Shashank Dwivedi, a second year student of BITS Pilani, shares his college experience and talks about life at BITS Pilani, pattern of examination, curriculum, Internship and many other things.
A typical day at college!
A typical day at BITS Pilani, for most of the students, begins with the struggle to have their breakfast in the Morning, because most of them generally wake up 15 minutes before the class starts and therefore they miss their morning meal. Generally, the first class of the day is a Tutorial section for any one of the courses, and a tutorial equals the probability of having a surprise Test.
For those of you who are still wondering what is Tutorial, it will be explained in detail in the Exam section.
Followed by the Tutorial, the normal lectures for various courses begin. Students generally prefer to keep their practical sessions in the evening (yes we get the opportunity to make our own time table).
After completing their Academic day which typically, on average, last for 5-6 hours a day, students turn to recreational activities in the evening. There are various Clubs and Departments which help keep a student’s evening busy. Those who are not a member of any club or department generally spent their eve playing outdoor/ indoor sport.
More often than not, the nights are spent by students in either library or IPC (computer lab) preparing for next day’s Tutorial Test.
Practical and theoretical aspects of the course
Since you are pursuing Bachelor of Engineering and not Bachelor of Technology, you should expect some variation of the course structure as compared to your school mates studying in various other engineering colleges of India.
The theory part and basic concepts, of course remain the same, however a little less emphasis is given to the practical part.
Industry visits/ exposure
Honestly, Industrial Visit is generally a session which is more preferable for school students. However, we do get a chance to attend guest lectures from various professionals working in the Industrial Sector. We also have regular orientation for UPSC exams like IAS and IES, by alumni of the college currently involved with the administration.
The college also encourages various workshops which are conducted throughout the year to help students learn new software, programming languages, etc which would be helpful for in future to build up one’s CV.
Exams and its recurrence
Now let’s come to the evaluation part. Ok, so BITS follows a curriculum known as Continuous Evaluation, this means that you will be continuously evaluated throughout the semester. A typical course in BITS Pilani is either of 200 or 300 marks in total.
We have 3 major components of evaluation in each subject.
- Mid-Semester Exam. (Generally 30-35%)
- Comprehensive Exam (Generally 40%) (called as semester exams in other institute)
- Continuous evaluation. (Generally 25-30%)
The first two parts are similar to most of the institutions in India. The third part basically consists of surprise tests and assignment. These surprise tests are generally conducted in the Tutorial Hour.
Rolling back to the discussion of what is a Tutorial and a lecture session.
A typical course in Bits Pilani will have 3 lecture sessions and a tutorial session per week.
- Lecture Session: – 99% of the theory is taught in lecture sessions, it generally consist of all the students enrolled in that course.
- Tutorial Session: – Doubts are discussed and more exhaustive problem solving is focused. The surprise quizzes are conducted in these Tutorial hours.
Time spent on studies every day
Well, that’s a tough one! I actually do not keep a track of the number of hours I study every day. There are days when I study continuously and there are days when I don’t study at all. So, basically I don’t know the exact time I spend on my studies.
Students do get the opportunity to pursue projects in various fields under the guidance on any of the faculty members.
Basically in BITS Pilani there are 3 categories of projects:-
Study Oriented Projects: – Generally focuses on theoretical part, in which students are encouraged to study various research papers relating to a particular topic and then draw their own conclusions from the study.
Laboratory Oriented Project: – These involve in-hand experience at various laboratories, inside the campus.
Design Oriented Project: – Involves modeling and simulations etc.
OK, so now come the coolest part of BITS Pilani. BITS has a course named as Practice School for summers, which is in all practical sense, Internship. The most interesting part about this Internship is that you don’t have to struggle to get it, the college has its tie-ups with various reputed industries and therefore you get the firm just based on your CGPA.
BITS has two programs Practice School1 and Practice School2.
Practice School 1: Done at the end of 2nd Year. Usually no stipends. Basic Aim of this program is to provide overall exposure to the Industrial sector, not much emphasis is given to projects.
Practice School 2: 6 months duration, done in the final year either in the first or second semester, you do get stipends and PPO’s, heavy emphasis on projects and technical skills.
Things I miss and wish to learn
More emphasis should be given on the practical aspects of the subject. Students must be encouraged to incorporate various software tools like MATLAB, ANSYS, etc. Modeling and Simulation should be given heavy weightage. There’s no problem in this campus for programmers, plenty of room for coding.
Finance and consultancy are also encouraged; many students get placed in these two departments also.
The college also provide a minor degree in finance if one is interested. BITS has loads and loads of academic flexibilities in its curriculum and one easily pursue his/her interest in various other field if he/she is willing to do so.
College life and hostel life
I am enjoying every moment of my life at the moment. Though it does get burdensome sometimes, but being immersed in subjects I love, I am never bored. I am lucky to have very good friends at the hostel who are there to cheer me up every time I am in distress.
In, general, there is always a psychological pressure for many students as they are unable to handle the demands of the institute. While, there are many students who go through an on and off depression state, I think it is necessary to keep oneself motivated. Also, most of us are isolated from rest of the society, which I think is a matter of concern.
Hobbies, extra-curricular activities, societies and more
This is one of the coolest non-academic part of BITS. We have various clubs and epartments in which one could easily follow his/her passion in his/her college life. The time is equally balanced by students between studies and extra-curricular activities.
BITS has all the facilities for most of the sports.
In principle we have 3 fests:-
- Oasis: – The cultural fest.
- BOSM: – The sports fest.
- Apogee: – The Technical fest.
Apart from these fest we also have various other programs running throughout the year.