Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Who Killed The IIT JEE

They had been planning to kill it, and finally they not only killed it, they also succeeded in beating it to pulp. That's the new IIT-JEE format for you. I am not saying this because I had been lucky enough to clear it once, but because I sincerely believe so.

First, the welcome changes. Putting a minimum cut off of 60% at Plus 2 level, and restricting the number of attempts to two. The effort now will be more focused, if not already, and those seeking admission would be the serious contenders to the seats.

Now the shocker. Making the whole paper as an objective type, with a few descriptive write ups. All this to reduce the burden on students! Reduce how? They still have to study the whole course, if there is one, and to add further misery to that, they have to now mug up the theory for write ups as well. Maggus will have a field day.

The earlier numerical based questions looked for perfect, analytical, and sharp minds. Of course, flukes like myself still make it, but such number is less, and mostly the deserving ones make it. Now, with only objective set up, they have reduced IIT-JEE to a National Defense Academy paper, or is it a test for presi writing?

I will share a secret. Not many know how I cleared the objective chemistry paper during prelims of National Talent Search Examination(NTSE). I was appearing for my tenth board(ICSE) that year, and organic chemistry was not in course.

I knew only three of twenty five chemistry questions in NTSE, that included the chemical formula of Epsom Salt. Rest of them were organic chemsitry ones. With no negative marking, I blindly marked the rest of the answers as option 'C', and cleared the cut off courtesy law of averages. That usually goes with the objectives.

Of course, IIT JEE will have negative marking, but then, that will almost rule out intelligent guessing, which is so inherent part of giving such papers. Some times one answers by eliminating other options, at other times one uses contradiction. The fear of earning negatives will rule out such answering.

We always know that pains at the time of preparation is easier to manage than the pains at the time of giving the paper. This sort of objective questioning would introduce more pains at the exam level. God save the students, and their quality at IITs.