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The policy making body on IIT admission, the Joint Admission Board has decided that from 2018 onwards the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced will be conducted in online mode. The Board is of the view that conducting the exam in online mode would greatly reduce the logistics of conducting the national-level examination, make the evaluation process easier, and prevent mistakes of the type that was seen in JEE Advanced 2017. In fact the errors in the JEE Advanced question paper which snow balled into a major controversy and reached the SC’s doorstep seem to have forced the board’s hand. With the exam conducted online, the result of the exam is also likely to be out early. According to reports IIT Kanpur will be conducting the exam in 2018.
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The primary challenge facing the body until now was putting in place an adequate infrastructure, which seems to have been finally taken care of. It may be recalled that JEE Main, which is a qualifying exam for appearing in JEE Advanced, is already conducted in online mode, in addition to offline mode.
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While the JAB authorities haven’t yet divulged the full details on how they intend to go forward with the plan, the decision is expected to create some ripples in the student community, especially among those who are uncomfortable with the idea of an online exam. It is why we have decided to throw some light on how things may change or remain the same, as the JEE Advanced exam move to online.
Online JEE Advanced – Same exam in a new bottle!!
With JEE Advanced 2018 scheduled to be conducted in online mode, there is no point being a fence sitter hoping an offline exam might still happen. So, here we bring you some important insights regarding the Online avatar of JEE Advanced.
Exam pattern to be tweaked to incorporate short-answer type concept-based questions
Along with change in the mode of exam, the JAB body is reportedly planning some changes in the JEE Advanced exam pattern, with plans to include short-answer type questions to go with MCQs that are currently being asked. To answer the new question type, candidates will have to key in the answers using a keyboard.
Earlier, in pen and paper mode candidates had to shade a bubble against the correct answer on an OMR sheet. The computer-based test, however, will provide candidates access to keyboards enabling them to not only choose the correct answers, but elaborate on them, by doing the requisite calculations.
The inclusion of short-answer type questions will provide the JAB body room to frame concept-based questions that will require candidates to use their analytical and thinking abilities rather than depend on a set pattern and their memory to answer questions. A drawback of the MCQs was that candidates at many times were able to arrive at the correct answer by process of elimination, which the JAB body feels defeats the purpose of the exam.
In fact, the online exam gives question-setters endless opportunities to come up with variety of question types that will better test the ability of candidates.
To prepare for the online version, candidates though will still have to prepare from the same JEE Advanced syllabus.
Result will be out early: One natural outcome of the JEE Advanced being held online is the result would be declared much earlier than ever was possible in offline mode. Consequently, candidates will not spend sleepless nights pondering their expected score.
Less scope of printing errors: With printing of question papers taken out of the equation, there will be no scope for printing and translation errors that were seen in JEE Advanced 2017. Also, with the exam going online, the complicated logistics of printing and transporting questions would be finally done away with.
Online exam saves time: With online tests, you do everything with the click of a mouse and a keyboard, which is a faster way of doing things than answering questions on an OMR sheet, where candidates need to circle bubbles with pen or pencil. But for all this to happen, candidates need to get over any phobia of online exam first. During the exam, each candidate will be provided with a computer system.
Evaluation process gets better and error free: In the offline mode, candidates enter their responses in OMR sheets which are then evaluated by machines. So, any responses that are not marked in the OMR sheet properly may be interpreted by the machine as incorrect attempt/no attempt made, in which case the candidate may be unfairly penalised or not be awarded a mark. The online exam does away with all such problems, as all the candidate has to do to answer is click the mouse.
Candidates can edit, re-edit answers multiple times: During JEE Main, many more number of candidates opt for the pen and paper mode than the online exam because they have prepared for the offline mode for years. But one handicap candidates face in offline mode is if they use a pen for marking answers, editing becomes almost impossible. Erasing and circling bubbles can be time consuming. In online mode there are no such issues as candidates may edit their answers any number of times, provided he/she doesn’t run out of time.
A coloured panel to keep one updated about the status of the exam: Like in the JEE Main online exam, the answer panel of JEE Advanced might segregate the questions as Questions Attempted, Questions Unanswered, and Questions Marked for review in different colour schemes. This will enable the candidate to better manage his/her time and move back and forth between questions. No such flexibility existed in the offline version.
No system is absolutely perfect, and the online JEE Advanced exam is no exception. Also, it is going to be conducted for the first time next year, so there might be some teething problems.
Technical snags: Like any machine, computers are prone to breakdown or face other issues like a power failure. In such cases, the candidate may lose precious time and even blow his/her rhythm, which might really affect the end result. The JAB body is yet to come up with a proper plan how it plans to deal with such situations.
Things might go wrong during the Exam: While the online exam seems like a breeze, candidates have to be careful while following the given instructions. All answers must be saved including the ones that are under review. It has been seen in many cases that candidates have not saved their responses and reviews resulting in a nil score for such questions.
Making the transition is painful for many: The capabilities and flawlessness of the online exam notwithstanding, many students who take to the offline exam like duck to water are immediately discouraged by the prospect of an online exam. The fear of a technical snag or some other issue that will sabotage their ticket to an IIT weighs heavily in their mind thereby creating uneasiness and exam pressure. It is important that if a candidate feels anxiety at the prospect of an online exam, they seek help from their teachers and take online mock tests for JEE Advanced to overcome their fear.
Hard copies of JEE Advanced Question paper won’t be available: With the offline exam, candidates were allowed to keep the question paper of JEE Advanced with them. One advantage of having the question paper is the candidate can come home and check how many questions he/she attempted, how many of them were correct, and thus calculate the expected score. Also, if any wrong questions were asked during the exam, the question paper can be held as a proof. But with the online mode, there will be no question papers to carry home. Instead, candidates have to recall the number of questions attempted and finally arrive at a total number based on recall ability. Also, if there are any wrong questions asked, the candidate will not have any immediate proof in his/her hands.
People from small towns might be at a disadvantage: There is no doubt that students in the cities and towns are more computer-savvy than their rural counterparts, and might hold a slight advantage in the online exam. To ensure that it doesn’t become a major determining factor for selection, candidates who are not very adept at handling computers, must at least try to learn the basics needed to take the test. One way of achieving this would be to take online mock tests; the candidate may even take JEE Main mock tests for getting a feel of the exam, as the process is likely to be the same.
While there is not much information regarding this new turn of events for the JEE Advanced exam, it remains to be seen as to how the modalities will be worked out. The exam centres existent also need to be reworked as they now need to be able to have the capacity to hold the online test. With most of the entrance exams going online on account of the benefits involved, it is high time the JEE Advanced did too. With this the last bastion holding the offline exam aloft has fallen.
Stay tuned to engineering.careers360.com for more news and updates on JEE Advanced 2018
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