Sunday, June 12, 2005

Entrance free?

Most citizens of TamilNadu must by now know that the Tamil Nadu government has abolished the Common Entrance Test for all engineering and medical college admissions. This is a very big move for the students of the state considering the fact there are a number of different boards of education in Tamil Nadu. The CBSE and the Tamil Nadu State Boards of education are the most popular amongst them all.
If you think about the impact of this move, I think there's more to be worried about than to be relieved about.
True, it does make things easier. Its just one less thing for the students to worry about. From a State Board student's point of view, why have two exams on the same syllabus? And I guess, most important positive aspect of this move, is that it removes the unfairness quotient for the CBSE students who are expected to learn the entire State Board syllabus in a months time.
But, let us ask ourselves a couple of questions just for a sanity check. Is the Tamil Nadu State Board 12th std. examination such a competent exam that one can decide the future of a student's life based on that result alone? I DON'T THINK SO.
Remember all those horror stories we have all heard about the way the correction is handled. The whims of the person who corrects the paper? I remember my prayers on the morning of my 12th standard public exams. It was more on the lines of "God, let the person correcting my paper be in a good mood!!" than "God, let the question paper be easy". Atleast the Entrance Exams were computer graded which atleast reduced the chance of human error in the correction process.
Speaking about the competency of this exam brings up another issue. Are the marks scored in this exam any indication of anyone's capability in academics? Are they a true indication of the capabilities/intelligence of the individual? I know for sure that I scored more points in my Math paper in the 12th standard board exams because I knew all the questions in the text book and not because I knew how to tackle the problems better.
Guess this event is going to do damage to more people than actually help them out, if it is not handled well. The State Board examinations need a revamp if people's life are going to be decided based on ONLY that one event. I don't have much knowledge about the CBSE board examinations and corrections, so I"ll leave it to other people to comment on that.

Does Dr. JJ have a blog? Can someone give me the URL? I'd like to post a few "comments" on her blog. Any chance that my opinion will count? Nyaaa! Nada! I don't think so!

4 Comments:

Blogger FSN 2.2 said...

I have been through both CBSE and the State Board in Tamil Nadu. I can solemnly affirm that the Tamil Nadu State Board Syllabus is a piece of sh#t. They do not encourage you to understand the subject or think on your own but instead only focus on what's in the textbook. The people involved in the paper corrections are probably estrogen fed men on PMS.Lets not stop there - people who studied under Madras University will know the difficulties posed. Once you figure out the system it is just a question of working smart.

However in CBSE from what I remember you are encouraged to be creative and give your own answers.The solution is simple - get rid of the state boards all over the country and bring it all under the CBSE.I'm not sure if they can do that , but if the goal is to educate the youth of tomorrow, we need to make a decision today.

Btw - thank god they took out the entrance exams.I hated having to shade my answers just so some stupid computer could read it...

Why dont they make it a computer adaptive test like the GRE?

2:16 AM  
Blogger Manu said...

lol.. dude, you're talking about an ideal world. How many people take up the SAT in a year in the US? and how many people in Tamil Nadu take up the CET? I'm sure its a whole different scenario. They cannot hope to finish testing everyone if everyone had to have a computer to take up a test.

10:54 AM  
Blogger FSN 2.2 said...

Well they made everybody adapt to shading little boxes of area four squared microns. I'm sure they can bring in the adaptive testing as well - besides it would be a great inspiration for people to learn computers :-). As if they didn't know already.

I was anyway just responding to your comment about the best way to test the competence of a student.

Adaptive tests may be the wave of the future.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Manu said...

Yes, definitely adaptive tests are the way to go. I'm not talking about people adapting to computer tests. I"m talking about our state being able to afford enough computers to test the huge number of students graduating out of high school every year. I think even the richest US state will not be able to afford the money required to buy and maintain such a huge fleet of computers.

7:51 AM  

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