Help is at hand for students and their parents struggling to make a choice between Science, Humanities and Commerce.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in putting in place an aptitude test that will help Class X students decide their stream.
“Students are often confused about what to do after Class X. This test will help them identify their strengths and weak areas,” said a senior official of CBSE, on condition of anonymity.
He added that the test would also help parents and teachers gauge the interest and aptitude of students. The Board is also contemplating involving parents in the test.
“Often teachers decide the stream of a child depending on the marks scored. Many students are also forced to a choose stream they do not want because parents feel it is right for them,” the official said.
“The aptitude test will not be compulsory. But students should take it because if they have not done well in a particular stream but show genuine aptitude, they may be granted their choice,” he said.
However, the final decision would be left to students.
CBSE chairperson Vineet Joshi confirmed that the Board would roll out the test from the next academic session.
The test would consist of a single paper with questions from all subjects. It would be different from a class test or an exam and would focus on testing the understanding and interest of a student towards a particular subject.
“Often teachers are also unsure about the student's likes and dislikes. The aptitude test will help them guide students better,” the official said.
Schools have welcomed the move. “It will work best if parents are involved because they are often emotional about their children. An engineer wants his son to become an engineer even if the child has no aptitude or interest in engineering,” said Vinay Kumar, principal of DPS, Vasant Kunj.
The test would act as a counselling tool for students, said Alpana Malik, Physics teacher at St Thomas Senior Secondary School. “We can counsel students through an aptitude test,” said Malik.