Will a common entrance exam to college and university admissions lower the stress for students facing multiple exams or will it put immense pressure on them to perform well on a single day? Will they have to wait a year for another chance? What if students are subjected to a single test, given that each state board has its own guidelines? Can we have one nation one board in a country with language diversity?
These were some of the pertinent questions discussed by a panel comprising of Vineet Joshi, director general, National Testing Agency (NTA), B S Sahay, director, IIM Jammu, Linda Liu, vice president, The College Board, New York, Muralidhar Ponaaluri, CEO, ERA Foundation among others at the National Conference on 'Postioning India on the Global Education Map' organised by Stratfirst India and Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI).
Vineet Joshi is hopeful of a 'one nation-one test' policy in near future stating that as opposed to the reason that it will be too burdensome for students to perform on a certain day, introduction of multiple test cycles will give students more chances to improve his/her performance. "This will also to an extent decrease their dependence on coaching classes, where students rush to complete their syllabus owing to the fact that entrance exams are conducted on a different level than what is actually part of the school curriculum," said Joshi.
He added that most of the entrance exams are subject oriented that do not test the thinking ability or problem solving skills of a candidate. This can be improved by creating a test on the lines of the SATs (Scholastic Assessment Test) that are designed to predict the success of students even post the entrance exam and during graduation.
BS Sahay said that the success of NEET can be emulated for other sectors as well. "A common entrance exam will also decrease the financial burden on parents who pay for costly private entrance exams," he said.
"In most universities, SAT score is part of the admission process and is often paired with other parameters for holistic admission process. Additionally, a report of how the students are performing on different sets of questions goes back to the teachers who can then adapt to areas to be worked upon and thus preparation for SAT is not different from what is happening in the classroom," said Linda Liu at the occasion.
The event was also attended by HRD minister Prakash Javadekar and Textile minister Smriti Jubin Irani, who stressed that all public and private universities must first partner with each other to adopt best practices to position Indian education in the global map.
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