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Scoop the tests, break news

As several hundred students apply for journalism course with limited seats being available, preparation is essential. But there is no set syllabus, Tanya Ashreena reports.

delhi Updated: Jun 05, 2009 23:03 IST
Tanya Ashreena

Fretting as you prepare for the looming BA Journalism (Honours) entrance exam? Don’t. Experts say last minute cramming does not help.

First introduced by Delhi College of Arts and Commerce in 1989, the BA Journalism (Honours) course is available in five DU colleges -Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC), Kalindi College, Kamala Nehru College and Maharaja Agrasen College.

Each of these colleges conducts some form of entrance exam.

As several hundred students apply for journalism course with limited seats being available, preparation is essential. But there is no set syllabus.

“One is tested on current events and general awareness,” said Shikha Jhingan, assistant professor, Lady Shri Ram College.

“So, we advise students to read newspapers and magazines thoroughly to build up their knowledge of current events and general awareness.”

The entrance tests consist of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks and essay questions.

“If a student has been reading newspapers over a period of time, he or she need not worry. The test is more of a current affairs test, rather than a general knowledge or an English Language test,” Jhingan said.

Though a student does not necessarily have to pore into heavy literature or novels, their basic level of English should be good.

“Student sitting for the exam have to be able to express themselves well,” Jhingan added.

While multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions may comprise questions such as ‘Who is the Prime Minister of Thailand’ or ‘Who is the author of Globalisation and its Discontents’, the essay will test the students’ ability to debate their stance on current affairs.

Therefore, students must also have the ability to form opinions on news developments.

It is wrongly believed that students of the humanities stream have an advantage in the test.

“We get students of all streams, and none is at a disadvantage while pursuing the course,” Jhingan said.

It is commonly believed that journalism is taught on the job, rather than in the classroom, but students of the journalism course believe pursuing the course puts them at an advantage compared to students from other fields.

“Not only did the journalism course help me land a job, it also provided me with a good background on how the media functions. I believe my course gives me an edge compared to students from other courses,” said Himank Sharma, who has just graduated from DCAC.