Scores of bright young aspirants to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), who made it to the ‘Advanced’ section of the two-step entrance process, appeared for their test in Bangalore on Sunday.

This is the first-ever Joint Entrance Examination being held in the new ‘Advanced’ format. Across the country, over 1.26 lakh students took the test in 95 cities. The JEE Advanced paper is divided into papers I and II, comprising objective questions in physics, mathematics and chemistry and each paper accounting for 180 marks each.

The entrance test will decide their chances at entry into the 15 IITs (where around 10,000 seats are on offer), the National Institutes of Technology, Indian School of Mines (ISM) Dhanbad and a few other centrally-funded technical institutions.

Tough mathematics

Most students found the mathematics component of paper 1 difficult. S.G. Aditya Bhat, a student from Hubli, said, “The mathematics paper was difficult in comparison to physics and chemistry. I have been preparing for this exam for the last two years, attending coaching classes and solving papers regularly. The advanced paper has questions that are more challenging in comparison to the main paper.”

Some students expressed disappointment in their inability to complete the paper. “The paper was lengthy and I was unable to finish it. I have performed well in physics and chemistry. However, mathematics was difficult,” said Pareekshith K.J., who is appearing for this test for the second time.

More negative marking

Several students who spoke to The Hindu said that the paper was high on negative marking, taking them by surprise. Arjun Jagadish Ram, who hopes to get into IIT Chennai, said that he was “shocked” to see that all the questions had negative marking. “Also, I felt that most questions had multiple answers. So, if you missed out even one, your chances of scoring high are less. One really had to focus and make the right choices. Overall, both the papers have been moderately easy.”

Some complained that the paper was “tricky” compared to those of the previous year’s, while others felt that it was all too lengthy. Many felt that the pattern had been changed compared to last year.

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