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Are marks enough for admissions?

Should marks obtained in the Board exams be the sole criteria for giving a college seat to a student?

education Updated: Jun 19, 2012 13:39 IST
Rohan Sood

It is that time of the year when, armed with their mark sheets, students run from pillar to post seeking admission to colleges. One also gets the feeling that the marks a student gets in class XII is the only thing that matters - and that 12 years of learning come to nought if he fails to get a high score. There is, however, another school of thought pitching for parameters like sports, extra-curricular activities, career goals and self-evaluation being taken into consideration when it comes to admissions to Delhi University. The over-reliance on marks is said to be "unfortunate."

A major problem is the limited number of seats, which leads to a high rate of rejection, proving to be a psychological setback for those who fail to make a mark.

Like most foreign universities, assessment and admissions, it is said, should be based on multi inputs like students' extra curricular activities, aptitude for a particular subject, etc. Board exams merely test a student's memory and writing speed," says Abhishek Sharma, a student of Hindu College.

Moreover, opportunities available for a public school student in urban India are definitely more as compared to a student from a less privileged area.

According to Dr Subash Chowdhary, acting principal, Hindu College, "You have two options available; that is either you conduct an entrance test or you follow the merit (list) based on the marks obtained in the Board exam.

Entrance tests are not feasible because there are approximately 10 lakh students for just 49,000 college seats. Moreover the number of applicants increases every year. Conducting a test on the national level, checking papers and then bringing out a result can be quite a task.

Agrees Dr SR Arora, Principal, Hansraj College, "Taking into account other parameters like students' performances, sports activities, extra curricular activities, other merits of a student, would lend subjectivity to the process of admission."

Personally, however, he is of the view that marks should not remain the sole criteria for the admission process; it is only for want of a better procedure, this appears good enough. It would have been better if there were a national level test for admissions to undergraduate courses.

But would this demand for an alternate admission process for students ever be met? You are equally entitled to your guess as I am.

Assessment and admissions should be based on multi-inputs like students' extra curricular activities, aptitude for a particular subject. Board exams merely test a student's memory and writing speed.