JEE Advanced 2017 was marred by controversies owing to the awarding of bonus marks to students as some of the questions asked in exam were reportedly incorrect. The issue gathered steam as some of the students approached the apex court for the resolution of the matter and allotting of the bonus marks. With an aim to protect the interest of the candidates in the near future and ensure that all the candidates are treated at par, the Supreme Court of India sought a fool proof mechanism from the exam conducting authorities to evade such errors in this future. It is in this regard, that the authorities concerned proposed conducting of the JEE Advanced 2018 as a computer based test. This announcement became a reality on September 19 when the JEE Advanced dates were announced and its website went live. Since the stakes are high for one of the most coveted national level engineering exams, there is a degree of uncertainty among the students as they grapple with various questions about the new test mode, exam pattern, proposed infrastructure, mock tests and more. Clearing the air on various aspects of JEE Advanced 2018, the officiating chairman of JAB, Prof Manindra Agrawal, in an exclusive interview to Careers360 speaks about the steps which are being taken to ensure that the exam takes place in a smooth manner, the probable changes that the students can expect in JEE Advanced exam and more.
Careers360: The JEE Advanced website says computer based test. What is the difference between a computer based entrance exam and an online exam?
Prof. Manindra Agrawal: There is a slight technical difference between a computer based entrance exam and an online exam. ‘Online exam’ is when the computers are connected to a network with questions and details are coming through the network as on demand. This is not the case with JEE Advanced 2018 which will be conducted for the first time on computer based test mode. The questions will not be remotely released for candidates. There will be no internet connection that will be available on the computers on which the test will be conducted. The questions will be made available to the candidates on the local network.
Careers360: What will be the exam pattern for JEE Advanced 2018 like? Can the students expect something new since it is computer based now?
Prof. Manindra Agrawal: Since the JEE Advanced 2018 exam will happen on computer based mode for the first time, students should certainly expect something new and some difference. Now that the questions will be available on the computers and also the answers, this will allow a certain degree of flexibility which was not there earlier in the mechanism that existed.
Careers360: When will the JEE Advanced information Brochure be released?
Prof. Manindra Agrawal: As per my understanding it is in the process of getting printed and there was some delay due to the changed nature of the entrance exam. However, the information brochure for JEE Advanced 2018 should be out soon.
Careers360: Will a mock test be provided since the JEE Advanced 2018 will be conducted for the first time in computer based mode so that students can get familiar with the new system?
Prof. Manindra Agrawal: There is of course a plan to provide students with test papers. Test papers with certain variations will be provided soon so that students can familiarize themselves before they appear for JEE Advanced.
Careers360: What are the challenges faced by JAB as it sets to conduct JEE Advanced in computer based mode for the first time?
Prof. Manindra Agrawal: One of the biggest challenges that we faced was in identifying the test centres and to see if everything is fine. Our aim is to ensure that the test centres are in condition and ready to conduct JEE Advanced 2018. Since this is the first time that the exam is being conducted in the computer based mode, we have to do the verification of all the test centres. This is the biggest challenge as of now. We are working with TCS to conduct JEE Advanced.
Careers360: Will there be any changes in the counselling for JEE Advanced with this new development?
Prof. Manindra Agrawal: No, the counselling process will not change because it happens in online mode so I do not see any change taking place in that sphere.
Careers360: With the government setting up the National Testing Agency, will all the private engineering entrance exams be now conducted by the NTA?
Prof. Manindra Agrawal: The government has to take a call with regards to bringing all the private examinations within the ambit of the NTA. However, my sense is that eventually, almost all the exams for admissions to colleges will be conducted by NTA. I presume that ultimately it will be both the private as well as the government examinations that will be conducted by the NTA.
Careers360: Will the JEE Advanced be conducted by NTA also?
Prof. Manindra Agrawal: As of now there are no plans that the JEE Advanced will be conducted by the National Testing Agency.