Updated: Jun 29, 2020
You must be wondering if I flunked or scored too low to re-appear for an exam while studying at Delhi University. In fact, it's a common misconception that you can only re-appear for exams if you've scored poorly in the past. I'd be happy to share what happened in my story.
I was pursuing B Com (H) at Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. Before the beginning of my first semester, I was determined to perform well in academics due to missing out on my dream college by 3 marks. However, after scoring 9 GPA in the first semester, I lost track. I started taking my classes casually, missing most of them and preparing only a week before the exams.
In the second semester, I scored 8.55 GPA. Please note that it is comparatively easier to get marks in DU exams. The third semester was similar to the second and I scored 8.79 GPA then.
The 4th Semester
This was a crucial phase of my Delhi University journey. By now, I was sure that I want to crack CAT, I had gone through the admission criteria of IIM-A, which clarified that scoring more than 80% marks (8.43 GPA) in graduation would strongly improve my chances of getting a call.
I also knew that there was a special provision in the admission criteria for students who were pursuing their graduation. As per the provision:
The percentage of marks of an applicant who is yet to complete bachelor's degree will be computed based on their available marks.
This meant that the marks till my 4th semester held more weight as compared to my marks of the 5th and 6th semester. Once I became aware of this fact, I knew that I couldn't take any chances with the 4th semester.
In fact, I even looked behind and wondered if I could strengthen my chances even more by improving the scores of my past examinations. At Delhi University, you can re-appear for exams that you took a year ago. I knew that in the 2nd semester, I had scored 7 grade point in an exam called Corporate Laws.
Now, 7 is an average score and one need not consider re-appearing unless there's a strong reason. At that point, I calculated that by improving this score by even 1 grade point, I could push my overall GPA till the 4th semester way above the 8.43 GPA mark, which was required for a perfect composite score in IIM-A admission.
This would have not only provided me a safe cushion but also an extra advantage to boost my academic profile. Most students who appear for IIM interviews have good 10th and 12th score, graduation marks vary.
So, in the 4th semester, I took the initiative and re-applied for the Corporate Laws exam. In that semester, I worked diligently by attending all the classes trying to make sure that I score equally well in the re-appear exam as well as my 4th semester exams.
And, the result was in favour:
I got a 9 GPA in the 4th semester and was also able to push my grade point in Corporate Laws from 7 to 9 taking my 2nd semester's GPA to the highest of my all i.e. 9.09 GPA.
Having a cumulative GPA of 8.96 till 4th semester was not the only benefit out of this experience. It surely helped me present a strong candidature during the IIM Interviews.
The second benefit was that I got quizzed on this re-take of exam in some of my IIM interviews. If you notice my mark sheet above, there is a star present in front of every course till the 2nd semester, except Corporate Laws. So, in some of my interviews, I was asked what it meant.
Upon explaining the whole situation, I felt stronger. I could showcase time-management skills (I was preparing for CAT along with my 4th semester exams and was doing a couple of internships).
The final benefit was that it strengthened my core concepts. In some of my interviews, I was asked questions on Corporate Laws and Corporate Governance, my IIM Calcutta interview being one of them. I was able to answer them well because I had recently revisited the concepts.
So, does that mean you should re-appear for your exams too, if you've got a chance? Not necessarily, but if all the below conditions are met, then why not:
Attendance & Internals - At Delhi University, about 25% of your marks are dependent on how much you've scored in attendance and internals. Please take a note of the same before applying for a re-attempt. In case you've scored lesser than 15/25, the reattempt may not be fruitful.
Previous Grade Point - Trying to take your grade point from 8 or 9 to 10 can be risky. The guidelines state that the marks of your re-take will be considered for calculating your recent GPA, not the highest of your current and past score.
Urgency of the Situation - If your GPA is at the borderline and you know that retaking an exam can push your score above 8.43, it is surely a risk worth taking. If you don't succeed, you'd anyway not fall below the 8/10 composite score as per the IIM-A admission criteria.
When I was pondering upon the question of whether or not to retake the exam, there was a slight hesitation in my mind. However, everything turned out to be manageable at the end. It proved out to be a learning experience that I could quote in the interviews as well as in life.
So, if you're also someone who is ready to push boundaries to achieve your goals, you may consider this option. There is nothing to be ashamed about if you're re-appearing for your exams. You should always keep an eye on the options to improve yourself.
I'm sharing some other posts for your reference that might help you: