It is one of the most sought after courses in Delhi University, but teachers and experts counselling students for admissions say not all have the aptitude to study English and it is a difficult task to convince them that they are not meant for it.
The University holds a Common Aptitude Test for Entrance (CATE) to English (hons) course through which 17 colleges pick up students. Other colleges hold their own tests for the course.
The counsellors at the University's admission centres say they have a tough time convincing students that English is about literature and one should not go for it unless he or she has a knack for reading fiction.
"When we are counselling, we meet so many students who are hell-bent on taking English (hons), but ask them which was the last book they read, they name some light novel which cannot be called literature," says Seema Parihar, the Deputy Dean, Students Welfare.
"If you do not go beyond light reading, you do not have the aptitude for studying literature, you should opt for some other subjects," she adds.
Admission season began last week in the Delhi University and thousands of students have thronged the institution seeking forms and admissions.
English (hons) has been among one of the most popular courses at the campus and most colleges undertake a test for selecting students for the course.
The forms are available for the course till May 31 while CATE is scheduled for June 9.
The CATE, to be held on June 9 this year, will be structured in two parts to test the grammatical knowledge of students as well as their writing and analytical abilities. While the first section is objective-type, the second section is explanatory.
Some counsellors blame the misguided priorities of students on CBSE's marking system. They say English CBSE marks does not give the right criteria to judge students for admission to the subjects.
"The CBSE can give 100 out of 100 to students in English, which we do not think in the right way. There are many students who do not have an aptitude for English but they have scored high in CBSE exam for the subject," said a counsellor.
Agrees Parihar, who says CATE is the right way to judge and it gives students who are really deserving a hope for admission.
"English is about studying fiction, and being able to analyse and write it, which the system of CBSE evaluation does not ensure is judged properly. CATE is therefore the right way to select the deserving candidates," she said.