As admissions to the CIE—A Levels (Class 11th and 12th) for Batch 2015-16 get underway, Shim Mathew, Principal, VIBGYOR High, Goregaon West, answers a few frequently asked questions
What sets the CIE curriculum apart? Does it really helps students to apply to colleges abroad study in abroad, how to apply for such boards/schools?
In addition to the flexibility that the CIE offers in terms of subjects, our school also has a School Social Responsibility Cell (SCRC) that facilitates interaction with the community and 100 hours of community service over two years that is certified by an NGO. This visibility in terms of returning to the community facilitates admission to colleges abroad.
What is the eligibility for CIE-A Levels?
Students who have completed Grade 10 in an English-medium school in any board recognised by the Government of India can apply for admission to a school offering CIE-A Levels.
Students who have completed IGCSE or O-Levels from Cambridge can also progress to the A-Levels.
What are the admission dates?
Admissions will be open till mid-Jun. For special cases we can even extend the deadline upto the 30th of June
What are the documents required to apply?
The pass certificate of Grade 10, marksheets and leaving certificate are required to apply for admission.
Before we take a student in, we ask them to take a competency test for the subject the are applying for, just to judge their aptitude as far as the subjects are concerned, as our courses are pretty exhaustive.
What are the cut-off percentages for each stream?
We have no cut-off percentages per se and students are admitted on a first-come first-serve basis. However, a potential student should have secured at least a first class. Interaction with the course co-ordinator and former report cards also count.
What are the benefits of the CIE versus the HSC, CBSC, ICSC and the ISC? Why would students switch from other boards to the CIE?
The CIE offers
a) a different teaching/learning style – There is a lot of independent learning involved and the application-based curriculum requires students to be conceptually strong and sharpens their analytical and investigative abilities.
b) a flexible system of assessment – The assessment system features oral tests and listening tests. Exam sheets come from Cambridge and go back to Cambridge.
c) a certificate that is recognised across the world – 30% of our students travel abroad to America, UK or Singapore and the CIE offers an advantage in admissions abroad. Of course you can also choose to pursue a degree in India after your A-levels.
d) varied subjects with no restrictions on combinations mean that you can simultaneously study Maths and Humanities
How many seats are available at VIBGYOR?
VIBGYOR has room enough for 48 students, 24 in each of its two divisions, with a student:teacher ratio of 10:1.
Do you give preference to existing students or is admission purely merit based?
While we give preference to our students, about 60% of our students on average come from other boards.
How much does it cost to CIE? Does this vary across streams—Arts, Science, Humanities?
While costs vary from school to school, depending on whether you choose four or five subjects, a complete A-Level package can cost between 3.5 lakh to 5.5 lakh.
Do you have any advice on how students should choose their stream? Does VIBGYOR offer counselling?
1) Know your aptitude/ interest
2) Know the kind of work you want to take up
3) Understand the right subjects to choose
An academic coordinator talks to the parents and students aplying for admission to A-levels. We also have aptitude tests for students in Grade 10 and career counselling workshops.