How Will Exam Postponement Impact Foreign Admissions?

CBSE 10th Class Exams are Canceled & 12th Class Boards are Postponed, students seeking admission to universities in the UK and Australia are likely to be impacted more than those applying to the USA

With the second wave of coronavirus raging across the country, admissions to foreign universities have become a matter of concern for aspiring students and their parents. The distress around the process has escalated as both state and centerboards decided to cancel Class-10 and postpone Class-12 board examinations. Every year, more than 100,000 students move abroad to pursue their higher studies. In 2019, 10.9 lakh Indian students were studying abroad, as per the Ministry of External Affairs.

Now, the postponement of exams means that the board results will be delayed as well, which will leave very little time for students for other activities like writing college applications, taking standardized tests or other profile-building activities. Further, there will be a shorter time window between admission confirmation and course commencement in certain countries where board results are mandatory.

Moreover, several students will not be able to sit for the SAT test cycle in May and they will have to prepare for the test in August. Similarly, the development will also result in difficulty for students to have their required admission documents in place to be submitted in time along with the applications. The students who would be seeking admission to universities of the UK and Australia are likely to be impacted more. 

The higher education institutes in both the UK and Australia offer conditional admissions that are confirmed only after the board results. Given the current scenario, students will have to wait till late July or early August to get a final decision on their admissions for Fall 2021. Hence, there will be a shorter time period between admission confirmation after the results and course commencement. However, since Indian students are an important community to members of the global college campuses, support can be expected from universities in these countries in the form of relaxed requirements and timelines.      

On the other hand, students applying for admissions in the colleges and universities located in the US have less cause for worry. The universities in the US follow a holistic approach to admissions with an unconditional offer system. But students will still face issues getting all their educational documents in order before the date of commencement of programs.  Having said so, however, inzthe meantime, curtailed holidays, an extended study period and anxiety around waiting for confirmation from the universities in the UK, Australia and Europe is unavoidable.

Advice for Parents

As students remain occupied with college applications and preparation for boards, parents need to be prepared as well for the shorter time period that will come between admission and course commencement. In a pre-pandemic era, there used to be a longer period for parents to help their kids through their move to a foreign country. But that will not be the case this year. However, instead of worrying, it is better if parents are prepared in advance with the finances, accommodation plans, visa preparation, etc.    

Since many visa application centres have closed and suspended walk-in services due to the pandemic, obtaining an international study visa has also become challenging. Therefore, parents must remain prepared to deal with such hurdles. It is better to keep a sanctioned loan in hand,

which can be drawn on short notice to finance their kid’s foreign education. At the same time, make a list of accommodation options, if needed, around the college campus so that it does not become a hasty decision closer to the actual travel date.

The ripple effect of delayed boards and results is likely to be much less than students might end up anticipating. It is a slight setback to the summer plans but nothing more than that as far as admissions are concerned. For students, the best advice is to remain calm and focus on boards and utilize this extra time in writing outstanding college essays. Students and parents may also start talking to educators about undertaking profile-boosting activities and prepare for entrances or qualifying exams. In the light of the pandemic, many universities had relaxed requirements in 2020 and there’s no way that they wouldn’t do it this year, especially when bright minds from India make for diverse college campuses.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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