Aptitude and ability

Aptitude and ability

Aptitude and ability

Dear Madam,

We are students of Class IX, ICSE.  We would like to know, being ICSE students, whether we should take admission in a PU college or continue in ISC. We are interested in Medicine as well as Engineering. We are interested in Biology but we are weak in Maths.  Please help.

SH and AA

Dear SH and AA,

There is one thing you both are sure about and that is  you want to take up Science. The first dilemma to sort out is whether to do PUC or ISC. The only way I can answer this is to list the advantages and disadvantages of each stream.

ISC has a vast syllabus and will need you to put in continuous hard work. The approach is to enhance critical and creative thinking. The examination is geared towards application of concepts, which will need an understanding of the syllabus. The syllabus prepares you for All India Entrance Tests. Of course each test needs specific preparation as the format is different.

The PUC syllabus is not as vast as ISC, though it is not to be taken lightly as some ICSE students do. The style of questioning is usually direct. The PUC syllabus prepares you for the Common Entrance Test (CET). The PUC syllabus is not as demanding as ISC, so many students find the time for extra curricular activities.

Your second dilemma is whether to opt for Medicine or Engineering. To make this decision, you have to consider  issues apart from interest in a subject.

Consider the following questions:

What is the duration of the degree? What is the cost involved?
Will your parents be able to afford it?
If you opt for Engineering, what would you want to specialise in? The medical field also has many options to choose from.
Will the choice be suitable to the type of person you are?
These and many more questions need to be answered. Please explore the options by doing the following:
Read up about the two fields. Meet people who are in these areas of study and work and talk to them. Consider the option of taking an Aptitude test. You could also schedule an appointment with a career counsellor.

Dear Madam,

I am 17 years old. I scored 55% in PUC and 56% in CET. I am interested in Engineering. I soon realised that these marks were not enough to get a seat in any good engineering college. So I decided to stay at home for a year to get better marks in PUC 2010. Was this a good or bad decision? Could you suggest other courses?


Dear Abhishek,

I hope you did some introspection before you made the decision to take a break for a year.

If it was poor preparation then maybe one more opportunity to prepare better is a good decision. The only drawback could be the lack of discipline and motivation to put in regular, consistent and focused study. One year is a long time and it is easy to procrastinate and get distracted.

You need to maintain discipline. After waking up, get dressed and ready just as if you were going to college. Then follow a timetable of studying your subjects. Answer model question papers and get someone to correct them so that you learn from your mistakes.

Now, if your poor performance was because of a lack of ability to grasp the subjects, then taking a break for a year was probably not a good decision. It would have then been better to carry on with your studies in something more suitable to your capability.

However, as you have already taken the decision to take a year off to better your marks, then you must put in your best to do better than last time. As for suggesting other courses for a better future,  I cannot do that as I do not have any data about you to match you to career options. Do consider meeting with a career counsellor.