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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Time to Choose the Board for your Ward

This is the time when parents will be thinking whether they should let their wards continue in the same school or change school (and more importantly, change the board).

If we go back to all the discussions we had last summer on the new admission process for IITs and other CFTIs (Centrally Funded Technical Institutes), including NITs, we had said that the primary assumption behind the new scheme of admission is that the academic preparation of the students of different boards has identical distribution across all boards in all subjects. We had challenged this assumption by pointing out that if this was indeed the case then CBSE students would not out-perform state boards in every entrance exam. We had also pointed out that a board with greater percentage of better endowed schools and students coming from middle and upper class families with better environment for studies must lead to better academic preparation of its students. We had pointed out that the syllabus in various subjects is different across the board, and that too would lead to different levels of academic preparation. But the sycophancy had finally won.

The decision was too late for the parents to react for 2013 admissions. But now what should parents do for 2014 and beyond.

The obvious impact of the decision to consider academic preparation as identically distributed across all boards is that the student in a board with better academic preparation would face some discrimination. It could be having to work harder for being in the top 20 percentile for admissions to IITs. But a much worse situation is in NIT admission where the two students with the same academic preparation will be at different relative level if they are in two different boards, and will get different normalized marks. The student in the better board will be at a lower relative level within his/her board, and hence will get lower normalized marks and hence would be strongly discriminated against in the admissions to NITs.

If we accept all this, and if this is indeed what is going to continue in 2014 and beyond, then it makes sense for the parents to put their wards in schools which are affiliated to the boards where students have had poorer academic preparation. In particular, this implies that it would be beneficial to join a state board over CBSE for most states. (I am not aware of any state board whose students perform better than students from CBSE schools in various competitive and other independent exams.)

Of course, I would want the parents to read this and all previous articles carefully to convince themselves that the CBSE students will be discriminated against in the new admission schemes, and then take a decision on their own, and not blame me later on. The entire admission process situation is very fluid, and we don't yet know whether the same admission process will continue in 2014 and beyond. If there is a different admission process, that may or may not be discriminatory against CBSE students. So there is obviously a risk because we do not know all the information and what future decisions may be taken. But as of now, it seems to be that giving 12th class exams from a state board will be better.


21 comments:

Vinod Kumar Sharma said...

Does it make any sense to spoil your preparation for 60% part (JEE Main) just to get some advantage in percentile score having 40% weightage in JEE Main.I think the students who are good enough to get 15000 rank in JEE Main will in all probability will be in close to 90 percentile category. To change board to therefore is not going to help in any substantial way.
Vinod Kumar Sharma

iitmsriram said...

Tamil Nadu abolished the Engg Entrance exam in 2006 and admissions have been based on board exam marks since then. There should be enough data on enrolment in TN state board and CBSE in Tamil Nadu to run a check on whether board migration has been there - assuming that TN state board and CBSE have some perceived difference and parents would consider board migration along the lines suggested here. There could be other factors which distort this possible analysis - there are such a large number of engineering seats on offer in TN that parents / students are not worried. The number of JEE and AIEEE takers from TN is "small" and would support above factor.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Vinod, I have seen some data collected by CBSE, which considers students with similar performance in AIEEE and what percentile they are getting in board, the average difference between CBSE and some of the boards is huge. There is no way a student can cover up this gap in the AIEEE (now JEE -Main) exam.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Sriram, I don't have hard data, but I have informally been told that states where average marks in state boards are higher (AP, TN, GJ, etc.), the market share of CBSE is in low single digits, where as the states in which average marks in state boards are lower (like UP), the market share of CBSE is substantial.

An IITK student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Piyush said...

@iitmsriram Although this is not quite comprehensive data, it seems that what DS is talking about--switching boards to get better percentiel--has already been happening in Tanil Nadu. See for example:


http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/college-and-university/the-pull-of-the-state-plus-two-course/article3543118.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/cbse-students-worried-about-getting-admission-to-top-engineering-colleges/article2043267.ece

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

Thanks, Piyush. I am convinced that switching board away from CBSE after 10th class is in the interest of these students who are doing so. In any case, there is very little education in schools in 11th and 12th classes as most of the good students are doing coaching in this period. By moving to a lower quality board, you don't get lower quality education (since the coaching institute remains the same), but you get more marks for admission to engineering colleges. This will lead to less stress on the students.

iitmsriram said...

@piyush, what data, those articles are pretty much anecdotal only. We can find an equal number of articles which state that students are running from state board schools to cbse because of the samacheer kalvi (common school) system introduced a few years ago in Tamil Nadu which requires students to study Tamil. Anyways, CBSE puts out nice annual reports and the 10th and 12th enrollment statistics for the chennai region (which is not just Tamil Nadu) show rather uniform trends the last 20 years. Of course, that may not mean anything. Tamil Nadu has only about 15% of the schools in the chennai region, so the trends in TN will get masked. And, Dheeraj, the per state school numbers are in the CBSE annual report. TN and AP have only about 300 CBSE schools each whereas UP has 1500 and Delhi 1870. But, WB has less than 200, around the same as Chandigarh or Gujarat. The student enrolment numbers appear to be mostly a function of how many schools are there - which may be influenced by how easy or difficult it is to get CBSE affiliation compared to state board affiliation.

Piyush said...

@iitmsriram: As I said, these did not constitute data, but did provide some evidence that the thinking in at least a section of school principals and parents has been the same as DS predicts it to be.

Piyush said...

@iitmsriram: Also, I would be interested to see examples if you think there are an equal number of articles documenting migration from state boards to CBSE in TN/Kerela for 10+2.

iitmsriram said...

@piyush, here is one.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/130212/news-current-affairs/article/samacheer-kalvi-drives-parents-cbse-schools

Just browse for cbse and samacheer kalvi.
Parents' or teachers' thinking means little - it is the enrolment numbers which will have to show migration trends.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Sriram, The data about schools is inadequate. We need to see numbers of students giving 12th class exam in TN with CBSE board. What I am hearing from my friends informally is that parents do prefer CBSE schools till 10th class, and then switch to TN Board. This would be consistent with both the report that you sent, and the report that Piyush sent, though I have no way to check the claim. It is even possible that there is an increase in the number of schools, but that may be because of larger enrollment in 6th to 10th classes, and not reflect larger enrollment in 12th class.

Anyone with data ?

Vaishakh Ravi said...

I don't agree with the argument that in a 'better' board like CBSE, a students' percentile will be lower than that in a state board. In a 'better' board, there are more chances for a 'deserving' student to obtain more marks than the 'non-deserving' students so as to be among the top percentiles. By 'deserving', I mean those students who have the potential to crack AIEEE or JEE-Main with a decent percentile. Whereas in state board, there will be a huge chuck of 'non-deserving' students who'll compete with the 'deserving' students through rote learning. Simply put, those who don't resolve to rot learning stand a chance to obtain a better percentile in a better board.
I agree that there are better students in 'better' boards. But only the best among these 'better' stand a chance to do well in a AIEEE anyway. So its a question of how much the boards can filter these best among the 'better'.

Vinod Kumar Sharma said...

There may be data indicating that a CBSE student with rank in first 15000 may have 80 percentile whereas a student with similar rank from a state board might have 90 percentile. But the data pertains to a period when 12th result had no role to play in AIEEE or JEE. Now with that role coming in, students performing nicely in JEE Main are more likely to be close to 90 percentile rather than 80. In any case only good students of state boards will be able to score a place in 15000 and if you assume that CBSE students are better, most of the state board students who are in 15000 will be on the lower side of 15000. I therefore strongly feel that real decider will be JEE Main exam and not the percentile score. You will gain just marginally in percentile score if you join a state board and that gain will be more than offset by the loss you may suffer in JEE Main rank due to a bad school environment. I don't subsccibe to the theorey that only coaching decides JEE Main rank and school is irrelevant. I hope I have made myself clear.

praveen kumar said...

Sir, why can't the rule be about percentile only among students above a certain percentage(say passing percentage).. this will surely reduce the disadvantage of students in better boards.
Now what should be that percentage needs a lot of data crunching but its doable.

alu chat said...

Respected Sir,
From this year top 20 percentile students of each board would qualify to take admission in IITs .For Andhra Pradesh Board students as per last year’s data the cut off percentage was 87%.Due to the changed scenario and excess dependence on Board marks, some of the corporate colleges(Narayana and Chaityanya ) are using all types of malpractice from leaking the question papers(they call it blue print) to distribution of solved answer sheets and mass copying. The cut off percentage for this year may go as high as 93-94%. The IIT dream of many deserving candidates from non-corporate colleges will be shattered as they would miss the 20 percentile criteria due to this abnormal high cut off percentage .In Andhra Pradesh there is a powerful nexus going on between the Board and the corporate colleges. Kindly act and do the needful to stop this gross injustice.

mini said...

Marginal advantage/ disadvantage due to board percentile will make SIGNICANT difference in Jee rank. With 14 lakh aspirants for 30,000 seats, EACH and EVERY mark counts.
Wish the policy makers had considered these disparities before taking such SENSELESS decisions.
Why can't they normalise the boards/ exams before using the scores in jee main ranks.
ABSOLUTELY IRRESPONSIBLE AND INSENSITIVE DECISION

m joshi said...

Hello sir
I am also confused about selection of board after standard 10th for my ward.
Main problem about selection of board is that most coaching classes are recommending state board for percentile issue as u mentioned earlier.Can u please tell me what is exact difference between both syllabus.? Coz jee mains needs preparation of ncert syllabus and will state board cope up with it. ? Also For jee 2016 is 60-40% crieteria applicable?
Thank u...

Abhi Anand said...

so, does this really means that since iam appearing from a state board i would be getting a good chance to score in jee mains if i attain good percentage? And, i didnt got that avg marking thing well, could you give me a good explanation about it? iam appearing from state board(BSEB) and tese days i am quite perplexed with the arguments going on it would be a great remedy for me if you provide me with your authentic answer.
o

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

This blog was written prior to the announcement of the normalization scheme. The expectation at that time was that the normalization would benefit state boards tremendously. However, the normalization scheme that has finally been adopted give (in my understanding) only a small benefit. Yes, my understanding of the normalization scheme is that it gives a small benefit to students from state boards, while there are lot of others who challenge this understanding on other blogs that I have written.

Based on this, it is no longer clear whether one should choose a state board on the basis of benefit in the engineering admission. It will probably be still helpful, but may not be worth following a different syllabus than what you have been doing till now.

ADVAIDHAA NAGARAJAN said...

I'm a CBSE student studying in the middle east, I'm planning on continuing my class 11 & 12 in the TN state board to score higher marks for medical colleges, will a combination of Physics, chemistry, biology & math be hard for me to handle?