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Are you cut out for the Science stream?
Sonali Arora
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June 25, 2007

College admissions are just around the corner, and if you're still undecided about which stream to pick, it's about time you made up your mind. If you think you want to take up Science, here's what you need to know:


The very first qualifying criteria would be your academic performance in your Class X board examination. While technically even a 50 per cent would enable you to qualify for admission into science, only 85 per cent or higher would enable you to target your city's top-notch colleges.


There are a number of career options available for students choose the Science stream such as medicine, engineering and software. However, science is a course that requires a high level of commitment and focus. So, unless you have a reasonably strong interest in the subjects and are prepared to work hard for the next two years, science might not be for you.

Subjects offered

Most colleges that offer Science have the following subjects, or combinations thereof.

Career options

After successfully completing a Science course, a number of career options are available to students. They can be classified into 4 streams:

Competitive examinations

If you intend to pursue a career in medicine or engineering, you will need to clear some competitive examinations first. Given below are the various examinations you should know about and the eligibility criteria for each:

~ Engineering:

All-India Engineering/ Architecture Entrance Examination (AIEEE)
This is conducted by the CBSE board, the Department of Secondary and Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development for admission to degree-level courses in engineering and architecture in central universities, National Institutes of Technology, deemed universities and institutions in the states/ union territories other than those covered by the Joint Entrance Examination/ state-level entrance examination for paid or unpaid seats based on the score.


The application can be made either online ( or by submitting the prescribed application form.

Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)
The JEE is the admission test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Apart from the IITs, the Institute of Technology - Banaras Hindu University (Varanasi) also consider JEE for their admission process. The admissions to the undergraduate programmes for all Indian and foreign nationals at these institutions are made through the JEE.

The JEE consists of:

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)
The GATE is an all-India exam conducted by the seven Indian Institutes of Technologies on behalf of the National Coordinating Board - GATE, Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) and Government of India.

Admission to postgraduate programmes, with MHRD and other government scholarship/ assistantship, in engineering/ technology/ architecture/ pharmacy/ science at engineering colleges/ institutes in the country will be open only to those who qualify through GATE. 

National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA)
The NATA is an aptitude test that measures the talent of the applicant in terms of his/ her aesthetic sensitivity and critical thinking related specifically to architecture.

Admissions to the first year of BArch at all institutes/ schools/ colleges of architecture in India (including NITs, IITs and private universities), leading to a Bachelor's degree in architecture requires candidates to take the NATA.

~ Medicine

Entrance examinations to medical colleges are conducted on an all-India basis and state-wise basis. Apart from this, some national-level institutions also conduct their own entrance tests. The tests are based on the Class XII syllabus.

Eligibility: Interested candidates must complete 10+2/ equivalent with physics, chemistry and biology, or be from a pre-medical or BSc background.

All-India Pre-Medical/ Pre-Dental Entrance Examination (AIPMT)
The Central Board of Secondary Examination, Delhi conducts the exam to select the candidates for admission to roughly 15 per cent of the total seats in all medical/ dental colleges run by the Union of India, state governments, municipal or other local authorities. 


All India Institute of Medical Sciences Entrance Exams
The exams for admissions to All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) conducted all over the country.

Apart from the above, there are other entrance examinations conducted for admission into various MSc and other post-BSc academic programmes. One of these examinations is the Joint Admission Test (JAM) for an MSc programme.

Yet another examination is the Joint Entrance Screening Test for candidates who wish to do PhD programme in physics/ mathematics / theoretical computer science.

As you can see, there is a wide range of options available to students in who opt for Science. This is probably why most parents of students prefer this stream. So, if you are prepared to work hard and stay focused, there is no reason why you can't make a success of your college career.

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