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Mixed opinion on common entrance examination to professional courses

Saturday 2 July 2005, by RAMACHANDRAN*K.

If Plus-Two marks alone are considered, students have to score very high

CHENNAI: To have a common entrance test or not, is the question facing every section in Tamil Nadu today: academicians, administrators, politicians, lawyers and students.

One way of answering some of the doubts raised by each section will be a comparative analysis of the performance of the student group in the higher secondary and the Common Entrance examination.

A detailed analysis of the results of all the 2,53,979 students who appeared for the science groups in the higher secondary examination, and the TNPCEE candidates provides some startling facts.

If the higher secondary marks alone are considered, the students’ performance is gauged against a base of 200 marks (100 for math and 100 for physics+chemistry for engineering programmes and 100 for biology and 100 for physics and chemistry for medical and paramedical programmes).

However, in case the Tamil Nadu Professional Courses Entrance Examination (TNCPEE) is also considered for admissions, then a base score of 100 for the TNPCEE is added to the higher secondary marks - so the rank list is prepared based on a total score of 300.

A fortnight ago, The Hindu came up with an initial analysis of the possible scenario if the higher secondary marks are alone taken into account, without considering the TNPCEE scores.

It was based on the 4,000 + ranks and showed roughly that students need to get at least 197.50 to contest for an MBBS seat and anything less would be no good for a medical or dental course in the State.

Now a complete detailed analysis has been done exclusively for this newspaper by Salem-based consultant Jayaprakash Gandhi, based on data provided by The Hindu

Situation complicated

This shows that the situation is getting more complicated.

It shows that 1,746 students have got over 198.75 out of 200 marks in the medical stream. This means an OC or BC candidate should get at least 199.50, Mr. Gandhi adds.

Even SC/ST students cannot afford to lose more than 1.0 to 1.25 marks to get into MBBS because the whole analysis is only based on the scores of students who have written regular or improvement test in Plus two. It does not take into account those who wrote only the TNPCEE this year. Such students have extremely good Plus Two marks from last year.

On the other hand, existing data show that 1,512 candidates have got 95/100 or more in the TNPCEE.

It essentially means that candidates can afford to lose even four or five marks and still hope for a medical seat.

"199.25 is not enough for a BC candidate, or he should get 200 out of 200 in at least two subjects in the Plus Two paper. It puts enormous pressure on students, regardless of the fact that he or she is rural or urban-based."

In Engineering, the divide is sharper. If the higher secondary score is considered, the analysis shows that 1,538 candidates have a score of 199 or more out of 200.

However, if the TNPCEE marks are also used for computing the ranks, a score of 276 or 277 will be enough to get the same engineering seat in Anna University’s constituent college.

In other words a student who loses anything more than 1.25 marks in higher secondary score cannot get into Anna University’s constituent colleges.

However, a student from a rural area can afford to lose 20-25 marks in the aggregate, if the TNPCEE scores are also computed; and he can still get a B.E/B.Tech seat in a premier college.

Mr. Gandhi says "the aforesaid analysis proves that a student getting 197 in higher secondary is equal to one getting only a score of 261 with entrance examination marks. In both cases the ranking would be around 5,200."

Whether such a situation would help the rural student - especially for getting 199 out of 200 for an assured seat, is a matter for academics and administrators to decide, Mr. Gandhi adds.

See online : The Hindu

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