The university admission battle has started once again. These exams often focus on testing the aspirants on their group subjects. However, falling short here doesn't mean the end of the world. There is always a plan B for smart ones. Dhaka University ‘D’ Unit is considered the most sought-after alternative which presents the aspirants with a massive opportunity to change disciplines (science/business/humanities). The writer discussed the D Unit recipe for success with top position holders from different backgrounds in the 2019-20 session.
Views of Ahad Al Azad Munem: Munem, currently studying Economics at the University of Dhaka, stood first in admission test from Science. He thought of studying medicine when he was a school student. However, his aim took a dramatic turn during his preparation period. Munem, predominantly taking a keen interest in history, politics and economics since his early high school years, shifted his focus from medical to D Unit.
Munem began by differentiating formal English from informal. He claims, the habit of watching movies, reading newspapers and books plays a big part in one's preparation for the D Unit entrance exam. It helps to build vocabulary, which is a key determinant.
Munem predicts that the written part could include translation, summarisation, paragraph writing and fill in the blanks. He said, "Most probably, they will be focusing on current issues like Covid-19 pandemic and Taliban as well as the common issues such as Bangabandhu and Liberation War."
"For recent issues of general knowledge (GK), candidates can regularly read newspapers and watch short clips from Youtube. They can gather materials from the book market as well. It depends on the comfort of a student," remarked Munem regarding GK preparation this year. And for Bangla, Munem believes, HSC Bangla (first and second papers ) should be prioritised for the D Unit before going through other complex topics from Bangla grammar.
Although it varies from individual to individual, if one has a proper grip on Bangla and English, s/he may give an attempt for dual preparation. Otherwise, it is quite a risky move, thinks Munem. However, it is all about a strong mentality which is a key factor in admission exams.
Tips from Orpita Islam: Orpita Islam stood second in admission test from Business Studies. She is a law student, shared her views about the dual preparation for the C and D units. She excelled in both standing second in the D Unit and 48th in the other. "It was always my dream to study law. But association with business studies made it difficult for me to prepare solely for the D Unit. I took the challenge, and with time, I felt more confident," reminisced the lawyer in the making, Orpita.
Like Munem, Orpita also thinks that a solid grip on Bangla and English can facilitate dual preparation. "Aside from Bangla and English, I don't think D Unit general knowledge can be the biggest source of concern. The test involves some very basic general knowledge," assured Orpita.
However, according to Orpita, the key is to start preparing as early as possible. Orpita said that it wouldn't be ideal to overcomplicate general knowledge for business studies students and rush for the rigorous content. The preparation should be based on textbooks and gathering shortcut materials for general knowledge.
"As exams for C and D units are to be held a day apart, the preparation should be taken from now on if one hasn't started already," recommended Orpita.
Suggestions by Abdullah Alamin: Abdullah Alamin stood first from humanities in admission test. Currently an Economics student at the University of Dhaka, he has shared his views on the D Unit exam. Abdullah recalled, "As far as I remember, B Unit is a more difficult road than D Unit. While B Unit is more text-based, D Unit is somewhat a departure from that."
In short, free handwriting is indispensable for the written part. In his opinion, it should be written in simple sentences but shouldn't be the simplest version of that, like subject, verb and object. Abdullah noted that aspirants have to elevate the English vocabulary level for the D Unit entrance exam since it often tests the students with intermediate level vocabularies.
The eleventh-hour preparation should always revolve around general knowledge. It is better for examinees to collect recent GK contents and read newspapers and note down the important information, remarked Abdullah.
Tofael Mahmud studies Economics at the University of Dhaka