What abilities do they seek in you? (If you are an engineering scholar)

Thinking ONLY about performance in Entrance Exams?

Irrespective of the selection ranks, what do you think, are the abilities, an engineering aspirant should have, for pursuing engineering studies? 

What gives you an edge over other engineering scholars?

Numerical ability and ability to deal with statistics – These are very important skills for students studying in the engineering sciences especially in relation to their written work, where they will need to be used.
Good control of language – Shed the common misconception that language ability is of secondary importance in sciences. Scientists, engineers, as well as those studying arts subjects, need to be able to write and speak, and this requires knowledge of language usage & language control. How will you communicate what you know unless you have the right tools of communication in place? You will be judged and assessed by the quality of your language, which will be communicated through speaking & writing.

Good command of scientific and technical vocabulary – As in any subject area, effective reading and writing in your discipline will require you to be familiar with a specialized vocabulary. You should actively try to build up your vocabulary in your own scientific area.
A precise and informative approach – You should be able to see through the clutter, and be informative, precise, objective and clear.

Ability to interpret and produce charts and graphs – Data expressed in diagrammatic form is widespread in scientific text and you will need to be able to incorporate these in your own written work on your course. You will need to be able to understand and evaluate data in this format when you read, and present and interpret any data that forms a part of your course and later on, your career.
Ability to use references appropriately and correctly – Students of all subjects, both in the Arts and the Sciences, need to know how to incorporate what they have read appropriately and correctly in their own writing. This involves the use of an acceptable referencing system (you will need to check the conventions followed in your own subject area as these may vary from standard forms used). Plagiarism is not acceptable in any discipline and students who fail to reference sources that they have used for their assignments can expect to be penalized.
Ability to draw and design – Drawings of systems, components, or process are a regular part of engineering studies.
Genuine reading– The cursory scanning of the written content on Facebook or Twitter does not qualify as a genuine reading & infact, creates an illusion that a lot of reading is being done. Plus, the mobile radios, iPods, earplugs, unstoppable chatter online, leaves no quiet time to read. Also, one hardly finds an inspiring senior around who could stimulate the desire to read.
The result: scarce knowledge, shallow understanding and poor decision making skills. Start a conversation on any topic with such person and you’ll find there’s nothing in it. Good reading helps one understand things a lot better – the world & its components, human behaviour, economy, science, business etc. It takes time to build this repertoire and there is no alternative or substitute for this, not even A+ results.  
Thirst for knowledge exploration – Students must have a desire to commit oneself to lifelong learning process and to gain knowledge of contemporary issues and an understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context. Things get outdated fast and the necessity to remain updated of the latest processes, practices and technology has gained a lot of importance. 

It is expected that a person aiming engineering studies, should have some measure of the above abilities. At the institutes, those who have it in them, will have an edge over those who lack it, irrespective of the rank they get in the entrance examinations. 

(Feel free to add-on should you have more points on it.)

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