The Joint Entrance Examination has been one of the toughest and most competitive entrance examinations in the country for some time now. What started off as the AIEEE and IIT-JEE, later transformed into the JEE Main and Advanced, for admissions into engineering and architecture/planning courses of the most prestigious institutions in the country.
Since 2019, it has been the responsibility of the NTA to conduct the JEE Main examination. This brought in many changes in the JEE Main structure, with the exam being held twice a year (once in January and once in April). Students looking to appear for the Bachelor of Architecture/Planning courses also appear for different exams than those looking to take admission into Bachelor of Technology courses.
Like the previous year, a few changes have been introduced in JEE 2020 as well. Candidates planning to apply for JEE Main 2020 should be aware of these changes to ensure that they don’t make any mistake in application and exam preparation.
The changes introduced for the JEE Main 2020
- JEE Main 2020 Exam Pattern Changes
The National Testing Agency has introduced some more exam pattern changes in JEE Main 2020. The first of these papers is scheduled to be held between January 6 and 11, 2020. For aspirants, these changes mean a slight adjustment to their JEE preparation processes, for the exam pattern forms a significant part of the preparation for any competitive examination.
Up until 2019, the JEE Main examination consisted of 90 multiple choice type questions, with 30 questions each from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. The marking scheme for these questions was 4 marks awarded for every correct answer, and 1 mark deducted for every wrong answer. Marks were neither awarded nor deducted for questions left blank. All of the questions had to be solved within 3 hours, or 180 minutes.
However, from the next iteration of the JEE Main, the number of questions in the exam has been reduced to 75 from 90, which comes out to 25 questions each from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. The time limit to solve the test remains the same at 3 hours or 180 minutes, but the question pattern sees a wholesale change.
- New section for B.Planning students
For B.Arch and B.Planning students, the papers for Mathematics and aptitude will remain the same. However, the candidate for B.Planning will have to take a paper on planning instead of the drawing paper that is there for the B.Arch students.
In the new exam for B.Arch, there will be a 100 marks drawing test. This drawing test will now have 2 questions, compared with 3 in earlier versions. Now, the B.Arch paper will be having 77 questions instead of 81.
- First separate exam for B.Planning
In the history of JEE Mains, this is the first time when B.Planning will be having a separate exam. You only need to have Maths as one of your subjects in class 12th to be able to take this exam. This means that the students from Arts and Commerce stream, too, can take this exam.
The paper for B.Planning will have 3 parts. The first two parts, i.e. Mathematics and Aptitude, will be the same as that for B.Arch. However, there will be a separate part for B.Planning aspirants. This part will be having multiple-choice questions. The B.Planning paper will have 100 questions in total, carrying a maximum mark of 400.
- Eligibility criteria for JEE Main 2020
For BTech, the candidates must have a score of at least 75 per cent in class 12 board exams or must be among the top 20 percentile of his/her respective board. However, this threshold has been reduced to 65% for the SC, ST students. The eligibility criteria for B.Arch candidates is quite simple, though. All they need to do is score 50% or above in Physics, Chemistry, and Maths along with a minimum of 50% aggregate in all the subjects combined.
In B.Planning, students from the streams other than Arts and Commerce too can apply. To be eligible for this, students must have scored more than 50% in Maths and a minimum of 50% aggregate in all the subjects combined.
- The introduction of numerical based questions
Numerical based questions, which were first introduced as a part of the JEE Advanced examination, will now form a significant part of the JEE Main examination from 2020 onwards. Out of the 25 questions per subject, 20 will be the typical multiple-choice questions, and 5 of them will now be numerical based questions, where students will have to clock their answers in the form of an integer, and not as options.
The marking scheme for these numerical based questions also differs from the multiple-choice questions. For correct answers, students are awarded 4 marks, but no marks are awarded or deducted for wrong answers or questions left blank. This is in contrast with the negative marking of 1 when answering multiple-choice questions incorrectly.
The same change has also been introduced in the JEE Main Mathematics paper for B.Arch and B.Planning courses, with 25 questions including 5 numerical based questions in the Mathematics subject. The rest of the paper, i.e. the aptitude test, and the drawing/planning based questions remain the same. The marking scheme is also replicated, with no negative marking for the numerical based questions.
Impact of the pattern changes on preparation
The changes in pattern do bring a breath of fresh air in the preparation process. Since the total number of questions has been greatly reduced, students can now focus better on the questions at hand and can manage their time in a relaxed manner. Students no longer need to fret about solving a question every two minutes, which is a great plus.
The numerical based questions represent a different challenge from the typical multiple-choice based questions. Students are expected to calculate a numerical answer accurately, therefore, they must work on their calculations and formulae for these questions. This certainly represents a challenge, but with it, a potential opportunity for students, since there is no negative marking for the numerical based questions, and students will be encouraged to attempt all 5 of them. Practising more and more with sample papers & mock test will help you gain more confidence over the new pattern. JEE crash courses designed by renowned institutes will also help to prepare for your exam effectively.
The JEE Main 2020 exam pattern changes tries to make the lives of aspirants a little easier, but will they be able to tackle the challenge of the numerical based problems? All the best to all students!