Students applying to junior colleges this year will have to fill in a newly designed three-part online application form detailing their college preferences.
The admission form has been redesigned to ensure that all applicants are assigned colleges through the admissions process.
"It's an easier form with the addition of residence-wise college preferences that will ensure students are not left out of the admissions process," said an education department official, on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media. "Last year, around 4,500 students were left without a college at the end of the admissions process."
Students will be asked to first list their overall preferences, followed by their zone-wise and ward-wise college preferences in the three-part form.
In the first part, they will be free to list a minimum of any 15 colleges and a maximum of 30. Last year, the minimum was five and the maximum 15.
In the second part, students will have to list a minimum of 15 colleges and a maximum of 20 from within their own residential zone (the department has divided the Mumbai metropolitan region into 11 zones).
In the third part, students will have to list a minimum of five preferences and a maximum of 10 preferences within two wards in their residential zone.
The department conducted its first training session on the online admissions process on Wednesday for principals of CBSE and ICSE schools. They will now in turn have to train students and their parents. Training sessions for SSC school authorities will be completed by April 25.
"The training session was well-conducted. All the schools were happy," said Perin Bagli, principal of the ICSE-affiliated Activity School on Gamadia Road that hosted the day-long session.
"One of the days this month, we will call students and parents to give them a demonstration."
The brochures, detailing the admissions process for the year, college and course codes will most likely be available between April 25 and April 30, said the department official.
The department will also conduct a second phase of training in June before the board announces the Class 10 results.
The online admission system was launched in 2009 to make the admission process easier for students.
The system was developed by the Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd and the state education department.