With the new JEE pattern in place, is it also time for a uniform syllabus makeoveracross the country?
The Common entrance exam for engineering aspirants to IITs, IIITs, NITs and other engineering institutions of national importance has come in as a huge relief for students who hitherto had to face multiple exams, undergoing enormous academic and financial strain.
The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) - Mains to be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will hereafter determine entry to NITs and IIITs.
A subsequent test, JEE-Advanced, will be conducted by the Joint Admission Board of IITs for top-notch performers in the preliminary exam to identify the right candidates for IITs. Both the exams — JEE Mains, the replacement for All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), and the JEE Advanced in place of IIT JEE — are of objective type.
Class XII marks
The new pattern gives 40 per cent weightage to the class XII Board examination, and hence an aspirant needs to perform extremely well in the public examination and simultaneously develop the skill set required to crack the aptitude test.
Acacemics say that this method of testing wherein analytical, logical and reasoning skills of the candidates will also be evaluated will prove to be better.
So far, it was possible for students to focus just on IIT JEE since the scores in Class XII was only for eligibility.
Henceforth, students have to pay as much attention to Board examination to be clear in concepts in order to excel in such exams.
Normalisation of State board scores, though a challenge, will mean that there will be efforts directed at standardisation of quality. There will be more emphasis on the core concepts, problem-solving speed and accuracy. An overall ranking will help students to know their standing at the national level.
The idea is progressive since the new pattern not only reduces stress, but also paves the way for uniformity. The importance that the new pattern will restore to the school education system is of significance.
The heartening factor is that admission to the IITs will be streamlined and only the deserving section of students will be eligible to appear for JEE(Advanced) exam.
As in the case of the common entrance tests such as GRE, TOEFL and IELTS, adoption of JEE (Main) and JEE (Advanced) for admission to NITs and IITs is a welcome measure since the betterment of the school education system will render private coaching centres insignificant, and provide equal opportunities to all students irrespective of their economic standing.
It is high time the syllabus was also made uniform throughout the country. A common syllabus will be better for conducting the uniform entrance exam.
In fact, standardisation of the final examination at school will obviate the need for a separate entrance exam.
The writer is professor, Electronics and Communication Engineering department, National Institute of Technology Tiruchi.