The online Joint Entrance Examination-Main (JEE) kicked off to a slow-start on Friday, with less than 50% of the 1.86 lakh registered candidates taking the exam on Day 1.
The exam will be held across Mumbai’s 265 centres on Saturday as well.
The offline version of the test, conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), was held on April 4, and saw close to 11 lakh students appearing.
JEE-Main is held for admission to centrally-funded engineering institutes such as National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and to colleges in some states, including Maharashtra.
According to GT Thampi, principal, Thadomal Shahani College of Engineering, Bandra, fewer students choose the online test because of the fear of technical glitches, and feel safer using the pen-and-paper method.
CBSE officials, however, said no technical glitches were reported on Friday, though a few centres faced power cuts.
Anish More, who appeared for the exam at a Thane centre, said there were power cuts twice during the exam, but the servers did not crash.
“The exam was pretty smooth. But they made us sign several forms, which took up some time. Also, the online paper was lengthier compared to the offline test,” he said.
Academicians said the exam was moderately difficult, much like the offline paper. “Overall the paper was of medium difficulty level. Out of the three subjects, chemistry was relatively easy, compared to physics and maths. There was no ambiguity in any of the questions,” said Aakash Chaudhary, director of Aakash Educational Services Pvt. Ltd, a coaching institute.
The cut-off score is expected to be between 120 and 125, Chaudhary said.
The top 1.5 lakh scorers of the JEE (Main) will be eligible to appear for the next leg of the exam –JEE Advanced – for admission to the coveted Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).