Students opt for ‘scoring’ subjects for board exams
Spending a year in Belgium and a practical view on his HSC exam scorecard convinced Aamir Sakarwala, 18, that his wisest academic choice lay in choosing French as his second language in junior college.
It’s a choice he’s glad to have made. “Everyone seems to get 90% or more in French, whereas in Hindi, they don’t seem to give more than 80 or 85% at most. And only a few get more than that,” said Sakarwala. “They seem to assess French at a lower level compared to the standard they expect in Hindi.”
At the SSC and HSC alike, students perceive French as a high-scoring subject. As the exam calendar has been unfolding since late February, the culmination of students’ hard work has been for many, a climax of some thought-out strategic decisions.
Class 10 student Varsha Shetty, 15, ditched Hindi and opted for Sanskrit for her SSC exams this year.
“As a language, it is more scoring than Hindi,” said Shetty, a student of Bombay Cambridge School in Andheri (West). “In Hindi, you tend to lose marks in the creative writing section.”
For ICSE students, the contentious Group 3 subject was deemed ineligible to be counted in the Best-Five total in the Supreme Court’s (SC) interim order, precisely because internal assessment made it a high-scoring subject.
“Because half of the marks are from internal assessment, students tend to score well and in a subject like physical education, you can even get 100 because practicals tend be scoring,” said Mitul Jhaveri, 15, a student of Activity School on Gamadia Road, who opted for physical education because it is a high-scoring subject.
ICSE and SSC students alike are in the meantime, awaiting the Supreme Court’s final verdict on the Best-Five policy, which allows students to count marks of the five highest scoring subjects for the aggregate percentage. Last year, the SC in an interim order had directed Maharashtra government to extend the Best-Five scheme introduced for SSC students to ICSE students too.
“All of us are studying all subjects, no one wants to take a chance,” said Jhaveri, an ICSE student. “We don’t know what the court will decide or what new policies might come up this admission season.”