Over 2.5 lakh students will appear for Indian Institute of Technology — Joint Entrance Examination on Sunday. These candidates will be contesting for 4,000-odd seats spread over seven institutes in India. With no decision taken on the OBC quota so far, there has been no increase in seats in the IITs.
Till last year, students had to appear for three papers — physics, chemistry and mathematics — of two hours' duration each. This year, candidates will answer two papers. Negative marking for incorrect responses will continue, however.
The management said that the change in the structure was based on logistics.
“Parents and students coming to big cities were facing difficulty with the long and odd hours of the exam. So in order to relieve them of added stress, the change was devised,” said Surendra Prasad, IIT Director.
With a new testing format, the challenges are many for those contesting the limited number of seats. “The last time also they had altered the pattern due to which there was some amount of nervousness, I wouldn’t say there are no jitters this time, but I am fairly confident,” said Ankur Mehta from Faridabad.
The entrance exam pattern has been undergoing changes since last year. Until 2005, there were two stages of tests in the IIT-JEE. The students were required to appear for a screening test and those qualifying the test were allowed to sit for the main exam. However, a one-stage examination was introduced last year.
“I have been preparing myself according to the changes in the structure so that is not so much of a worry. Since this is my last and final attempt, I am very anxious,” said Vaibhav Maheshwari from Mathura.
For first-time aspirant Shweta Pandey, the changed pattern is a boon. “I hate writing long and subjective answers and change to objective questions is a welcome option,” she said. ‘I think this is slightly less taxing though the amount of energy we put in is exactly the same.”
Pandey has been preparing for the exam since the last two years. “Objective answering will help in fetching higher scores,” said Siddharth Goyal from Vasant Vihar, who sounded a little worried about negative marking.