Why should I study, for marks or for knowledge? The answer to this question is embedded in our everyday education system. A student is rewarded for grades but rarely rewarded for learning. This article will take an objective and honest look at both grade-seeking and knowledge/skill-seeking learning systems and help you determine which one is better for you.
A lot of your friends are simply running on the academic treadmill — studying for as many exams as possible and getting as good grades as possible. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m pretty sure you haven’t signed up for just that. And if you ask me why should I study, for marks or for knowledge, I’ll tell you to forget about the marks and dive into something more challenging. As students, we all think about the importance of our grades. But have you ever thought about what you would be doing with your present skills, even if you had less than perfect grades? Sure, your grades are important because they can determine how someone treats you and perceive you in the next stage of your life like an interview or the placement. But why should one study for marks? Why not study for knowledge?
What’s your first reaction when you hear “studying”? Is it a positive feeling, or a negative one? Do you think of it as a chore, or do you think of it as an exciting opportunity to learn something new?
If you’re like most people, the word “study” will bring up a negative reaction. Studying seems like a chore, something that we have to do in order to get good marks in school and college. This is not surprising, because most of us have been approached studying this way our entire life.
But there are two ways to approach studying: for marks, or for knowledge. Nowadays, many students study only for marks. They’re interested only in getting high grades and passing exams; they’re not interested in actually learning something from what they read.
This is a harmful way to study because it dilutes the value of education. Learning is valuable only when it comes from an inner desire to understand and grow, not from the desire to get marks and pass exams.
In your life, if you only seek money, fame, and status symbols, you will find yourself empty inside after achieving your goals. The same is true with studying — if you only study for marks, you won’t enjoy the real benefits of education.
The problem is that studying for marks leads to short-termism. You’re trying to get the best grade possible, but you’re not thinking about what you’ll be doing in five years.
Studying for knowledge is a long-term play. The goal is to genuinely learn. You want to understand the world and how it works. You’re excited by ideas, and you love learning new things.
All this means that studying for knowledge has three big advantages over studying for marks:
It helps you make better decisions when faced with uncertainty. When the future isn’t clear and there are many options to choose from, having a framework for making decisions is key. Studying for knowledge gives you a foundation of principles that allow you to make sense of the world around you.
It helps you connect with people from different backgrounds and cultures because your understanding of how the world works is deeper and more nuanced than any single viewpoint can capture. This makes your relationships deeper, more meaningful, and more resilient (this is why connecting with other people is so important).
You can recognize when people who have different core values are trying to manipulate you or persuade you in ways that don’t align with those values.
The purpose of studying is to gain knowledge. Without the knowledge (not marks) you will get nothing in life. Marks are just a way of judging how much you have learned from your studies.
There are many ways to get marks. For example, you can memorize and forget whatever has been taught in class or by any other method. But this will not help you in getting knowledge, which is the main purpose of studying. This is because knowledge comes with understanding what you learn.
This does not mean that marks are worthless. In fact, marks are very important because they give you recognition for your good performance and also motivate you to do better next time.
So if someone asks why he/she should study, the answer is simple: “study for gaining knowledge.”
Knowledge is power. This saying has been with us since the beginning of time, and it continues to apply today. Knowledge gives you the power to make better choices, think critically, and use your brain in ways that make life much more enjoyable.