The Abolition of Entrance Tests — Boon or Bane ..?

Umm.. A Sunday looks good after a hectic week .. I aint getting much time these days as I am doing this lecturership .. Anyways .. Here we go ..

The recent announcement of doing away with Common Entrance tests for admission in Professional Courses by Tamil Nadu has rose many questions .. According to the new system, the admissions in professional courses will be made solely on the basis of performance in Plus Two exams and reservation system ..

Who will benefit ..?
   According to Ms Jayalalitha, it is aimed at benefitting students from rural areas. .. As the students from rural areas are unable to attend coaching classes which are specifically focussed on entrance exams, it will play as a levelling system .. Also as now students will have to concentrate only on their exams only, it will reduce the stress from both the students and their parents …

What can be the problems ..?
   The first thing that comes to mind is what will they do when there are many students with same marks ..? How will they decide the gradings then ..? Another problem is with CBSE students.. as the CBSE and local board have different systems, there must be a system that will correlate the performance of CBSE students with local board students ..
   Earlier students used to take a year drop for preparing for entrance exams but as now there will be no entrance exams, the students will have get only one chance in their board exams as there will be no grade improvement exams ..

So ..? Will it help or make the system worse ..?
   Umm… As most of the problems that arise are related to grading system, it will need immediate improvements .. When the student’s apprehension are removed, most of the people will consider the system favorably .. I myself liked the idea .. Cauz these entrance exams make students so much stressful .. Their concentration is diverted between board exams and entrance exams .. And entrance coaching centers have grown like mushrooms who have made this their business .. When there will be no entrance exams, the students will concentrate on their school syllabus .. This is the main point of the system .. What are we encouraging ..? These coaching centres teaches “tricks” to solve the questions in less time .. Most of the time, they focus only on sections of syllabus that are considered “scoring” .. This results in students who knows 100 formulas but dont know the basics of the subjects .. Getting rid of entrance exams will surely help in students taking more interest in the curriculam studies .. But there should be grading improvement exams too .. When you are putting so much on one exam, there can be chances when some unfortunate thing happen and student not performing well in the exam .. So it will be a lost chance for him .. If there will be grading improvement then they can try again …

I hope more States follow the lead and accept this system .. It will help reduce the stress burden from both students and their parents .. And it will give more credit to school exams too ..

23 Replies to “The Abolition of Entrance Tests — Boon or Bane ..?”

  1. This results in students who knows 100 formulas but dont know the basics of the subjects

    But this is the drawback of the board examinations. In entrance exams, you need to apply the fundamentals which would test a student’s problem solving skills.

    These coaching centres teaches “tricks” to solve the questions in less time

    Yes you need time management skill too (as CAT requires). Also there are coaching centres mushrooming for board exams tutions too!

    According to Ms Jayalalitha, it is aimed at benefitting students from rural areas

    She should trying to improve the facilities in rural areas by providing them better teachers and better coaching.

    I think that you can’t do away with entrance exams. This is because, each entrance exam is conducted under a different syllabus. Only way to abolish entrance exams is to have a common syllabus for all boards in India, which is difficult to achieve.

    Unless board exams In Tamil Nadu are not improved to the standards to that of the CET (that was scrapped), the standards of the students would not improve.

  2. ok am not a real supporter of this, this would lead to a person who can cram well to clear the exams.
    i think another reason this should not be done is becasue this will be hard on fringe students who aren’t really aiming for CET to drop quite low.
    btw have a new blog out cheeck it out

  3. Well i didnt do quite well last year in my cet bcos the MH-EN-CET were announce just at the last minute.

    But CETs are good, bcos here one’s ability & knowledge is tested as to packaging (how u present ur answer) in boards.

  4. Hmm.. Nice points there .. Now we start with the basics ..
    Why do we study ..? We study to gain knowledge .. Another gain comes that with our knowledge, we can start our living .. So the main focus is to gain knowledge .. But when secondary goal becomes primary, ie we start studying to get job, problems arise .. Now in the world which we are living this attitude is very common .. That is why the professional courses have got such importance ..
    Now due to their implied importance, students trying to get admissions in professional courses face tough competition .. which is infact good as the only deserving will get the admissions. .. But what happens that students starts giving more importance to entrance tests over their school studies .. Part of this attitude is due to parent’s aspiration too .. But what suffers is their school studies .. We get students who knows ten “tricks or formulas” to solve a question but know nothing about their cultural heritage or ethics .. All they care is for getting through the entrance .. There was a recent seminar in IIM-A about ethics in management .. Most of the speakers had opinion that due to increasing competition feelings, the managers neglects ethics .. Which is a concerning issue ..
    Umm.. I went too far .. Anyways .. my point is that Entrance exam is a good thing .. but school exams are better .. only you need to make the necessary changes … Like when a student is opting for a career in astrophysics, his physics marks will be considered et al .. This will motivate them to read the books instead of absorbing the formulas .. And it will also motivate them to read other subjects too .. Some will argue it as handicap but I dont think so ..
    The exams pattern also needs improvement .. Questions asked should be analytical.. The co ordination between different boards should also be look upon .. As I said the system will be good if implemented properly ..

    Btw .. There’s been some debates on this issue elsewhere too .. See :
    Times View Vs CounterView
    And Sunday Debate

    [Edit] There is an update that some 200 students have filed a petition challenging TN governments decision to scrap CET ..

  5. These coaching centres teaches “tricks” to solve the questions in less time .. Most of the time, they focus only on sections of syllabus that are considered “scoring” .. This results in students who knows 100 formulas but dont know the basics of the subjects ..

    Wrong..terribly wrong.Batty,atleast in science you can’t score without having a rock solid concept.Most entrance examinations make students solve problems that makes sure that they have a thorough understanding of the subject.Without a good concept the student may not be able to understand the question at all.Knowing formulas wont get you anywhere.

    But what suffers is their school studies .. We get students who knows ten “tricks or formulas” to solve a question but know nothing about their cultural heritage or ethics .

    The only period(subject) in our school that is devoted to ethics is the value education(moral science) period.Yes,it is not in entrance examinations syllabus but then that once period in school is sufficient for that purpose.
    Since History isnt my subject i dont really learn much about our culture from school as well.

    The objective of the entrance examinations is to pick the best from the good.yes it has it’s flaws.One of them is that it is slightly tougher for the poor coming from rural areas.But it is impossible to make something perfect.

    Jayalalitha’s view is even more flawed.Firstly,from the reports i have read,I believe that it is possible to get good marks in school exams by just mugging up.And also a lot of students get very high marks.So it would be difficult to distingish between the best and the good.Next,is the problem of different boards.In west bengal there is the state board,ICSE and CBSE.And not only is their question pattern and marking scheme different but the syllabi also as minor differences.

  6. Lol … My point is why to have a seperate test at all ..? Why not make the existing test get rid of its flaws ..? Why not remove the disparities between different boards ..?
    I state again the coaching centres give more stress on learning fomrmulas by heart .. Learning shortcuts .. This kills the basic idea of analytical tests ..

    So I state again that the current exam pattern also needs some changes . .. So make changes such that these entrance wont be required ..

    And btw .. Mugging up is more used in Objective questions .. in descriptive questions if you dont know the theory you cant write it.. As easy as that ..

  7. And i stress again that you cant solve entrance exam problems by learning formals only.Batty,ask any science student who has sat for Entrance examinations.

    And about bringing all the boards closer together..that is something i would like to see happening.But it is easier said than done.
    The objective questions that are given actually require a lot of thinking.Decscriptive questions can be mugged up

  8. hi shahab,
    thanks for ur comment…do reply if possible..
    well there may be both pros n cons as u mention..

    yeah the students will concentrate more on their curriculam…but with the present system wat good does it do? i know many students can say the answer of the 8th sum on the 118th page sans book… again i’m talking about the urban areas only… in rural areas i’ve heard that the staff pass around the answer sheets(for objective atleast) around the hall in order to help the students get thru their exams…n it will surely continue in the coming yrs too

    not only this, of foremost importance,in my opinion, we shud hav the quality in education… if the rural students are facing financial difficulties, the govt can open free coaching centres(after al..there r millions of unemployed ppl here) In college one of my buddies corrects the staff with engg mechanics probs..the govt shud try to reap harvest of that sort of knowledge ie,i mean not merely in quantity but in quanlity….tat is wat i’ve been emphasizing in my blog…

    but i agree with u, under present circumstancs, the rural students dint get enough oppurtunities to get standard training which was required for CET. n TAT should have been the govt’s botheration and not comfortably abolishing it..for eg..we know the curriculam for mbbs is very tough too..wat if the board decides to take away a few papers so tat the syllabus would become easier?? we can’t jus break all the barriers coming our way….in certain issues we always hav to cross the barrier n not break it altogether….

    anyways,,i wud say we’ll hav to wait n c how this stuff works out with the new syllabus…..

  9. Hi Suganya .. I agree whole heartedly with all your points .. In fact I too advocate that the current system needs change .. And that is where they should focus now .. Now that they have created a single window opportunity for everyone then this Single Window should be such that it can accomodate everyone’s necessity equally ..

    Waise I agree that they had taken this decision in a haste and political gain is the focus here instead of student’s betterment … But still .. I hope they improve the situation afterwards ..

  10. hi shahab,
    the madras high court has CANCELLED the ban on entrance exams…so the entrance exam marks will also be taken into consideration…..
    but the state govt will most probably appeal in th supreme court against this…

  11. Yeah .. I saw the news .. Waise Jayalalitha is too busy in her own pending cases so this case will get low priority .. 😀 .. Anyways .. next time they implement something like this, they should ensure proper thinking beforehand .. 🙂

  12. The standard of board exams are so bad.
    The TN Chemistry text(The new, so called upgraded) book is full of not errors… but blunders! The erreta that was released by the authors at the eleventh hour runs to pages… and the funniest of facts is that there is a need for another erreta for the aldready released erreta. And yes, with such a book the stundents of TN could do nothing when it comes to national level competitive exams.
    The Math’ and Physics books are good but the authors had to change the board exam patterns due to repeated request which resulted in the their efforts to raise the students to the national level go in vain.

  13. ENTRANCE CANCELLED!this is worse than the worst condition which will prevail this year.there would be over 1000 students getting 200 in sciences and maths due to the low standard syllabus.if these entrance tests are to be cancelled then the sybllus must like CBSE or even ICSE standard.because the present system is just MUGGING and HANDWRITING.with this system any idiot would get high marks.
    so i think it is time to take tamil nadu out of the mind and just to concentrate on other entrace examinations.i feel this is the only state where the syllabus is the easiest and full of reservations.

  14. “WORST” is d condition of students aspiring to study in TN with the confirmation of abolition of CET.may be the students could be less stressed out but unfortunately they are losing out the great oppurtunity of improving their intelligence.now all they have to do is “eat n vommit”.
    and the main thing is how are they going to get admissions.on what basis will they differentiate same percentage obtained by CBSE and state level students.when we think upon this deeply we must accept the fact that the stress increases.as financially poor people cannot pay the fees as the institution demands. before the govt. used to frame…but now its in the institutions hands…
    it is always best if there is CET.

  15. i too m not 4 this thing
    i think it will just give another reason to those backbenchers tom fool around and not read………
    in fact those who work hard all year long wont have anything to know how much they have worked.

  16. entr. tests include objectives and are the ones which truely rank students in terms of merit…
    while,boards are subjctive wch cnnot reely test the intellignce in true sense.,sumtmz students who r reely clever dunno how to construct the knowledge in the form of an answer,bt dey crack entr. xams easily..m gng to appear for mht-cet this year,..and i firmly believe that cet should not be scraped..!!!

  17. Sir I according to my view this entrance test should be encouraged. it will be a true perpestive in making india a developed country. it is now a need of every students who are in stress with multiple entrance test for engg and medical.

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  19. i think even class 12th exam should be MCQ.as this will clear off the false marks students are getting due to their beautifil handwriting and presentation

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