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Study hard, be yourself at Stephen’s interview

The corridors of St Stephen’s College were alit with hope and darkened by disappointment on Thursday, a day after the institute made public a cut-off list for admissions to its undergraduate courses. Aspirants flocked there with the hope of gauging their chances of making the grade at the Delhi University college. Shaswati Das reports. Interview schedule | College profiles

india Updated: Jun 22, 2012 01:18 IST
Shaswati Das
An-aspirant-on-Thursday-goes-through-the-first-cut-off-list-released-by-St-Stephen-s-College-HT-M-Zhazo
An-aspirant-on-Thursday-goes-through-the-first-cut-off-list-released-by-St-Stephen-s-College-HT-M-Zhazo

The corridors of St Stephen’s College were alit with hope and darkened by disappointment on Thursday, a day after the institute made public a cut-off list for admissions to its undergraduate courses. Aspirants flocked there with the hope of gauging their chances of making the grade at the Delhi University college.

The aspirants who managed to make it to the cut-off list will now have to clear an interview round, which is to decide the fate of those called for the process.

Besides general awareness, the candidates will also be tested on their knowledge of the subject that they wish to pursue, academics said. The candidates will also be asked about their understanding of the college’s ethos, the academics added.

“The interview is of two parts — the first is about the aspirants, their goals, strengths and weaknesses, and carries a third of the total weightage. The second part tests the aspirants on their academic background and knowledge of the subject and college — for which it is important for them to read newspapers and the college’s prospectus carefully,” said Sanjeev Grewal, who teaches economics at St Stephen’s College.

The academics warned that the aspirants should avoid lying during the interview. “Lying shows the candidates in poor light. It is very important for them to stand by their answers and not get nervous. The interview is just a brief interaction with the applicants during which we try to understand their conviction and how much they know about the college,” Grewal added.

The academics said the interview tended to be course-specific. For those who applied for an honours course in English, it is important to understand the finer nuances of books they may have read such as their themes, language, structures and the literary techniques employed by authors.

“When we interview students, we look at their creative, critical analysis skills along with their core competences. For example, we ask students about books they may have read and then we look at their analysis of plots and characters,” said Karen Gabriel, associate professor of English at the college.

Current students of the college said learning by rote would not help.

“It is not important for aspirants to have learnt or read tomes by Socrates or Plato. It is important for them, however, to have an understanding of the schools of thought they represented and to know why they want to study the subject. Most students think of philosophy is a backup option, and that mentality comes through during the interview,” said a student of philosophy.

Interview schedule | College profiles