It's that time of the year again. Parents and students are feeling the pressure of the board exams that are set to commence a few weeks from now. In most cases, the preliminary exam results are out, which is reason enough to study even harder and score even better. For class X students, this is an exercise strictly to ensure eligibility to a stream of their choice in class XI. On the other hand, for class XII students, the results will determine whether or not they make it to their 'ideal' college. 'Besides serving the purpose of ensuring eligibility to a stream of their choice, a good aggregate in class X is also an advantage when applying for admission to professional courses like the MBA. The class X board marks come up for consideration during the first professional placement, either after a BE/BTech, or a five-year law degree or a hotel management degree, or an MBA, CA, CWA and CS, to name just a few,' emphasises career counsellor, Jayanti Ghose. Yet, it has been observed that many students are so preoccupied preparing for engineering and medical entrance exams after their class X exams, that they are unable to do justice to the class XII board syllabus. In the case of class X students, the argument is that it is the parents and teachers, rather than the students themselves, who provide the 'push' for studying. Seconding her statement, Gerry Arathoon, additional secretary and officiating chief executive and secretary, Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, discloses, 'I have found that candidates appearing for the ICSE (class X) and ISC (class XII) exams are committed, hardworking and serious about their performance.'