Monday, June 20, 2005

Reforming the IIT JEE system

From The Hindu: Reforming the Joint Entrance Examination system

S.S.Vasan, Rhodes Scholar, Trinity College, Oxford, England writes about the need to reform JEE. He provides two suggestions. The key one is
The first possibility is to aim for convergence between the AIEEE examination and the JEE screening test. According to Banerjee, "[The idea of a] national test [administered by] an organisation like the ETS, which will function as an ancillary of the IITs, has been on the cards for years." A single test will reduce the burden of students drastically. Those who score very well in this test can be asked to take a second test for gaining admission into the IITs and the NITs. This two-stage procedure would be similar to the current JEE format of a screening test followed by the main examination. The combined strength of the IITs and the NITs should increase the acceptance rate to 10-15 per cent, making it comparable with the rest of the world. Similarly, deemed universities and private colleges may be encouraged to accept BITSAT or AIEEE scores instead of conducting their own entrance examinations.
The idea of an ETS like entity having one exam for admissions to all Engineering Colleges is perfect. Rather than organizing a "second stage" exam, conduct an advanced exam on the subjects almost simultaneously.

This is like the GRE General and GRE Subjects exams model. Not all colleges may require the second, advanced exams on the subjects. So it is up to the students to determine what exams they want to write. There is another suggestion by Vasan, which is not very appealing to me.

I would also suggest that AICTE suggest to various states that there is no need to conduct statewide entrance examinations as well. There will be a single exam - two levels, and the scores obtained in these exams will be sufficient, along with a few other criteria, to select candidates for various Engineering colleges - be they IITs, NITs, Government run colleges or private self-funded colleges.

The equivalent of ETS - at least for engineering - can be set up by IIT, AICTE and few other particpating institutions together. This can be extended to medical and other life sciences course by involving AIIMS.

[Post on IIT JEE results]


  1. A single exam for all students in the country might not be so feasible as long as the Board exams are taken into account for admissions.

  2. Not true. The entrance exam need not be the only criteria. Firstly, the entrance exam may not be rank based, but merely points or percentile based.

    Any college or university can devise a system to

    (a) merely follow the entrance exam position and nothing else
    (b) build a selection criteria involving the entrance exam marks and the higher secondary board exam marks
    (c) in addition to (b) also follow a face-to-face interview

    In other words, follow the model that is followed in USA.