I clearly remember the amount of stress and panic I went through during my board exams, because I thought that my performance in these exams will determine what I become in life. To be honest, I don’t regret those marks (roundabout 75% on an average), even though if somebody handed me higher grades on a platter, I wouldn’t decline. 

Years later, as an adult, when I think about whether these marks have made much of a difference to my life, my answer is a resounding no! I don’t even get asked about it. There are so many things that can make a person successful, and I have seen my peers with lower marks doing better than me. On the contrary, peers with higher marks are doing worse. (All of this is financially speaking, of course. Someone earning twice my salary may indeed be living a much more miserable life.)

That said, marks do make a difference to how your life pans out. For example, it determines what college will accept you. “A plausible academic record will set your path to a recognized college. An excellent CGPA in college will hold weightage in your post -graduation. There on, a persistent academic performance will prove your consistency in a job interview,” said Mayank Mohata, a Quora user.  However, he had a different view when it comes to marks mattering in the long term. “While you plan to change companies, the interviewer gives a negligible importance to your academics as they have been overshadowed by the experience that you have gained and the skill-set you possess,” he added. 

“I don’t think marks matter at all. It’s other skills like people pleasing skills, ability to work hard and manage setbacks that really count in the long term. Also, some people ruin their great marks by doing drugs, while some make a mockery of their poor marks by becoming a great entrepreneur,” said Rahul Kapoor, a PR professional based in Mumbai. 

Some swear by the fact that young students should not get dissuaded into working less thinking that it’s not going to make a difference any way. “Hardwork never goes to waste, and a good result in boards will only earn you brownie points. Also, you’re not going to have it easier in later life, so it’s better to put yourself under pressure early on itself,” said Kalpana Kaushik, a banking executive based in Bengaluru.