Mar 13, 2006

Entrance Exam Confusion

So, this year again, there is a cloud of uncertainty looming large over the careers of many aspiring students facing the class 12 exams over the admission to engineering colleges. No lessons learnt from last year. The Government should have been prepared well in advance, rather than put more pressure on the students during the arguably most important weeks of their life.

In this context, let me tell you the story of a totally naive guy. From his early school days, he had the dream of becoming an engineer. He did very well in the class 10 and got 14th rank in the state. The problem started in his class 11 and 12, when he changed to English medium from Tamil. Though he had a good knowledge in English as the subject, his vocabulary was not poor, so he struggled a lot. He continued to get 98+ % in Maths, which required least knowledge of English; chemistry was poorer and physics was the worst.

Being a very shy and less-talkative person from the childhood, he had abysmally poor knowledege on the know-how's of getting into professional courses. He knew that there is the 'big entrance test' which is very important; he assumed that the admission to B.E. would depend only on the performance in the entrance test. So, he was concentrating mostly on that. He paid equal attention to all his subjects - for him, the languages were as important as the science subjects. Whereas most of his class were focussing only on phys, chem, maths and/or bio, he spent equal time on languages as well.

One of his close friends from class 10, Subbu, who got 7% less marks in class 10 than him was doing very well. He thought Subbu's success lies in his tuition classes for physics and maths. Came the final exams, and, after writing the chemistry exam, he was chatting with one of his friends, JP, and telling him how his dream of becoming an engineer lies in the next few months, the time preceding the entrance exam. It was then that JP asked him how he thinks it is possible, with insufficient marks expected in the final exams.

Can you imagine how he would have felt.. Had he been told atleast a month earlier, he would have slogged and tried his all best in the exams.. Why should he be told it right after the last significant exam? He was terribly broken; he had given up.. he didnt even apply for the entrance test. Somehow, he recovered and his uncle from Coimbatore told him that he can join some special courses offered in the engg. colleges over there, like, B.Sc. Appl. Sci. and B.Sc. Comp. Tech., which are far better than the average B.Sc.

Bad luck was about to strike him again; for some inexplicable reason, he stayed back at his hometown for a week after the results were announced and went to collect his +2 mark sheets. Then, he made his visits to the desired colleges to file an application, at a time when admission was going on. After a week of hectic trying in Coimbatore and failing to get the top colleges without a donation, he decided to return to Madurai, where he had done the last 5 years of schooling. There again, it was too late. All the top colleges had filled up the seats, and he could get admission in one of the not-so-famous colleges..

To top it all, there was terrible confusion over the entrance exam in that year. In the end, for the first time in several years, the government had decided that the admission to engg. colleges would be made based solely on entrance tests!! Had he not talked to JP after the chem exam, he would have atleast given his best in the entrance exam, for which he was preparing for months.. Those were some of the worst months of his life.. He was terribly depressed.. somehow he recovered and managed to do well in his BSc and join a reputed institution for higher studies.

Recently, he was talking to Subbu and for the first time, opened his heart out on this story, which he had not revealed to any of his +2 classmates thus far.. Subbu said 'Hey, if you had discussed with me about it, I would have told you everything about the procedure.. Thats why we were wondering why you got more marks in the languages than physics'.. It was the case of a big 'IF'. A bit of inferiority complex, that he carried on due to his language-shift had caused him dear.

You all know who the 'he' is.. Though he loves his choosen subject, he cant stop thinking why things turned so wrong in the most crucial phase of his life.. and imagine what would have happened otherwise.. It is like a love-failure nevertheless.. even if one marries somebody else, the mind would tend to think what if the first love was not a failure.. It is not adultery, is it?


Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

Good one! Linked archive was too good.

neighbour said...

Govt-politicians are playing with the life of students for their own sake. now the high court justifies the entrance exam but the Govt. moves to Supreme court. what is this...

Even if you see last year and this year Govt. will announce its decision only few months prior to Entrance Exam and confusing the students abt what they want to do.

politicians are really ruining the literacy of tamilnadu..

Me too said...

The un/ill-educated politicians playing games with the life of hard working students!

I'm glad that 'he' overcame all the obstacles! Guess, 'He' thought your services were most needed in this field!

மு.கார்த்திகேயன் said...

This is the worst decision mad by JJ and still she is not doing any work to overcome this issue. Lot of students, esp. village students get confused of these things.

Govt should come fwd and try to conclude this.

carkar said...

Good one. I remember the time when they decided to use the entrance results alone. That was the time I was deciding between CBSE school and state board school. One would think the system should stablise after few years of experimenting. It never seems to happen.

tt_giant said...

Well.. all I can say is, you can't keep a good man down!

Raju said...

Ponnarasi, the relevance of the linked post says that the story is exactly the same, even after 9 months. Thanks.
Neighbour, when the government is looking only for temporary solution(s), this is what is likely to happen. Where do they have time? The politicians have to worry about winning the coming elections and make more money.
Whatever happening is not just good.
Aparna, LOL.. that was good. The other 'he' could have helped him. FYI, just as I entered class 11, there was this 'Sani peyarchi' and I was supposed to suffer bcos of that; but, I was soo confident after my success that I didnt believe in it. Whatever happened, the predictions turned out to be right. :-(
Karthikeyan, yeah... she has chance of winning some good brownie points if she thinks intelligently and takes a wise decision.
Carkar, yeah.. this kinda important issues are seldom given due importance by those in power. In my 'story', the confusion in the year of my class 12 happened due to the CBSE vs State Board rules. Damn.. lots of my friends who scored high marks in the final exam couldnt exactly translate that in the entrance test and as a result got poor colleges/ courses.

Rajagopalan said...

well as with any problem this too is the act of politicians.most parties endorse banning entrance exams because they see this as an opportunity to garner rural votes.i guess the rural folks are gullible enough to get duped into voting for such parties.but what they don't realise is that ultimately it's their children who suffer.if the govt claims that the rural folkd can't afford expensive private coaching then it must ask govt teachers to provide the students with the coaching.but sadly that's not the case.

Paurna said...

hey raju just got a doubt.did ur over preparation for languages affect ur preparation for MPC.i am asking this cos some of the schools advise students to concentrate on all subjects.this included my for the entrance part,why didn't u wait for a year to give the entrance exam.wanted to move on or uninterested?

The Talkative Man said...

At the outset, let me tip my hat off to you. You have done a darn good job given the circumstances!
(Just one grouse that you dont post often in tamil given your good background :))

Returning to the post, AU has gone to the dogs. There was a time when they had excellent VCs who all possessed with a fine background in engg education. The last few occupants have been completely inadequate jokers.

Nyneishia said...

:) Nice metaphor at the end.
Its hard.. seems unfair. Its not adultery . Its not wrong to think so. But the unknown remains unknown. The IF is a big if. idhu nadakalai na.. evalo nalla irundurkum. adhu nadandurnthal, i would have been else where :)...

Speculations.. Is is all you have to live with. :)

Raju said...

Deepak, thanks, man!!
Rajagopalan, Welcome here.

On one hand, we have pioneer institutions like IIT which select students based only on the entrance test; on the other hand, for BITS and some institutions in the north, the final exam marks are the only deciding criteria. One needs to have a good blend of both.. the disadvantage of the students in rural areas with coaching is a sore point indeed, but one has to live with that.
Paurna, I did give the 'improvement' exam in october, but, several factors didnt help me: a) first, the shock of the worst possible months; b) I didnt want to lose a single year of my education c) I didnt want to mess up with my 'bird in hand'.. Despite all that, I lost the chance to get a seat under 'FC' quota by just a single mark out of 200.

Raju said...

The talkative man, thanks.. I will try to post in Tamil often; it consumes a lot of time, though.. Sad to know about AU, despite it having our president as a faculty..
Nyneishia, hindsight is always a useless bliss.. ille?

Nyneishia said...

lol.. Ammam..
we dont restrict ourselves from it..Nalladu dhan.. we should not. Its just natural to go through that path. Mind wonders. We have to be aware of it and not let it possess us.

Raju said...

Nyneishia, having more choices leads to more confusion, right? I agree with you..