PCM is a curriculum development company based in India that began managing curriculum in select primary schools around the country in 1986. Each year, PCM administers a scholarship exam open to students of certain ages from particular states. This exam takes place in two parts and PCM awards scholarships to students with the highest degree of achievement. Schools with the highest percentages of scholarship winners also receive special awards from PCM.
PCM Scholarship Exam
PCM administers the scholarship exam each year. The exam tests the general knowledge, mental ability and language skills of students. Schools participating in the PCM scholarship exam receive syllabi for students to study in anticipation of the test. Any student attending grades LGK through VII may take the exam, or school children up to age 14. PCM only administers the scholarship examination in three Indian states, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These states comprise the southern tip of the Indian peninsula and include the city of Bangalore, which is the capital of Karnataka and third largest metropolitan area in India.
PCM Scholarship Awards
PCM awards four types of scholarships to the highest achievers on the examination. As of 2010, the Gold medal awards 1001 Rupees, or approximately $22 US, the Silver medal awards 701 Rupees, or approximately $15.60 US, the Bronze medal awards 501 Rupees, or approximately $11.20 US and the Special medal awards 201 Rupees, or approximately $4.50 US. PCM awards medals based on test score relative to age and education as well as factors such as language ability displayed.
As of 2010, the average Indian citizen lives on $3500 per year, as opposed to average of $47,200 earned by United States citizens in the same year. Thus a $22 scholarship to someone in India equates a scholarship of approximately $300 for someone in the United States.
Taking the Exam
PCM scholarship examinations take place in two phases, the Preliminary Examination and the National Examination. Preliminary examinations take place at school level and are administered by individual schools, not by PCM. PCM chooses candidates for the National Examination based on scores achieved during the Preliminary Examination. National Examination testing takes place in neutral locations throughout India. PCM collects a fee of 60 Rupees from each student, though allows schools to keep 10 Rupees of this fee to cover costs incurred during the Preliminary Examination. In 2010, 60 Rupees equates approximately $1.30 US. Students must read and write English to take the exam.
PCM Scholarship Schedule
Scheduling of the PCM exam changes slightly from year to year based on how days fall on the calendar. Generally, students must submit scholarship exam registration applications by the middle of July for the Preliminary Examination, which takes place in September. Students selected for the National Examination take the test in November, approximately two months after the date of the Preliminary Examination. PCM releases the results of both examinations simultaneously, in January of the year following the exams. This information appears on a special website set up by PCM. Scholarship awards follow the release of exam results.