Can Board Exams be my first step to an overseas education?
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Can Board Exams be my first step to an overseas education?

Admission Counselling :
  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Insights & Information
  • Published on 25 Feb 2020

Success in the boards is the first step to prepare for your education abroad, you just have to know when to begin preparations.


Doing well in the boards is important. It goes without saying that great results in boards are essential preparation for overseas education because, along with other scores, these are reported at the time of admission applications. Scores form a preliminary part of the admission process. A sort of Academic Index is formed with all the scores put together. This is why doing well in the boards is a good place to begin.

However, the overall profile of the student is as important as all the scores put together. The admission process for overseas education is rigorous and holistic. The ideal candidate is someone who brings something additional to the table in a program. It could be a hobby like bird-watching, woodworking skills, deep interests in linguistics, or human interest. It could be great oratory skills honed through MUN’s and debates, or humanitarian interest which shone in participation with volunteer groups.  

Here is our point of view of things that one could do to prepare oneself for top-notch overseas education outcomes.

In 9th-10th: The real preparation for this could begin way before board exams. Typically, students start exploring topics of their interest from the 9th or 10th itself. They should aim to increase their general awareness, and then establish long term interests and commitments. Over a period of time, it’s a good idea to enroll in activities that could showcase your interests and skillsets. For example, a child who follows international conflicts closely, understands diplomatic relations and keeps tabs on current developments could possibly benefit from MUN activities, Round Square conferences, and the likes. Similarly, children from a science background could increase their awareness in a specialized area by reading up more about it, by participating in workshops, or even possibly doing online courses. 

Students should expand their interests by exploring different avenues. They could join classes, camps, or workshops to try  out new activities, or hone existing skills. Starting out early is ideal not just to build your portfolio, but also, most importantly, to figure out what your strengths and interests really are. 

Grade X board marks are usually a good indicator of one’s strong subjects and interests. Thus, they shall help you choose your subjects in your grade XI and also point to those areas which you could focus upon to build further to hone your overall profile. 

In 11th/12th grades, it is time to begin preparation for standardized tests like SAT, ACT or APs.  These, along with board exams and your class grades, are key scores for admission applications. An early start gives you the upper hand in preparations. 

Now you could also consider how to give a better shape to your interests and activities. If you are a football player, try to play at a higher level. If you’re passionate about applying tech to people in the education field, you can think of taking your knowledge to an NGO and help them streamline their efforts. Participate in activities that validate your interests. 

Grade XII outcomes are also important from the perspective of ‘conditional offers’ that universities send out. In general, for universities in the UK, a certain outcome is mentioned as a pre-condition to your admission in a given university. Also, if you are enrolled in IB Diploma, performing well in  some courses allows you to waive off your requirements for some courses in the freshman year of your college. 

There are also cases, however, of students who did not do well in their boards, and yet who have succeeded in getting admissions to the best colleges and universities in the US and Europe. These remarkable instances of success are exemplified by a combination of exceptional talent, backed by years of achievements on the basis of that talent. This category includes sportspersons with proven track record of performance,  student achievements and recognition in international and national level in specific interest areas, etc.

In the end, the boards test your caliber, and of how you perform under pressure. But they are a part of many other such tests to come. They are but one step towards your education and future. Develop yourself in a holistic manner and with passion, and you are sure to succeed!


For ideas about what to aim for, read these:

Journey of an MIM Graduate

Engineers eat MBAs for Lunch

How to choose the right course for yourself