The Spectator

ECA Profile: Quiz

Our Indian education system’s school boards can be as temperamental as Simon Cowell’s manner of judging contestants at the X Factor: Whimsical and capricious. Acknowledging this anomaly, the University of Delhi (DU) allows scope for admission through the Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) quota.

In which year did the Battle of Lepanto take place? Who was the first black footballer to play for England at any level? What is autarky? Who discovered the element polonium? Which actor was dubbed the Man of a Thousand Faces? Which tempo in music is slower – andante or adagio? If you wish to fight your way to the top of the ECA merit list for Quiz, you would need to know the answers to the aforementioned questions and much more.

In a phone call conversation with the DU Beat correspondent, Varun S., an ECA candidate who was admitted to DU through the ECA quota in 2015 said, “The ECA trials can be described as nerve-racking and competitive, to say the least.”

PERSONALISED EXPERIENCE

Rishabh Bora, who had appeared for the Quiz trials in 2017, claimed that he “completely unprepared” for the prelims of the ECA trials. In spite of that, when he found his name in the merit list of candidates shortlisted for the finals, he was ecstatic. Almost a year later, he recalls, “One of the questions asked in the prelims was: “Which US spy ship was captured by North Korea in 1968?” In an instant, I remembered flicking through an article in Reader’s Digest when I was a kid. It was about the USS Pueblo. That journey back to my childhood took place in a quarter of a second. And after that quarter had ended, I found myself back in the room with a dozen other quizzes. I remember the expression of wonder on the face of the quiz-master when I gave the answer. At that moment, I knew I had made it.”

COMMON ECA GUIDELINES

1. Trials will be held at two levels: (i) Preliminary trials (ii) Final trials
2. The trials of both these levels shall be the conducted by an ECA Committee appointed by the University Admission Committee.
3. “Candidates will get a relaxation of only up to 15% in cut-offs if they apply for the ECA quota,” says Suchitra Gupta, Deputy Dean of Culture and Youth Affairs in DU.
This implies that not more than 15% relaxation in academic merit vis-à-vis unreserved category applicants (for the last relevant cut-off) may be given for admission to specific programmes. In simpler terms, if the cut-off for a particular course is 90%, then the ECA candidate will get a relaxation of upto 15%. This means, to be eligible for admission to a course whose last relevant cut-off was 90%, the candidate must have scored at least 75% in his qualifying examination.

SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR QUIZ

1. In both preliminary and final rounds, questions are usually asked on topics such as history, sports, current affairs, arts, popular culture, business, science, literature, and politics.
2. The preliminary round may either consist of a written round or a verbal question and answer round. In case of the former, three kinds of questions are generally asked- (a) Multiple-choice questions (b) Generic questions (c) True/False statements
3. Late entry would lead to penalisation of the candidate.
4. The University ECA Admissions Committee is usually very strict with mobile phones not being allowed into the premises, and bags are also thoroughly checked.
5. Candidates are supposed to carry a writing board and a blue or a black pen.

SOME TIPS TO ACE THE ECA TRIALS FOR CATEGORY ‘QUIZ’

As told to the DU Beat correspondent by Anukul Mishra, an ECA candidate of 2016, a fair number of questions come from the magazine ‘Competition Success Review’, especially the objective-type questions given on the last pages.
Many of the questions are also derived from the archives of the Bournvita Quiz and Samvidhan Quiz of the preceding years.
Read. Record. Recollect: These are the famous 3Rs of quizzing as laid down by Neil O’Brien. One has to read, whether on the iPad, smartphone, or the good old newspapers, magazines, books, and journals.
Take reference from the online resources available on the ‘Quiz Zone’ and Trivia.fyi. Many of the questions found in these sites overlap with the questions asked in the ECA trials.

THE TRIALS

1. The preliminary round for Quiz will be held on the 20th and 21st of June 2018, from 9 a.m., at Ram Lal Anand College. The preliminary rounds usually get over by 11:30 a.m. on the same day.
2. Following the prelims, the list of short-listed candidates for the final round will be notified on the university website. Final round will be held on 30th June.
3. In the final round, the applicants must carry all the relevant certificates in original (and a self-attested photocopy) for evaluation. The certificates will account for 25% of the total weight while the trials in the final round will account for 75% of the weightage.

OBLIGATIONS AND COLLEGE SOCIETIES

1. The selected candidates will have to submit an Undertaking at the time of admission stating that the candidate will perform for the College for the entire period of the candidate‘s undergraduate programme of study. The college has a right to cancel their admissions if they violate the undertaking during their stay in college.
2. The candidates who are admitted through the Instrumental Category mostly get incorporated into the Quiz Societies of the colleges.
3. Candidates who secure admission through Category ‘Quiz’ in DU are almost always under immense pressure of performing well as their competitors come from a wide range of people, not confined to a particular age group. In other words, most quizzes held in the Delhi-NCR region receive participants from the age group of 17 to 71.
Feature Image Credits: The Spectator
Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak
vaibhavis@dubeat.com




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