Thursday, April 12, 2007

Less taxing IIT-JEE pattern

Meera Srinivasan

Drop in number of students appearing for the examination

WHAT'S YOUR ANSWER? Students discuss the paper after their afternoon session of the JEE at MGR Janaki Arts and Science College in Chennai on Sunday. — PHOTO: K.V.SRINIVASAN

CHENNAI: About 6,000 students took the Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) in 12 centres across the city on Sunday. A total of 2.5 lakh students appeared for the examination all over the country.

This year's examination pattern was different from last year's, which had papers in mathematics, physics and chemistry for two hours each. Sunday's examination was conducted over two sessions of three hours each, with a two-hour break in between.

Students attempted two objective-type question papers, both with sections in mathematics, physics and chemistry. The three subjects were allotted 81 marks each.

Students were tested through four types of questions — multiple choice, assertion and reasoning, reading comprehension and match the following.

IIT-JEE (south zone) chairman Shreepad Karmalkar said the testing pattern was changed as they found last year's pattern very taxing.

This year, nearly 9,500 students from Tamil Nadu appeared for the examination in 23 centres.

A total of 40,000 students wrote the examination in 97 centres in the south zone that covers Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh.

Mr.Karmalkar pointed to a six per cent drop in the number of students taking the examination in the south zone.

This year's examination was largely perceived as reasonably easy.

S. Balasubramanian, director, T.I.M.E., an institute that trains students for various competitive examinations, said the examination was easier compared to last year's. An IIT-Madras alumnus himself, Mr. Balasubramanian said both papers (morning and afternoon) were similar in structure and difficulty level.

Students, too, seem to have found the paper easy.

"It was easier than expected. I have been studying hard for the JEE ... my dream is to make it to an IIT," said K. J. Arun, a student of MCC Higher Secondary School.

S. Aravind of P.S. Senior Secondary School said, "Some of the questions seemed challenging, as the pattern was new. However, I am quite satisfied with my performance."

This year's JEE also assumes significance in the context of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development directing the Indian Institutes of Management, (IIMs), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other centrally-funded institutions of higher learning to put admissions on hold.

The instruction followed the Supreme Court's stay on 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

Last year, about three lakh students in the country competed for the 5,500 seats offered across seven IITs.

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