student strengths and weaknesses. Teachers, parents, and individual students can closely monitor academic progress and use the assessment to focus on areas that need improvement. 


Hence, scrapping a merit list is a progressive approach as it reduces unnecessary burden of performing well from students mind. But, at the same time some other method should be devised so that a student’s overall development can take place.

For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Explainer Videos, Strategy Sessions, Toppers Talks & many more…

Search now.....