Engineering the Digital Civilization

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Sunday, 10 May 2020

The Chunin Exam - Reflections from Real life!

A few days back I saw the Chunin exam episode of Naruto, this is the episode where Naruto and his team appears for an exam that is kind of and upgrade to their ninja rank. 

Before taking the exam, Naruto is considered to be a Genin 
After qualifying the exam the Genin is promoted to a Chunin. 

This post is about the lessons and real life implications that we can learn from this episode. Let me start with the setup of the examination, there's an examiner Morino Ibiki who's kind of psychologist and expert in interrogation and getting information out of people. He's created a very tense environment and has put all the participants in a psychological stress. 

The exam is like a common question paper and answers exams, just as our general school or college exams. The difference here is that the paper is super tough, not everyone can answer all the questions. This is very much like a real life scenario where life puts you through hard situations and you have to deal with it. Now the strange part of the exam is that whenever you are caught copying, your marks will be deducted and once you've crossed a certain threshold of minimum marks the examiners will ask you leave the hall. Here when the exam starts you have a certain amount of marks and as you start solving the paper for any questions answer left blank or answered incorrect you'll have a deduction of the marks plus there are people observing if you are doing any malpractices, they won't tell you anything but just make a not of all the points and once you're out of marks they'll disqualify you. Isn't this something relatable with normal life? Those marks that we initially had is like the reputation or respect or authority that each individual has and as he makes decisions or actions in the course of his life the balance is added or subtracted. And once your balance is very low you have to face the consequences. 

Now the main character here, Naruto is kind of dumb when in comes to understanding gestures and also bad at studies. This is just as a common person with an average lifestyle. And as you may expect from him, he is not able to answer a single question. But the others in hall are smart people, they within a few minutes many understood that the exam is not about knowing everything but it is about how to gather information. As the examiner had mentioned, your marks will be deducted for every instance you are caught copying but had not mentioned that you will be disqualified at the moment you are caught copying. This gives the leverage to the attendees to be able to try and make their attempt in the information gathering. 

I just want to reflect on the similarity it gives with the real life world, many students study so hard - in my opinion studying so hard isn't really studying. Studying means that you make yourself capable of sourcing the information and getting the stuff done. Unfortunately the education system promotes too much of reading and mugging, in reality it just measures the storage capacity of your brain and not the processing capabilities. In the academics learning and memorizing stuff can come handy especially when the system promotes this kind of a behavior but in real life, you cannot just mug up everything. You have to be able to source out correct information and act according to it. Here the correct information also means getting the correct network with people who can help you with your business or any ventures you have. 

I can relate to a similar experience I had while I was appearing for a job, I entered the office and was presented with a question paper on general aptitude and engineering concepts. There were other people as well in the hall appearing for the exam. These kids were accustomed to the typical school/college exam and were doing all sort of copying and helping stuff. To be honest I was the only person who had no friends or acquaintances in the hall, others were from colleges who had their TPOs tied up for placement and there were around 20-50 people from a single college appearing for the exam and I was a single candidate who'd applied directly on the company's portal. Leaving that apart the exam started and I was able to answer most of the question but there were a few that I wasn't able to answer. 

Initially I thought that this is the knowledge that I have and I should probably submit my paper and leave but suddenly the people around, I mean the college groups started giving hints to one another and cheating on the correct answer. There was a single person in the room as an invigilator and he didn't seemed to be concerned with what the people were doing. I was, just like any other morally brought up kid unwilling to participate in the copying stuff and get my hands dirty. But! This was the exam, it was like the Chunin exam and I just reminded that information gathering is one of the key skills that a good executive should have. A good executive should have the ability to source out the correct information and filter all the noise. Make the most of the information is being broadcasted by people who were helping one another.

I just sat in the hall with my paper which was completed well ahead in time, now it was the time for information gathering. But yes, there won't be any form of unethical practices that I would do! I was sitting with my paper and just concentrating on the stuff people were talking about, I was keen on listening to the questions they were asking and the answers they had proposed. I was concerned on just verifying if the answers I have mentioned are correct or not. While I was concentrating on the talks, whispering and indication I learnt a lot about the answers that I had written as well as the ones that I wasn't able to answer. For the ones that I had answered, it gave me a chance for error proofing and gain confidence that the answer I have mentioned is correct and for the ones that I wasn't able to answer I got at least a head start or even a complete answer for the problems in the paper. I did not copy from anyone nor did I engage in discussion with anyone, just being conscious of what is happening the surrounding and putting the information to my use I was able to qualify for the interview. 

This was the first ever exam that I gave for any employment, I would have already given up if I hadn't seen The Chunnin Exam. I would have typically thought that the information in my head is the value I have but instead in today's information age the information that you can source and filter is what your true value is.

I do not intend to promote copying or any form of malpractice, but I wish to put a reflection to the flaw in the our education system that makes us nothing but memory cells instead of Homo Sapiens 'The Thinking Man'. 

Thanks for reading...


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