IIT board may review entrance test format

New Delhi: IITs' Joint Admission Board (JAB), which is to meet over the weekend, is likely to revisit the format of JEE (Advanced). R. K. Shevgaonkar, Director of IIT-Delhi, told, "We could look into the present criterion of taking only top 20 percentile of successful class XII students from each Board. Till last year the standard Class XII cut-off across India was 60%. We could revisit it." The criterion of top 20 percentile of successful Class XII students resulted in wide variation of cut-offs across Boards.

Shevgaonkar said nothing is finalized yet. Many suggestions are being discussed. One suggestion is to have a fixed cut-off for large Boards and for smaller ones the 20 percentile formula could be used. "IIT Senate that is likely to meet on September 3 would look into the entire gamut of change that can be brought in. But this year's JEE (Advanced) has thrown few issues that needs to be discussed," he said.

He says there is a need to relook at the whole system. For instance, this year only 1.5 lakh students who were successful in JEE (Main) could appear for JEE (Advanced). "Question is should we look at 1.5 lakh students. If number becomes small should we make the examination subjective," he says.

Within the IIT system there is a strong opinion that the new criterion of 20 percentile, which became contentious, could have been avoided with a firmer criterion. Due to wrong calculation of 20 percentile cut-off by state Boards, especially Andhra Pradesh, 79 students could not get into the IITs despite having the right score in JEE (Advanced). Andhra Board calculated the percentile on the basis of total number of students who appeared in class XII examination in the state whereas it had to be done on the basis of number of students who passed. As a result, many students suffered. Cut-off per cent increased when percentile was calculated on the basis of number of students who passed their class XII examination.
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