Starting this year, all postgraduate students of arts and sciences colleges across the State will have to answer questions that deal with logic and reasoning in their final examinations.
Under the reforms introduced by the Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education (TANSCHE) recently, nearly 10 per cent of the questions in each of the subject paper will be of the kind often posed in competitive exams.
This move was made after consultations with vice-chancellors of universities as well as experts, to prepare students for various other exams, and help them understand their subjects better, said Cynthia Pandian, chairperson of TANSCHE.
The questions, which will be in objective format, will help students deal with exams such as the National Eligibility Test, the State Level Eligibility Test, civil services exams and banking and management exams, among others, she said.
Higher education officials said that colleges have already been asked to inform students about the exam pattern, and training sessions will be given to both students and those who prepare exam papers.
This apart, a new format has been introduced for both undergraduate and postgraduate exams papers.
Under this new pattern, undergraduate papers will now have a 40 per cent objective component.
In both undergraduate and postgraduate papers, 20 per cent of the exam will comprise challenging questions, 50 per cent of the questions will be of average difficulty and 30 per cent will be easy questions.
“Until now, question papers have had no specific structure. So they turn out to be either very easy or very tough. A structure of this kind will help students plan their preparation. Since all universities have been asked to go by this template, students will no longer be able to complain that one university has easier question papers compared to another,” said A. Anbudurai, a Tamil teacher from a government-aided college
The move has been welcomed by both teachers and students. University of Madras V-C, R. Thandavan, said this was necessary. “Students will be encouraged to apply their mind now,” he said.
Some teachers however, are worried that due to a lack of trained faculty, students may not know how to go about answering the logical reasoning questions.
Considering that 50 per cent of students in government colleges have arrears in at least one subject, it is clear that they find even the average and somewhat challenging questions very difficult, said R. Manivasagham, a mathematics professor in a government college. In that case, these new questions could be a burden on students, he said.
N. Ilango, associate professor, Madras Christian College who is the coordinator of a civil services coaching centre at the college, said this may not be the best way of equipping students with aptitude skills.
“Students can be equipped with such skills in 30 days with dedicated teaching methodologies, because most students just need a little exposure. This move should not affect their regular studies in any way,” he said.