Private varsities to hold own tests in addition to CET, COMEDK, and tests by deemed universities

It is yet another New Year and for many students on the cusp of graduating into the next big level of their education, it simply means that exam season is near.

This is especially true for those opting for professional courses.

With the Karnataka government deciding to keep the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, 2006, in abeyance in the wake of widespread apprehensions about its implementation, students aiming for seats in professional courses for the academic year 2014-15 will be writing a host of entrance exams. Had the Act been implemented, this number would have been limited to two – one, the State-administered Common Entrance Test (CET) for government seats, and the other, administered by a consortium of private colleges for seats in their colleges.

Now, while CET is scheduled for May 1, 2 and 3 for government and government-quota seats, the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka’s (COMEDK) Undergraduate Entrance Test (UGET) will be held on May 11. Added to this list will be the new private universities which are aiming to get students from across the country by holding national-level entrance tests. This will be in addition to the entrance tests conducted by deemed universities.

Private universities

The PES is the first private varsity, among the 13 new ones established last year, to formally announce its entrance test and modalities. The PESSAT (PES Scholastic Aptitude Test) will be held between May 3 and 18 in 21 cities in Karnataka and 21 across the country. Three testing sessions will be conducted and students will be tested in mathematics, physics, chemistry and English (in keeping with the tradition of the COMEDK’s UGET). Results are expected on May 24 and counselling or seat allocation will be held from June 9 to 14. Full fee refunds will be provided if the student opts for a CET seat at a later date, the PES announced.

While the test will be similar to what engineering seat aspirants are used to, PES announced two significant changes: 25 per cent of objective-type questions will not give multiple-choice answers; and the minimum marks required in the qualifying exam is 60 per cent (50 per cent for reserved categories).

Students wishing to get a seat in Reva University will also be writing a separate test. M. Dhananjaya, dean, student affairs, Reva University, said a national-level entrance test will be conducted for four engineering courses: electrical, computer science, mechanical and civil. “We are planning to conduct the test soon after the COMED-K to facilitate those who write that test to attend the Reva entrance test,” he added.

Preparation is key

With the number of entrance tests on a steady incline, preparation holds the key. Sethuraman P.R., head, training and development, BASE Educational Services Pvt. Ltd., said cracking the entrance examination has its roots in proper understanding and application of concepts taught by the teachers during the two-year course.

“Preparations for entrance exams should begin from the first day of the XI standard or I PU, for assured success in the exams. The questions in board examinations are mostly subjective, covering the syllabus framework with ample choice in answering questions, and aimed mainly at testing a student’s memory. On the other hand, questions in the entrance examinations are totally objective, designed to test the level of understanding of concepts, with no option for choice in answering the questions; above all, responding to the MCQs should be not only accurate, but also fast. Such speed and accuracy in the entrance examinations will be possible only if the student practices with more and more questions,” he said.

Doing well in entrance/competitive examinations depends not only on a student’s intelligence but also the skill sets that he/she acquires, like speed and accuracy, a calm approach to the exam, the ability to analyse, and use time and resources effectively. These skill sets are acquired over a long period of time, Mr. Sethuraman added.