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BA Honours Or BA Pass Programme? Subject Combination Matters

College Admissions 2019: Confused between BA Programme and BA Honours? Focus on combination of subjects instead.

Updated
Education
3 min read

Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
Producer: Akanksha Kumar
Cameraperson: Shiv Kumar Maurya

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In 2017, a total of 2,21,309 candidates had applied for the 56,000 seats available at colleges across Delhi University. This roughly translates into approximately four students competing for a single seat at some of the most prestigious colleges in India.

According to the archives of India Today magazine, while the cut-offs for St Stephen’s ranged between 88-90 percent for BSc in 2000, that figure stood at 97 percent in 2017.

Besides fierce competition, this seven percentage-point jump also suggests that a large chunk of 90 percenters are still drawn to Delhi University for traditional courses in the belief that the three-year stint will open up more opportunities.

Board DOESN’T Matter While Applying to DU

Lakhs of candidates, a few hundred seats at a given college and crazy cut-offs – how does a Class 12 student make sense of it all?

The Quint’s ‘Admissions Open’ campaign hopes to answer all queries related to colleges, courses and other alternatives students can opt for while applying to the University of Delhi.

First things first, does the board play an important role while applying to colleges? Not really, says career counsellor Zubin Malhotra. Even if you’re from the state board, it shouldn’t stop you from applying to DU, he says.

So especially, if you’re a Science student, I don’t think there would be much of a difference. Among subjects like English, the ICSE is considered as more difficult than the CBSE curriculum.
Zubin Malhotra, Career Guidance India
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BA (Honours) vs BA Pass Program

One of the most sought-after courses at DU is the BA (Honours) program, which attracted applications from one lakh students in 2017.

Experts, however, feel that even if one is not able to make it to the Honours program, the BA Pass course is not a bad option if the subject combination appeals to the applicant.

BA Honours Or BA Pass Programme? Subject Combination Matters
(Infographic: Harsh Sahni/ The Quint)
No one will judge you if it’s not a Honours program. At the end of the day, it’s a regular graduation which will open all the various options, and in fact, many universities across the country don’t even have an honours course concept. In Delhi University, it exists to differentiate between a course that specialises in a certain subject, and a broad-based course. The BA program, in some sense, is like a liberal arts course.
Zubin Malhotra (Career Guidance India)
BA Honours Or BA Pass Programme? Subject Combination Matters
(Infographic: Harsh Sahni/ The Quint)
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All is Not Lost if You Don’t Score Above 50%

For those who are unable to score above 50 percent in Science subjects, there are several other career options available – like hotel management, tourism, fitness training, etc.

For somebody, it could be music, for somebody else, it could be art and design-related, where the entrance is what matters and not necessarily how much you score in a written, theoretical board exam. It could even be areas like hotel management, which has a significant portion of its course which is far more practical-oriented rather than theory-based.
Zubin Malhotra, Career Guidance India

So while academics may not be your strength, switching from the usual career trajectory may perhaps be the best decision you’ll make.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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