Around 12 lakh students took the JEE Main 2016 examination on Sunday in over 2000 centres in 129 cities in India and abroad.
Aspirants had the choice of appearing in any one of the two types of papers or both. Paper I was for BE/BTech courses while Paper II was for BArch/BPlanning. Paper I was pen and paper based and on April 9 and 10, it will be online or computer based.
Paper I for BE/B Tech courses in 2016 was similar to the pattern in the past years - from 2011 to 2015. It had objective type questions with multiple choice with one out of four correct answers with equal weightage to physics, chemistry and mathematics.
There were 30 questions each in physics, chemistry and mathematics with four marks for a right answer and for each incorrect response, one-fourth of the total marks allotted to the question would be deducted from the total score.
The paper was balanced and set from CBSE syllabus of Class 11 and 12. However, as expected many of the questions were conceptual with some needing analytical skills. Twenty seven questions were easy, 48 were of moderate difficulty level and 15 were of relatively higher difficulty level.
As in 2015, few questions in physics were tricky and challenging but compared to last year this section was a shade tougher. Further Q. 84 (Set F) has two answers. One or two questions in chemistry were tricky prima-facie and compared to last year it was a bit tough. Q. 17 (Set F) appears to have no matching answer in choices given. Mathematics compared to last year is also a little tough with few lengthy questions.
Overall, the difficulty level for the paper is moderate. For a student who has been focussed and serious all through the two years in improving speed and accuracy by taking regular quizzes and mock tests on JEEM pattern, must have done reasonably well. It is always relative performance which matters in such highly competitive examinations.
In terms of errors and ambiguity, it will be possible to say something only after fully solving the paper. Cut-offs are expected to be little higher than last year.
Cut-offs for CML (Common Merit List) in 2013, 2014 and 2015 were 113,115 and 105 respectively.
(Trikha is the director of engineering tutorial institute FIITJEE.)