Mumbai: For the first time, Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) science students, scheduled to appear for their Class 12 board exams in February 2019, will have multiple choice questions (MCQs) based on the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE).
In this way, the state board hopes to provide students with some experience to prepare for these entrance tests, which are the ‘gateway’ to admission in engineering and medical courses. JEE is required for entry into the engineering field, while NEET is required for medicine.
Students appear for these entrance tests once they have taken their HSC board exams. In fact, students prepare vigorously for these tests through coaching classes and special tutorials.As a large number of science students opt for engineering and medicine after HSC, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has brought in this alteration.
Krishnakumar Patil, chairman of the Mumbai division of the MSBSHSE said, “We want to train our students for major competitive tests. Students from the science stream in Class 12 either go for engineering or medical field. So, this addition to the HSC exams will help them prepare well beforehand.”
Students claim that they spend most of their time preparing for the entrance tests right from the start of Class 11. Roshni Mukunte, a student, said, “We start studying for NEET or JEE while we are in Class 11. These competitive tests are difficult and are extremely important as they decide our future. If we do not clear these examinations we cannot secure admission in a technical or medical college.”
Another student, Siddharth Roy, adds, “Often we consider the HSC board examination as less important and focus more on these entrance tests.” Teachers have been given special training as they will set the question papers according to this new change.
Subhash Borse, joint secretary, MSBSHSE, Mumbai division, said, “We have trained teachers so that they can set question papers according to this new format. We understand there are some students who do not take up engineering or medical courses after Class 12, but the number is dwindling.”