After Class 10, students are often caught in a dilemma about which course or stream to choose for further studies. The course that a student goes for should be based entirely on what their aptitude, likes, dislikes and interests are. There are certain courses for which students have to take entrance exams while for some others, they can get direct admission on the basis of their Class 10 results.
The most common streams that students opt for after Class 10 are:
- Humanities/Arts: The arts or humanities stream includes subjects such as English, History, Geography, Vernacular/Modern India Language, Political Science, Psychology, Economics, Sanskrit and Sociology for the higher secondary level. There are 4 compulsory subjects that a student has to choose apart from English and a Modern Indian Language.
- Science: If you opt for the Science stream for your higher secondary, then you will study subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Computers along with English.
- Commerce: If you take up commerce in your higher secondary, then you will study subjects such as Business Studies, Business Management, Economics, Accountancy etc. along with English.
Other courses and competitive exams
For those wishing to take up a job and not interested in studying further, following options are available:
- Vocational courses: Vocational courses are basically practical courses which offer career opportunities in the future through training and development of skills. It includes courses like Fire and Safety, Cyber Laws, Interior Designing, Jewellery Designing, Fashion Designing and more. In India, vocational courses are offered by different institutions run by the Government of India, local bodies, private aided and private unaided institutes. Students of vocational studies will earn a diploma on completion of the first year of their studies. On completion of the second year they get an advanced diploma. On completion of six semesters, they will get bachelor’s degree in vocational courses. Vocational courses can be taken immediately after Class 10 or after Class 12.
- Industrial Training Institute (ITI) course: Students who want to pursue a technical course at a low cost should opt for ITI course. After completion of one year of ITI course, they can get admissions in polytechnic diploma courses.
- Polytechnic courses: Polytechnic courses are basic engineering/technical courses mainly done after Class 10th in various polytechnic colleges in the country. Students pursuing polytechnic diploma courses can get admission into second year of technical degree courses through a competitive or entrance exam. This course is of three years’ duration. After this course, they can get admission directly in 2nd year of B.Tech.
- Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY): This is a National Program of Fellowship in Basic Sciences started by the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. A national level competitive exam for school children is conducted by the Department of Science and Technology for class 11 and class 12 students. The objective is to encourage students to take up research careers in Science. On successful completion of the entrance exam, a student can get admission to the five year integrated master program at the Indian Institute for Science Education and Research.
Competitive exams for students in class 10 to 12
- Silverzone Olympiads: A competitive exam at school level in various subjects including English, Mathematics, French, General Knowledge, Informatics etc.
- National Interactive Maths Olympiad (NIMO): A national level exam to test students’ mathematical skills and mental ability. This test is conducted for students in classes V to XII.
- National Biotechnology Olympiad (NBO): An entrance test of 50 marks, conducted for students of classes V to XII.
- National Talent Search Examination (NTSE): This is a national level scholarship program conducted by NCERT for students in Class X to identify and honour their excellence.
- International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO): Science Olympiad Foundation, New Delhi conducts IMO for all students of Classes II to XII.
- National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA): Organized by Indian Association of Physics Teachers, this is a competitive exam for CBSE board students studying in Class X or XI.
- NSEJS: This is a national standard examination in Junior science conducted by Indian Association of Physics Teachers and HBCSE, Mumbai for CBSE class 10 Board students or lower. The second stage of the exam is International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO).
- Zonal Informatic Olympiad (ZIO): This is organised by Indian Association for Research (IARCS) in Computer Science for students in Classes 8 to 12 in Chennai.
- National Science Talent Search Examination (NSTSE): Conducted by Unified Council, Hyderabad for students in Classes 2 to 12.
- International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO): A competitive exam conducted for CBSE/ICSE/ State Board students in Classes 10 and 11.
- International Olympiad of Science (IOS): A competitive exam for CBSE/ICSE/ State Board students in Classes 1 to 10.
- National Science Olympiad (NSO): A competitive exam in the subject science is conducted for CBSE / ICSE / IB / CIE and other school boards students in class 1 to 10.
- National Cyber Olympiad (NCO): A competitive exam in the subject Computers is conducted for CBSE / ICSE / IB / CIE and other school boards students in Class 1 to 10.
- Technothlon: This competitive exam is conducted by IIT Guwahati for students of Classes 9 to 12 from CBSE/ ICSE/ State Boards.
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