Exam scores may no longer be green cards to a bright future for engineering students. But a decent academic performance is important, as it will help you prove yourself to recruiters.

Come November, engineering campuses get into the examination mode. This happens every half year and there is nothing novel about it.

However, a casual approach to the examinations has got many students into trouble in the past and will do the same this time as well. Though the university examination scores are no more green cards to a bright future, it will definitely act as a visa in many situations.

A single number that will portray your academic orientation to the outside world is going to be your aggregate percentage. Nowadays, this number is playing its role much before the final examination. During this placement season, where the companies profiled the seventh semester students, they had the scores of only up to the fifth semester to shortlist the candidates. The shortlisted students became eligible to take part in the recruitment process, which essentially consisted of an aptitude test followed by personal interviews or at times, group discussions before the interviews.

If we track the recruiters and their selection procedure over the past five years, we can see that the vast majority of them had the academic cut-off set in the range of 60 per cent to 70 per cent. The future job aspirants, especially the third semester and fifth semester students, should look at how their seniors were shortlisted by the companies. If you have any dream company where you wish to work, understand their eligibility requirements and ensure that you meet those prerequisites.

Another statistic that has gained importance owing to campus recruitments is the number of backlogs. It indicates the number of papers which a student has not cleared on a given date. Some companies do not consider students with standing backlogs; some allow one standing backlog, while some allow a maximum of two. There are companies that even look at the history of failures in the student's academic tenure.

Taking the aggregate up by even a percentage will be a herculean task if you are not on to it on a consistent basis. The four-year engineering course, as it is followed in our country, consists of roughly 45 theory papers, 10 labs, a couple of projects, and seminars. Total marks come close to 5,500 from the university examinations and around 3,000 from the internal evaluations.

Improving the final percentage score by even one basis point will warrant an addition of 85 marks to the total. And if you want to lift your aggregate by four or five percentage points, it is going to be a hard task and may not be possible in a semester.

One should understand that the recruiters do not rely on the academic scores alone. They have their own tested means of selecting the candidates — aptitude tests, group discussions, role plays, and interviews. Though many recruiters have lost faith in the university system, in the absence of other reliable and easily available parameters, they continue to use the university scores as the first-level screener.

A decent academic performance is important as it will fetch you an opportunity to prove your mettle to the recruiters and get you considered for the selection process of your coveted higher study option. An academic debacle can put a stone wall between you and your dreams and may prove irreparable. So tread with caution.

Co-author of Kengcyclopedia