I just want to give an instance of what happened in one of my examinations. I don't feel bad that I didn't do well because I studied a lot and acquired lots of new knowledge. But, it's hard to explain it to teachers, parents and future employers who unfortunately will just judge the number on the report card. Please give me your opinion on this. If the point of an exam is to test the students knowledge, is this exam then structured to not to do this well ? And if it is not possible to have any exam who's marks would accurately predict how much knowledge a student has, is there an unnecessary, overstated emphasis on exams ? From the point of view of someone who studies for knowledge, it can be utterly crushing sometimes. I have noticed about by personal temperament that I learn better on my own than I do under authority. I learn better when I am reading books and studying on my own than when I am sitting in a class and listening to six hours of people talking. So, when I develop an interest in a subject, I learn a lot about it on my own. I had a lot of interest in Maths, not necessarily the Maths taught in college and in the second semester I realised I could indulge my need for learning on my own. Till that time, I always depended on school to learn subjects like Maths and Science and never thought I could do it on my own. With this revelation, I went down the rabbit hole. I started reading lots of Maths books. Books about Maths history (Journey Through Genius, A History of Mathematics by Victor Katz), books about recreational Maths(books by Ian Stewart, Martin Gardner, Ross Hosenberg), books about problem solving(Thinking Mathematically, Arthur Engel, Alan Schoenfeld, Sanjay Mahajan), and books about particular topics in Maths that I had no idea about like Visual Complex Analysis by Tristan Needham. There were many other books that I started reading. I should note that I never finished any of these books. I would read a little bit, and then get scared of not understanding something and then reading another book and returning to it once again (or sometimes not). So, I enjoy studying and study topics I like in depth. Sometimes, I Go into too much depth. For example, in my discrete mathematics class there was a unit on mathematical induction. I liked it so much that I started working on a book that was entirely devoted to mathematical induction alone. Groups, and rings was another unit mixed with coding theory. Instead of making abstract algebra and coding theory two separate units. They split it unevenly into two. So one unit had groups and homeomorphisms and coding theory. Another had Rings and coding theory. I liked Abstract Algebra a lot and started learning from books that were solely devoted to abstract algebra. I could not do coding theory justice though. In the exam however, there were 3 rather elementary questions about mathematical induction. In the other two questions, the sub questions involving abstract algebra was simple, but I didn't know how to solve the coding theory question. This forced me to answer the question about mathematical logic instead, which I was not very confident in. It bothered me to no end that someone who did not know as much about mathematical induction or abstract algebra, let alone read it's histories and development, who didn't spend as much time as I did learning about it, would score more than me provided they prepared adequately for the system. That too, was a very sad day for me, because I expected all the effort I had been putting into learning Maths independently would come together on the Discrete Mathematics exam. It didn't. It seems to me that these kind of university exams discourage learning for its own sake, favour breadth over depth, and test neither intelligence, knowledge, aptitude or hard work but rather the degree of fitting into the system.