The total number of seats under government allotment pool may be higher this year, but what will its impact on the cut-off marks be?
At least one lakh families in the State have one big concern this season. These families have at least one teenager aspiring to enter engineering studies. But they seek a guide to know where they stand in the competition.A reasonably sound method for knowing whether one will get into a college or branch of his/her choice is to look at the cut-off scores for the previous year in each college. For example, a student with a score of 270 out of 300 will certainly be wondering whether he will get a seat in Anna University. If so, in what branch?Another student who has got 255/300 ponders his choices. "Will I get into a tier-I college?" It is here that last year's admission pattern helps.But then, ``we need to factor in two or three things — this year's upgraded syllabus content, the degree of difficulty in the TNPCEE and the delay in announcing the modalities of admission,'' says the principal of a school in Mylapore, Chennai.This would account for small changes each year. This year, the downswing in students' performance in the TNPCEE is likely to bring down the cut- off scores for each college and branch, says career analyst Jayaprakash Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi has come up with the likely scenario of cut-off scores for the highly rated colleges for the current year. He says: "We may have more seats this year in the government pool as the colleges have been asked to surrender a larger chunk of seats that the last. So the minimum scores in each branch in top rated private colleges will change and dip by a score of 3.0 points or more."The matrix in the College of Engineering-Guindy (CEG) has changed, as all the IT branch seats and 60 seats under the ECE branch are converted to the self-supporting (higher fees) stream. It means, poorer students with merit who are looking for an aided course, will have lesser choice. They may choose government college or a core branch in CEG itself. The accompanying table presents a likely scenario for this year with the cut-off for 2005.Legend for abbreviations: CEG - College of Engineering Guindy, MIT - Madras Institute of Technology; GCT - Government College of Technology, Coimbatore; Thyagaraja - Thyagaraja Engineering College, Madurai.K. RAMACHANDRAN