Students appearing for IIT-JEE, the country's top entrance exam, may not have expected this -- wrong questions. Questions worth 14 marks were found to be having errors in the entrance examination for 2012.
IIT-JEE examination was conducted on April 8 and the answer-keys to the question papers were declared earlier this month after the evaluation of all optical response sheets (ORS).
Scrutiny of answer-sheets has revealed that four questions were wrongly set. Of the four questions, all candidates were awarded zero marks for two questions and there was no negative marking for the remaining two.
The "wrong" questions were very confusing for students. In question no 6 of Physics, there were two correct answers of the total four given. And, in question no 12 of the Physics paper I and question no 56 of Mathematics in paper II, all the four choices given were correct due to ambiguity in the question.
"In all there are 11 such questions in paper I and II," said a senior IIT professor, who had analysed the question paper after IIT-JEE board made it public with answer keys.
A Delhi student, who appeared for IIT-JEE 2012 exam, said: "I had spent a lot of time analyzing which was the correct answer as all of them appeared to be correct. In the end, I marked one of the correct answers". For many like him, it meant wastage of lot of time after IIT admitted of the errors.
The incorrect answers also highlight the random change in IIT evaluation policy. In JEE exam of 2011, 12 free marks were awarded for wrong questions but, this year, no free marks were there.
But, a senior IIT professor associated with IIT-JEE examination system said the policy cannot be uniform as it depends on evaluation of errors in question paper every year. "Situation differs every year. Errors take place as questions papers cannot be peer reviewed to maintain secrecy," he explained.
To make the system fair, many parents have been demanding that answer keys to IIT-JEE questions should be announced before evaluation is done so that they can give their feedback.
Some state governments announce answer keys immediately after the examination. The West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination Board announced provisional answer keys to all question papers immediately after the examination in May 1. The UP Technical Education Board also follows a similar practice.
"It is difficult to understand why IITs cannot declare answer keys immediately," said Akshit Khanna, who son appeared for IIT-JEE 2012 exam.