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PUC: A guide for parents & students

Monday, 14 May 2012 - 10:52am IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: dna

SSLC results are due this week. Are you prepared to face it? For those who find it difficult to choose the right course, here possible options for students after Class 10.

SSLC results are due this week. Are you prepared to face it? For those who find it difficult to choose the right course, Ameen-e-Mudassar enlists possible options for students after Class 10—along with the bright and dark sides of each course—in the first part of this series on educational opportunities.

Pre-University College (PUC) is the most popular option after Class 10. Before deciding on which stream to choose in PUC, a student must know the following facts:

- PUC is a 2-year course with 1 Major Board Exam at the end of the second year PUC/12th.
- Every student must study 4 core subjects in each branch along with 1st language—English  & 2nd language (Kannada / Sanskrit / Hindi / Urdu / Tamil / Telugu / Malayalam / Marathi / French / German / Arabic ).
- Options in Arts/Humanities—History, Geography, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, Education, Logic, Home Science, Optional Kannada, Karnataka Music & Hindustani Music, etc.
- Options in Commerce—History, Economics, Business Studies, Accountancy, Computer Science, Geography, Statistics & Basic Maths.
- Options in Science—Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Electronics, Computer Science, Home Science & Geology

Flexible Combinations

-  If you don't like to study Biology, you can pursue PCME (Electronics) or PCMCs ( Computer Science) or PCMG (Geology). This makes you eligible for career in Engineering Stream.
- If you don’t like to study Mathematics, you can pursue PCBH ( Home Science ) or PCBS ( Statistics).
This is apt for students focused on medicine and who find it difficult to cope up with mathematics.

- If you select Science in PUC, you have an option to shift to Commerce or Arts stream in case you feel the need to do it in graduation. Like many Science students who score less in PUC and also realised that they made a mistake by taking up Science, they join courses like BCom, BA, BBM and BBA.
- But if you choose Commerce or Arts, you cannot pursue Science graduation programmes. Some Paramedical Courses are now open even for Commerce & Arts students.

Benefits & challenges
- Students get two years to identify their strengths and weakness. The students also realise their true potential (as in schools with a lot of spoon feeding and pampering at home they live in a life of illusion till coming to the college )

- With PUC following the CBSE Science syllabus, it will be a very strong foundation for higher education and at the same time challenging for students from the state board (SSLC).

- PUC is seen as a basic qualification for many jobs. In case a student cannot continue graduation or wants to pursue correspondence courses, having passed PUC is always an advantage.

- For students who have to work during the day time, PUC is offered by evening colleges also.

- PUC helps when the student is undecided on which branch of Engineering to study but if he/she is keen to pursue a particular engineering course and like to learn it quicker, then a three-year polytechnic diploma would be a better option.

Science: skills, qualities expected
- A Science student is expected to have good hold on Science and Mathematics. Just saying ‘I love Maths and Science’ is simply not enough. Science demands hours of effort linked to multiple concepts, theories, formulas and experiments.  

The motivation level must always be high to face the challenges and tough competition.

One must have the ability to memorise and retain lots of information which is required to crack the engineering and medical entrance exams like IIT-JEE (ISEET), NEET and  CET.

Many students also feel the need to join coaching centres, this increases the pressure, expectations and less time for any other activities. Nevertheless, all hard work and smart work pays off! Science students are driven by their dream to make it into the best colleges in India and abroad.

Commerce: skills, qualities expected
- A Commerce PUC student must have a natural liking to work with numbers, data, information, theory  and analysis. Most of the subjects taught in Commerce are totally new to school students (especially for state syllabus students).

Quick learning and application of concepts in Accounts, Business Studies demands problem-solving skills. The pressure is not much unless the student plans to take up competitive exams like CLAT ( Common Law Aptitude Test ) to join Law or CPT (Common Proficiency Test ) to become a Chartered Accountant.

Commerce students also face pressure to score high grades as their Science counterparts. The advantage is, however, that they can manage their studies with a proper plan even without going for tuitions (as long as the college offers good coaching).

Arts/humanities: qualities expected
- An Arts student need not be artistic. Arts is an area full of interesting subjects. The common myth about Arts and Humanities among parents is that it’s for the less scoring students who do not have high IQ. But the fact is the subjects in Arts like Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Economics, History, Logic, etc are the most interesting ones and are best suited for students having linguistic, social, artistic and interpersonal intelligence.

Commitment towards the subjects studied is a must. Today, the best lawyers, social scientists, economists, journalists, policy-makers come have a Humanities background. 

Tips for you
- Students, tell your parents what you like and what you are really good at. Scoring a 95 in Maths doesn’t qualify you to study Science. You know how you got 95 (hardwork or smart work or hardly worked). Let your parents not be carried away by that.

- If your gut feeling says that you cannot handle Science, tell them frankly.

- Parents, please don’t be carried away by your relatives, colleagues and neighbours. Don’t think what will other say if your child takes up Arts/Humanities while all others around you are studying Science. It’s perfectly all right to study Humanities. Remember, the world is not run only by engineers and doctors.

Ameen-e-Mudassar is a writer, career counsellor and director of
CIGMA India (A career guidance and counselling company offering services in India, Qatar & UAE)

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