New Delhi: Students taking the first single exam for entering the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other engineering colleges in April will get a chance to take part in mock tests as part of an effort by the government and the IITs to familiarize admission seekers with the new format.
In another first, students will also be allowed to make changes in their application form, once in January, after the ongoing registration process for the exam ends in mid-December.
The mock test will be conducted for almost three months beginning in the second week of January, said Vineet Joshi, chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which is in charge of conducting the joint entrance exam (main, JEE Main) for all centrally-funded technical schools. CBSE functions under the human resource development (HRD) ministry.
“This will clear the doubts in the minds of students and make them aware of the JEE pattern in its first edition,” he said.
In May, the government decided to allow admission to all IITs and centrally-funded engineering institutes through a single test to reduce stress on students who sit for multiple entrance examinations. The so-called one nation, one test formula was adopted after a nationwide debate.
For selection to the elite IITs, students who finish among the top 150,000 in the entrance test will sit for another exam. To qualify for admission, they will need to finish in the top 20 percentile of their respective school board exams.
Joshi said since students from all school boards will take the test, they need to have a “look and feel of computer-based examination in a simulated environment”. There will be more than one sample test available for aspirants.
According to an official estimate, more than 1.2 million students are expected to appear for the test. The test will be conducted both in the pen-and-paper and online formats. There are nearly 25,000 seats available in all centrally-funded engineering schools, including 9,700 at the 15 IITs.
“The mock test will be a great idea. Since JEE (Main) will be key for entering IITs, it would be of immense help to students like me. I don’t have any problem with top 20 percentile, but any mistake with JEE (Main) will be a spoiler. So, it’s better to practice these mock tests before hand,” said Raghavendra Dhal, a Lucknow-based student.
Authorities said the registration process for JEE 2013 had already started and they had received feedback from students about the mistakes they had made in filling the forms online.
“Based on the feedback, we have now decided that sometime in January, we will open a window for registered candidates to make suitable correction on their forms in a variety of issues like their personal details, test-taking city, preference for centre, etc.,” Joshi said. According to the JEE (Main) website, aspirants who wish to take the computer-based test can review or re-answer any question at any point of time during the examination. Last year, IITs made answer sheets public to bring transparency to the system, Mint reported on 2 May.
Sanjeev Sanghi, a professor of IIT Delhi, said the IIT system had stayed robust because of its innovative approach and the debate it conducts before it takes any decision. “We are always (working) for the betterment of aspirants.”