As the JEE moves online, a look at how to navigate the change in format

IIT aspirants preparing for the exam next year, familiarise yourself with the new platform through mock tests to overcome potential challenges of time management.

education Updated: Dec 04, 2017 20:05 IST
Gayatri Belpathak
Gayatri Belpathak
Hindustan Times
JEE,Mains,Advanced
(Illustration: Shrikrishna Patkar)

When Class 12 student Chetana Sharma, 17, started preparing for the IIT Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) a year ago, she was anticipating a written test. Now, with the JEE (Mains) set to be hybrid (with online and offline components) and the JEE-Advanced going completely online next year, the game has changed for lakhs of IIT aspirants like her.

“The online format seems difficult to me,” says Sharma. “Time management is a challenge. Since pages need to be navigated online, deciding on which question to solve first is more difficult than with the paper-based test.”

Institutes preparing students for the JEE are revamping their mock tests to suit the online mode. Sharma is already taking mock tests online to familiarise herself with the new platform.

Uday Nath Mishra, chief academic officer at Basicfirst, a JEE preparation institute, says the shift to online will be a good move for students. “It will encourage more students to attempt the exam,” he says. Students will actually have the chance to revise or review their responses before their time runs out.

For the Advanced exam thus far, candidates have been entering their responses via OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) sheets, which are then evaluated by mechanical readers. There have been instances of responses that were correct but not perfectly marked being interpreted by the machine as incorrect or unattempted.

Students and tutors are hoping that the online exam will ease such problems.

“It will also help that questions can be marked for review and answers can be changed at any point of the exam,” says Aashish Goyal, director of Vimukta Academy, a JEE preparation institute.

The study pattern for the online JEE exams remains same, coaches stress.

“A student’s first priority should be to continue with their schedule of studying, solving problems, revision, etc,” adds Aakash Chaudhry, director of the Aakash network of coaching institutes.

Given the online format, when you are not 100% sure of the correct answer, remember to mark the question for review and come back to it after finishing the other sections.

With an online test, it will be easier to lose track of time and forget what page you’re on, so that’s a key issue to watch out for, Chaudhry says.

“Time management has always been a vital aspect when it comes to garnering marks in this exam. Now it will be even more so,” he says. “Students should allot as least half an hour to each section of the test, solve the questions they are sure of, and keep moving.”

Time-management is the big concern for many students.

“The most challenging aspect of the JEE is working fast under pressure,” says Akshay Vasudev, 17. “The exam is not just a test of intelligence, but of intense time and stress management.”

Zishaan Hayath, CEO and co-founder of JEE coaching company Toppr.com, says this needs to change. “One bad day should not impact test preparations of two to three years,” Hayath says. “It’s unlikely that the new format will lighten the load on the student. With a change in platform for the Mains too, in the near future, maybe a relook at the format of the exam is called for too.”

First Published: Dec 04, 2017 20:05 IST