If you couldn't make it to the 90-95 per cent bracket, don't lose heart. There is still a lot you can do. Remember that there are several colleges beyond Delhi University's North Campus, which can help craft a good career for you. Everyone who goes to the campus doesn't always do well in his/her career and those who can't make it to the campus can also be super-achievers.
Programme is more important than college: Enrol for the programme of your choice in an "out-of-campus" and not-quite-the-rage college as it's the degree which makes the difference and not the institute. For instance, if you wish to take up English honours, do it from any DU college as the university's degree will command good respect, provided you study hard and score well in all the three years.
Remember that a good score in the first year can help you migrate to a better college. So, all is not over yet. Likewise, if your ultimate goal is to do an MBA programme, then graduation is a stepping-stone. You can take admission in any college and focus on doing well while graduating.
Think professionally: Join a professional programme like BBA, BBS, BCA or five-year law at GGS Indraprastha University. You require only 50 per cent marks to grab a seat in undergraduate professional programmes which are well respected in the industry and can fetch you a good job too (after postgraduation). "We have around 10,500 seats at the undergraduate level. Our BCA/BBA programmes are so sought-after that even those who score 90 per cent join these programmes owing to the career-oriented curriculum," says Rashmi Atal, spokesperson, GGS Indraprastha University.
Vocational programme plus distance-learning degree: Even if you join a good college, you need to know if a normal BA/BCom can fetch you a job after three years. It's advisable, say counsellors, that you join a vocational programme in hospitality, software, networking, fashion designing or tourism at a private/ government institution, depending on your area of interest. With experience and further skill development, finding jobs will get easier. Weigh the pros and cons and check the institute's placement record before going ahead. Do remember to pursue your graduation through distance learning from a good university. Career counsellor Tejender Singh corroborates, "Students who don't score well in Board exams have a host of options and can join a vocational programme along with a distance-learning programme so that along with developing their skills, they can also have a degree."
Think beyond DU: If you are keen to join a regular college, you have options in IP University, which has several affiliated institutes that don't make you undergo the cutthroat competition. As a state university, the IP is aggressively trying to make its mark where academic and professional levels are concerned. Besides this, check out Jamia Millia Islamia (jmi.nic.in/ CoursesofStudy.htm) as it has a range of programmes in science, commerce, and humanities.
Hard decision to drop a year: Though it's hard to decide but it is sometimes prudent to re-appear for IIT JEE/ PMT/ other entrance tests a year after class XII. You can renounce the charm of college life and concentrate on cracking an entrance test for a professional programme. Ensure that you go in for a Bachelor's programme - although through distance learning - to minimise the risk. "Competition is quite tough these days, so it isn't possible for everyone to clear the exams at the first attempt. One should join some college at the undergraduate level so that even if one doesn't clear the exam in the second attempt, one has something to bank upon," adds Singh.
Exploit your extra curricular activities (ECA) skills: It can take you places. Tarun Tokas scored just 75 per cent marks in class XII but managed to get admission in St Stephens' (economics honours) under the sports category. This swimmer has won numerous prizes at the state and national levels. Vibhu Gahlot, who scored 77 per cent in class XII Board exams, got into the applied sciences programme at Hindu College under the ECA quota as he performs gigs at different cafés in Delhi.
A few suggestions for students and parents.
Always look, says Rima Sehgal, counsellor, at the thousands of opportunities still available.
Don't feel burdened, as there is a career for everyone. For that, you need to find out what is the right bet for you and don't base your decision on your score.
Develop qualities which might go a long way in overall development. If you are a good debater, exploit your prowess to the advantage of your career. Sometimes, those who don't score well in academics can make it to good colleges, thanks to their extra curricular activities.
They should ease the pressure on children who anywahave already been a under lot of stress for a long time. Now is the time to give the children some rope and freedom.
There are some students who have scored 80-85 per cent but due to stiff competition, can't secure a place in a good college.