KOCHI/KOZHIKODE: Students who appeared for the Class X CBSE board and school-based final exams at the end of the academic year 2015- 16 are now at a point in life where they will have to pick the right combination for higher studies from among a whole lot of subjects. Making it little easier for the students, CBSE from 2013 onwards started an aptitude test in Class X to help them identify their capabilities and interest. It is an optional test, and hence many students hesitate to use the option though it is one chance to spot the plus and minus in relation to subject interests.
The most common combination is PCMB (Physics, Chemistry, Math and Biology), the most popular choice of those who wish to keep career options of engineering and medicine open. Those who want to focus only on medicine avoid maths while those who are keen on engineering avoid biology. Many students opt for PCM+Electronics and PCM+Computer Science. Some of the schools offer Statistics as the fourth subject. Lesser known is the fact that those having Math-phobia and don’t have a strong inclination to pursue a medical career or confidence to get admission for MBBS, there is a combination of PCB+Home Science.
At the same time, commerce is a popular choice for students who feel that they are not oriented to science. While Business Studies and Accountancy are compulsory in this group, the other two optional subjects can be from Math, Statistics, Economics, History, Geography, Political Science, etc. “When it comes to Humanities, often the subject is regarded as one opted by average or below average students. But the scene has changed remarkably in the past decade, and many bright students who are sure of making a career in languages, social science and social work, law, journalism, teaching, research, and other such spheres, choose humanities at the Higher Secondary level,” said Murali
Krishnan, a Plus One teacher at Boys Higher Secondary School, Koyilandy. "Here again, there is a fairly wide choice of subjects such as Psychology, Sociology, Economics, History, Geography, Political Science and Logic but most schools offer only one or two of these combinations, hence one has to be careful in selecting the school or college for higher secondary studies." CBSE altogether offers over 200 subjects in several combinations, but not all schools offer all combinations and students need to do a real search to find out the schools having the courses they like. The CBSE website lists the courses that are on offer from the board.
“However, in science branches, the combinations are more often limited to seven-eight subjects since the main objective of the students are medical, para-medical and engineering courses after that. IT usually goes with commerce stream also while some students add economics to physics, chemistry and maths,” said Saji Varghese, principal of Rajagiri Christu Jayanthi Public School, Kakkanad, Kochi. She said that the rare combinations her school offers included History, Economics and Political Science as compulsory subjects in combination with either Mass Communication and Media Studies or Physical Education or Psychology.
“Humanities offer a wide variety of combinations, and we plan to add entrepreneurship, food technology, fine arts and fashion technology next year so that students have a lot more options in our school,” said Ms Varghese. “Many students do not have a clear idea about the depth of subjects especially science subjects in Class XI and Class XII and joining them without having a clear idea about it can land them in trouble. So it is important to have a proper assessment before joining any course in Class XI. So parents too have a very big role in guiding them on this,” said Suresh Kumar, a physics teacher at a Kochi school.