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New Proposed JEE – Pluses / Minuses / Preparation


Section - I

Thumbs up (Pluses) Thumbs down (Minuses)
  1. A step potentially in the right direction assuming other entrance exams (including exams for private colleges) are also merged with JEE gradually and it is conducted multiple times in a year and this large scale process can be implemented in fair manner.
  2. Promotes school education which is often required for all round development of personality and subjective testing.
  3. The process can lead towards the unification of school syllabi in various boards also in the long run.
  4. Since NITs/IIITs and other participating colleges share common entrance with IITs, their brand value improves.
  5. The male to female proportion of JEE qualified students currently is highly skewed. Since girls often outshine boys in boards, this policy may encourage girls, thereby potentially leading to more balanced male to female students ratio in IITs.
  6. As unification progresses, in the long-term the stress level of students may decrease.
  7. 12th board weightage is neither too small so that one can ignore it completely nor too large so that one can get through just by doing extremely well in it solely.
  8. Urban/Rural divide in selections may decrease in the long-term due to the increased emphasis on school curriculum and reduction in multiplicity of entrance exams.
  1. It appears that the policy is being implemented following top-down approach. If IIT Senates were first taken into confidence, it would have been better. IIT Council may have greater overall authority but IIT Act does talk about the role of IIT Senates in admission process. The top-down approach raises question about IIT autonomy, is questionable considering IIT Act and may set up a wrong precedence for future.
  2. Potential dilution of IIT brand is possible if the changes are not handled carefully. If this indeed happens it will affect large number of people including future, current and past students besides IITs themselves including their faculty.
  3. Percentile normalisation method does not sound fully convincing due to differences in boards. It is very much possible that students coming from one board are better equipped but percentile concept treats students of different boards equally good. It just assumes that if the sample size is large and because there is/are JEE Main/Advance to cover up, things will work in favour of the student who is better equipped. In few years before 2006, IITs would screen students on the basis of approximately 5 times seats in IIT criterion (this may not be absolutely accurate as those days transparency was less in JEE). If this number 5 was considered fine even though the screening test was reliable, now that we have board percentile rank playing a part in screening and board normalisation method is not mature, would it not be fair to increase the number 5 to a higher value? Refer an extreme example in Section – III below.
  4. While board weightage is determined by percentile and the marks are computed for JEE exams, how can two different quantities, i.e. percentile and marks be added for any final outcome? As a somewhat extreme example, one cannot add velocity and displacement. Moreover, percentile system has a drawback that the two students that are very far from each other in terms of marks can be very near each other in percentile rank. If percentile is not proportional to marks, then such type of addition is even more questionable.
  5. It is reported that good number of IIT faculty feels that after JEE was made 100% objective, the quality of input has been adversely affected in IITs. This is a very serious issue which is not debated and addressed.
  6. Memory based testing currently forms large component of school evaluation. This is the key issue which is not addressed.
  7. Consideration is required about the exclusion of marks of practical exams in total marks. While practical exams are extremely important, if the marks obtained in them largely depend on the local teachers then this may corrupt the system.
  8. This is June already and if this had to be implemented from 2013 itself – considering the fact that 2014 is election year - then the pattern & syllabi etc. should have been formally announced by now in stead of making people dig the information from media, press releases, meeting agendas, contacts etc. So many changes require lot of preparation from the test takers and at this stage, it appears that enormous acceleration is required towards JEE 2013 readiness from them.
  9. For 2013 students, there will be only one day exam in April as it appears, which makes it make of break type for situation for them as the next attempt can only be taken (hopefully) in Nov./Dec. 2013 or in Apr. 2014 which can waste one full year. In short-term, stress level of students may increase.
  10. Revaluation in board exam resulting in change of marks of just one candidate can affect the percentile rank of many and can affect the admission process into various colleges. This aspect has not been considered as it appears.
  11. For such a large policy change, there is ample use of feeling/belief/prejudice/likes/dislikes in place of real data.
  12. To resolve the tie breaking issue, it is mentioned that 9 places after decimal will be considered in percentile rank. If the least count is 1, what is the significance of going up to 9 places after decimal?
  13. While it does appear that remote coaching promoting dummy schools may be affected, some loopholes can be found out in the new policy as well. Open schooling is perhaps one such example.
  14. There is no mention of separate sections of P, C & M in the paper and computation of marks in them individually. It is important to do so to make more and more institutes come on board to accept JEE scores in the admission process. It is possible that for some institutes, marks in Math are most important (just for example) for their courses.

Section – II: Preparation

If you are JEE 2013 aspirant, till formal announcement is made, you may do the following:

  1. Keep in mind that P, C, M continue to be the key subjects.
  2. Follow the syllabus as per the core curriculum in Sciences and Maths by Council of all Boards of Secondary Education (COBSE) in 2010 which should be available with CBSE. Also, take into account the syllabus of JEE 2012.
  3. Pay attention to 12th board, especially in i) Physics, ii) Chemistry, iii) Mathematics, iv) one language subject, v) best subject among the electives. Be accustomed to writing descriptive answers for 12th board.

Once formal announcement is made, you can make amendments in the above points.

Section - III: Example related to different boards

In a board of 5,00,000 students, let us say that a more deserving student, “Bhavesh” gets 1,00,000 position exclusively. His percentile* rank = 80.

In another board of just 1,000 students, let us say that a less deserving student, “Ramesh” gets 1st position exclusively. His percentile rank = 100.

50% of 80 = 40 & 50% of 100 = 50

This means that Bhavesh will have to cover up the difference of 10 in JEE-Main to come to level playing field with Ramesh to compete for screening for IITs in an effective 50 marks paper.

Also, 40% of 80 = 32 & 40% of 100 = 40

This means that Bhavesh will have to cover up the difference of 8 in JEE-Main + JEE-Advance to come to level playing field with Ramesh in ranking for other participating centrally funded institutes (CFIs) in effectively 30 + 30 = 60 marks papers.

If weightage had been arrived at by doing intensive analysis of data for various boards and if normalisation process were mature, it would have been fine. It appears that this is not the case. While this appears to be affecting the admission into other participating CFIs less, but for admission into IITs, in place of screening students based on 5 times calculation, it can be increased to x times (x > 5) for the year 2013 and can be reviewed for the year 2014.

* image
where cl is the count of all scores less than the score of interest, ƒi is the
frequency of the score of interest (the number of students with the same
score), and N is the number of examinees in the board.


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