Making the best use of counselling
Deciding on your final choice of engineering college and branch may seem a daunting task. But with sufficient preparation, it can be a smooth process. Here’s some guidance.
Photo: R. Ragu
DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Before selecting the right college, get the details about infrastructure, faculty profile, academic performance and placement record.
The long countdown is almost over for the 1.25 lakh students who have applied for an engineering degree course under Anna University’s single-window counselling system.
For general category students, the counselling and seat allotment process will begin at the end of this week on July 10. Students from vocational streams and those under the quotas for the disabled and sportspersons will have their turn earlier in the week.
For many students and their parents, their counselling date can appear like their date with destiny as it determines their college and course choice for the next four years and ultimately, their career choice for life. Approaching your counselling date with some prior preparation and making yourself familiar with your options and Anna University’s procedures can cool off some of the tension.
Making your choice
By now, most candidates already have an idea of what course and college they want to get into. To those still making up their minds, it is time to narrow down your choice.
Choose your course based on your skills and interests, your capacity, ability and aptitude, rather than blindly following popular trends. Of course, it is also important to consider the current state of various industries, and discover what scope and placement opportunities are available, but remember that the job market may be completely different four years from now when you graduate.
When it comes to selecting the right college for you, do your homework. Get the relevant details — infrastructure, faculty profile, academic performance, placement record, industry collaboration, campus atmosphere. This year, Anna University has made your job slightly easier. On its website, www.annauniv.edu, it has posted the semester examination results for affiliated colleges, which will give you some idea of their academic performance. The university also conducts an inspection of faculty and infrastructure available at its affiliated colleges, and their scores are also posted on the website.
What are your chances?
Remember that you may not get into your ideal course and college. Keep a list of second, third and fourth options which are reasonable according to your cut-off, ranking and reservation category. Going through last year’s ranklist and cut-offs may be helpful, and several websites (listed in last week’s Education Plus) have programmes to help you analyse them. However, remember that the choices of this year’s students may be rather different from last year’s.
Once counselling begins, the Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions website, www.annauniv.edu/tnea will update the current status on seat allotment every day around 8:30 p.m., after the day’s counselling sessions are over. “Don’t check the status too early for an accurate idea of your chances. One or two days before your counselling date is sufficient,” says Anna University vice-chancellor P. Mannar Jawahar
Dr. Jawahar suggests that students and parents may want to visit the counselling venue at the university’s Guindy campus one day before their scheduled date, especially if they have an early morning session. Those from out of Chennai should arrive in the city a day early. This year’s schedules (available on the TNEA website) are more crowded than last year, with eight sessions handling 3,500 students daily from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Students and parents should arrive one and a half to two hours early on D-day, which means a 6 a.m. start for those in the first morning session. When you enter the campus through the main gate, turn right and you will arrive at the makeshift display halls, which has large screens displaying the constantly changing seat status. Watching the screens will give you a rough idea what your chances are.
At least an hour before your session, head to the University’s Examination Centre to pay the counselling fee of Rs. 5,000, either by cash or demand draft, at the bank counters there. The same queue will then take you to the Briefing Hall, where TNEA officials will instruct you on the counselling procedures. Only one parent or guardian will be allowed to accompany you in here, where you must also register your attendance. More display screens will be available here to help you narrow down your final choice.
Next is certificate verification, where officials will check the documents you submitted in your application. Finally, you will be called to the individual computer screens of the counselling hall, where you must make your final choice of college and branch. No changes will be permitted beyond this point.
After the choice is made, you will be called upstairs to the Admission Card-issuing hall to receive the evidence of your choice. A medical inspection will end the process. Students are also free to pay the remaining college fees for the first year at the bank counters in the university.
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