Held between April 9 and 19, 2014, the JEE Main 2014 that was taken by around five lakh students from across India and abroad, did not throw up any surprises. There were no changes in the paper pattern. However, there was a change in the type of questions, ie there were no comprehension or reasoning-based questions this year. Only objective-type questions were asked. Overall, there were 30 questions in each subject, taking the total questions to 90 for 360 marks. Candidates will be awarded four marks for each correct answer and one mark will be deducted for each incorrect response.
Analysing the paper, Aakash Chaudhry, director, Aakash Educational Services Ltd, says, “This year’s online paper was similar to the offline version. In both the papers, the chemistry section was the easiest, while maths and physics were comparatively difficult. It’s important to understand that the offline and online papers were similar because the Central Board of Secondary Education will not create differences between the difficulty level of both the papers. Talking about the preparation level required for the exam, we can say that the paper was based on the CBSE curriculum, but questions asked were above the level of standard questions given in the extbook.”
Leaving aside the chemistry portion, the questions were competitive and an average student would have found it difficult to attempt beyond 40 to 45 questions. The mathematics portion was as expected, with reasonably sound quality of questions, although nearly 8 to 10 questions were similar to those asked in previous IIT-JEE examinations. Finally, the physics portion posed good challenge to students due to some questions requiring lengthy calculations. Here also, two to three questions were similar to previous years’ questions, says Chaudhry.
Overall, the level of difficulty can be defined between moderate to high, as a good number of questions were above the standard level. In physics, at least 20% to 25% questions were tough. Chemistry was an easy section with not more than 5% to 10% questions that can be termed as difficult. Mathematics also did not pose much of a challenge but had few tricky questions.
In terms of errors and slip ups, there was a slight correction in physics, where one of the questions did not have the correct option listed in the choices. Also, in another question, the options were mentioned in joule while it should have been in volt. In addition, in chemistry, there were some printing mistakes like the units of some quantities.
The overall paper of JEE (Main) was interesting and a good test of the students’ knowledge. Most of the questions were meant to assess the in-depth understanding as well as numerical solving ability of the students.
A student who has worked hard continuously for two years must have done well, but an average student reading only the theory part would not have been able to perform well in this paper. It is expected that a student having a score of 110 to 115 marks would be in the list of top 1.5 lakh students who would qualify for JEE (Advanced).
“Some of the students who appeared for the online exam, reported that physics was quite tough in comparison to mathematics and chemistry, which is contrary to what the students felt about the offline paper conducted on April 6, 2014. According to them, maths was the toughest section in the offline paper. Some of the candidates felt that the online system was better with improved features. For instance, the right hand side of the computer screen had a scrolling sheet displaying all the question numbers.,” says Ramesh Batlish, head of FIITJEE Noida.
“Students could click on a particular question and get on to that question as and when they wanted to. Then, at the bottom of the screen, there was a ‘save and continue’ option to proceed and then finally submit the saved answers.
Students had an option to go back to the previous page and check or correct their answer. Students were also given rough sheets for calculations,” adds Batlish.
Here is the distribution of Class 11 and 12 syllabi in JEE (Main) 2014:
Physics – Class 11 (53%), Class 12 (47%)
Chemistry – Class 11 (33%), Class 12 (67%)
Mathematics – Class 11 (50%), Class 12 (50%)