Thursday, April 12, 2007

New exam format worries IIT aspirants

New exam format worries IIT aspirants
Shweta Shertukde
Saturday, April 07, 2007 00:53 IST

The clock is ticking for IIT aspirants. And the changed pattern of the IIT-Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) this year is the key to glory for the students who have been burning the midnight oil for months on end.

In fact, aspirants have expressed their apprehensions on whether the new pattern for the exam, scheduled for Sunday, will make their entry into the country’s premier engineering institutes any easier.

This year’s JEE will involve two exams instead of the earlier three which tested a student on three primary subjects - Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics - in three papers of three-hour duration each. In the newly-devised exam pattern, the students will now have to appear for all the above-mentioned three subjects in two papers of three-hour duration each, with the the topics divided into two.

Educationists feel the changed exam pattern will pose a challenge that involves time-management while solving the papers. “Managing time will be the most crucial factor for this year’s JEE examinees. Students should remember that this time, they will have only 60 minutes to solve one subject paper instead of the earlier three hours alloted for each subject.

“The JEE board has decided to have both exams of equal level of difficulty, thereby, testing their mental and psychological strengths,” says Shiva Kumar, director of academics at Career Launcher, an institute that specialises in preparing students for the IIT-JEE.

A further analysis of the new exam pattern, according to the educationists, pointed to the fact that more attention was being given to the CBSE and NCERT syllabus, with the JEE trying to assess the students’ in-depth knowledge of a particular subjects.

Although the aspirants for the Sunday exam have welcomed the new paper pattern as a challenge posed by the IITs, they fear that it will make the exam a difficult nut to crack. “It is a good move for assessing the students’ intellectual ability and helping them to explore it to the fullest. Each year, the JEE is becoming tougher and posing newer challenges for IIT aspirants,” said Kunal Parekh, an IIT-JEE aspirant.

Says another aspirant Siddharth Upekar, “The exam pattern followed last year was good as compared to the new one. This time round, the students will need to be extra careful about the time they spend on each paper and will have to distribute the three hours available to them depending upon the difficulty level of each subject.”

It’s not just the changed exam paper pattern that has created confusion among the aspirants, but also the recent Supreme Court judgment that has declared a stay on the 27 per cent OBC quota in the IITs and IIMs. The confusion that prevails is whether the IITs across the country have revoked their decision of implementing the 27 per cent OBC quota or not.

“The admit card distributed to us mentions separate schedules being allotted for counseling session of those belonging to the OBC category and the open category. Thus, the information mentioned in the admit card clashes with the recent SC judgement on the OBC quota,” said Sayantani Chowdhury, an IIT-JEE aspirant.

However, IIT officials clarify that care will be taken that all students will be allowed to appear for the JEE and nobody deprived of their legitimate rights.

They have also assured to streamline the admission process and resolve the prevailing confusion among the student fraternity, they say.