It is always with mixed feelings that I confirm and key in examination marks or return examination scripts. There are particularly two noteworthy type of students who fall out of typical 'expectations'.
On one hand, I have genuinely diligent students who do a little worse off than expected due to various examination issues (stress, time management) or unfortunately, failing to grasp a concept or forgetting something. They are sad because their efforts are not reflected in their results and are demoralised. Their results thus hangs over their head, like a label reminding them that they weren't good enough this time.
On the other hand, I have the slackers, who do little and get away with it, not because of sheer brilliance (haven't seen such a student yet), but because of dumb luck; such as having whatever they happen to remember appear in their papers. Their results now fly gloriously over their heads, as a reminder to themselves and anyone who would bother to listen, that they have achieved without much effort and that they need not be diligent in the first place.
Either way, for such students, the results bring across a negative effect, and well highlight that the way we grade them (perhaps the examination setting that we grade them in) leaves a number of children behind, and if ceteris paribus/ left unchanged, could potentially see them grow up being competent yet unconfident (with its various effects), or incompetent yet over-confident.
Why are we still stuck with examinations? Does it truly trump other assessment formats? Perhaps, perhaps not, but this reminds me of what Dr Sugata Mitra (of the Hole-in-the-wall/ SOLE fame) espouses - that our education system is but a hallmark of the Victorian era, when we needed administrators to think and act quickly in conformity and within a fixed time limit such that the great Empires could run on their own. We haven't got a new, truly working system for our era yet.