Apart from the JEE, science students can consider taking up KVPY and BITSAT exams. DH PHOTO BY S K DINESH
There is so much confusion going on when it comes to seeking admissions in BTech or BE courses offered by engineering colleges in India. The JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) is the most sought after entrance exam. One is required to appear for this exam to seek admission in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other Centrally Funded Technical Institutes (CFTIs). The Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram also admits students who qualify in both JEE Main & JEE Advanced exams. However, students are ranked only on the basis of their JEE Main ranks.
However, other than JEE, there are several major entrance exams that one could opt for to get admission into reputed science and technology institutes. Some of the important exams include Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY), an initiative by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and the Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test (BITSAT). Here's a brief overview of these tests:
The JEE is conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). While the JEE Main exam enables students to gain admission in the NITs, the JEE Advanced enables students to get into the IITs. Here's what the exam will be like for the coming year:
JEE Main: The exam can be taken as computer-based or as a pen-and-paper-based test. This is a three-hour-long exam and students will have to answer 90 multiple choice questions (MCQ) from Physics, Chemistry and Maths. Each question is worth four marks and if answered incorrectly, one mark gets deducted.
JEE Advanced: This is conducted in two parts and students will have to appear for both. From 2018, this paper will only be conducted as a online test. Each paper carries questions from Physics, Chemistry and Maths. Each paper has a duration of three hours. The type of questions asked and the marks they carry vary each year.
Most students prepare for their JEE exams in two years (Classes XI and XII). Some start early (Class IX), while there are many who start late. Whatever time you have in hand, be careful to manage it well.
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru conducts the KVPY exam to attract students interested in conducting scientific and engineering research studies. After the written exam, shortlisted candidates have to appear for an interview. KVPY is conducted for three different levels: KVPY SA exam (for Class XI Science students), KVPY SX exam (for Class XII Science students) and KVPY SB exam (for first year students of BS, BSc and integrated five-year MSc programme).
The KVPY exam is a single paper with 80 questions that are worth 100 marks. The duration of the paper is three hours. There is negative marking in the exam.
The SA Exam has two parts:
Part I has 15 questions each from Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. Each question is worth one mark.
Part II has five questions each from Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. Each question is worth two marks.
The SB and SX exams have two parts too:
Part I has 20 questions each from Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. Each question carries one mark. Students have to solve questions of any three of the subjects.
Part II has 10 questions each from Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. Each question is worth two marks. Students have to solve questions of any two of the subjects.
There is no prescribed syllabus for any of these exams. However, those appearing for the SA exam can consider brushing up on the concepts learnt up to Class 10, up to Class 12 for the SX exam, and up to the first year of the degree syllabus for the SB exam. Keep in mind that KVPY focuses on the conceptual understanding of the topics and your analytical abilities.
The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani conducts the BITSAT online test in May every year. The exam has 150 questions and carries a total of 450 marks. This engineering entrance exam has an additional section which tests students on English proficiency and logical reasoning.
The BITSAT is a three-hour paper. The paper has four parts: Physics, Chemistry, English and Logical Reasoning, and Mathematics. Each question carries a total of three marks. There is negative marking and one mark is deducted for each incorrect answer. Students can choose to solve the paper in any order they like. They can also choose to solve 12 extra questions to score higher. However, once they choose to submit the original 150 questions and solve the 12 'extra' questions, they cannot go back and change answers of the original set of questions. The preparation for BITSAT is much like JEE preparation.
(The author is the co-founder, www.askiitians.com)