In the second week of January 2017, the Medical Council of India (MCI) proposed that all medical students should take a National Exit Test to get the ‘doctor’ title. Later, even the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) proposed that engineering students should take a similar test after completing their course. The exit test for graduating engineers will assess their employability and it will be conducted for students of all institutes across India, be it private or government engineering colleges.
It is also proposed that AICTE will conduct this test and that the government will share the students’ scores with prospective employers. Other than theoretical knowledge, engineering candidates will also be tested for skills, aptitude, and critical thinking. If a bunch of students from one college or students from a particular region don’t score well in the exit test, it will also reflect the educational institute’s performance.
While speaking to engineering students for this story, most of them said that they didn’t know what this exit test is and what it means.
An exit test may be required when a student must show proficiency in a class, or in college. It assesses if a student is prepared to pass a class or graduate or work in their selected field. For instance, class 10, and 12 board exams. Then engineering entrance exams like the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), State entrance examinations etc, to secure admission in an engineering institute. Just when the engineering students finish their four or five year long course, they take another entrance exam for MTech (Masters in Technology) courses or jobs at PSUs (Public Service Undertakings) which is known as the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE).
Students essentially take the first ‘exit’ test as the class 10 board exam, conducted by various school boards like the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and then class 12 board exam. We can also say that we can take about 12 ‘exit’ tests at school level only. If one fails to clear class 6 ‘exit’ test, then the student won’t be allowed to sit in class 7.
Exit tests are taken when the core curriculum requirements are met by the educational institutes. There is a decided time-frame in which teachers/lecturers must finish the syllabus, post which there is an examination. The question paper has a broad range, some are difficult, some are easy, few are of moderate level, and others are more difficult. The test is timed, and scored, which helps the educational institutes in evaluating each students’ performance.
Though the exit test is still in the discussion stage, PaGaLGuY spoke to engineers, engineering students, recruiters, expert etc, to know what they think about it.