After crossing the first hurdle – the Class X examination – some students are contemplating a move to other boards of study for the final years of their school education. But the differences in curriculum, teaching methodology and the examination pattern require the students to adopt a new approach.

This shift is more common among the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) students, with many interested in moving into State board schools.

T. Nanditha, a Class X students of SBOA School and Junior College, is keen on joining SBOA Matriculation School in Class XI. “I am interested in doing engineering in Anna University. I can score higher in State Board and try for admission to Anna University,” she says.

What are the challenges students like her would face and how can they prepare? Some state board schools do not encourage children from the CBSE board to join them in Class XI as the learning approach is different.

“The methodology in matriculation schools places emphasis on rote learning. Students thorough with the textual content can excel in the state board, but students from CBSE schools who are trained to think analytically tend to find it hard to memorise concepts,” says S. Ramkumar, a Maths teacher at Sri Venugopal Vidyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School. “There are many concepts in Class XI new to students from CBSE that the matriculation schools students are already familiar with. In such cases we pay special attention to explain the concepts to these students,” says Mr. Ramkumar.

S. Lazarus, a Zoology teacher, C.S.I Ewart Matriculation Higher Secondary School finds it interesting to teach a class that has students from CBSE schools. “They think out of the box and often raise questions. But sadly, they lose out during examinations.”

The examination pattern also varies between the two boards. “In the CBSE syllabus the maximum marks awarded to a question is five, for which the students are required to answer to the point whereas in the matriculation syllabus students have write at least two and a half pages for a 10-mark question,” Ms. Lazarus adds.

Students of CBSE schools who are familiar with application of concepts in examinations fare better in the entrance examinations. But for the Class XII board examination, these students who are familiar with answering a 100 mark question paper in two hours and a half, are initially anxious about the three-hour time constraint in answering a 200 mark question paper in the State Board.

But CBSE teachers agree that though their students face certain challenges when they migrate to a different board, they also have some advantage.

“The blueprint of the State Board has options for questions that allow the students to ignore certain lessons, making it easy for them,” says a biology teacher from a CBSE school.