English test for non-State students

COMED-K proposal designed to tighten admission criteria

Sources in Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMED-K) said the consortium was keen on the test as they are concerned about the quality of English language skills of non-Karnataka students which would impact on their learning ability.

Although non-Karnataka students secured admission to private colleges in Karnataka having scored the requisite marks in core subjects, their aptitude and competence in English raised questions about the overall quality of students.

To address the problem, the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMED-K) had announced in 2008 that it would conduct an English language test and made it mandatory along with the other four subjects - Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics.

However, in the face of much opposition from parents, students, colleges and also due to a constraint on schedule, the decision was retracted.

COMED-K officials told Deccan Herald that a decision on the English Language Test for the Under Graduate Entrance Test (UGET) will be taken in a week or two.  

Recalled Prajwal Shah, a second year BE student, “As a student, when COMED-K had announced the English test in 2008, we were worried. For professional courses, rigorous preparation of the four science subjects is stressful enough and students were not exposed to language tests before. Later the announcement was called off for the benefit of students”.

 Sudha Kumar, a parent said, “In class XII, students have a battery of entrance tests to prepare for. Making English test mandatory for professional courses is a burden on students. An alternate method to screen students for English language and grammar has to be introduced. Even if students have to write a test, it should not be made as an eligibility criteria for students to gain admissions to professional courses.”

As non-Karnataka students pass out in exams conducted by other States, as a parameter entrance test for science subjects are conducted, contended Prof S K Ramchandra, a lecturer with a private medical college.

“Likewise an English test too is neccessary. Most students from other States fare very well in core subjects neglecting the

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