JoSAA counselling isn’t supposed to be the most daunting part of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), as that honor belongs to JEE Advanced and JEE Main entrance exams themselves. But still somehow quite a few students stumble at this harmless looking obstacle. Consider this scenario where a student has scored enough marks in JEE Advanced to get admission into a top IIT, but misses out simply because he/she didn’t fill enough or the correct choices. It can be a heartbreaking situation for any candidate, especially when it could have been easily avoided. Accidents can happen even after a seat has been alloted, for instance, if a candidate is upgraded from an NIT to an IIT, the candidate needs to report at an Reporting Centre (RC) for IITs to accept the seat. If the candidate fails to report at the assigned RC, he/she will lose the seat. Some of these mistakes happen because the candidate may have taken the counselling process of JoSAA lightly, or maybe due to not taking out the time out to find out what JoSAA counselling is all about. But for someone who has qualified in JEE Advanced or JEE Main, there can be no excuses for missing out at the fag end of the competition. In a bid to help you avoid these mistakes, we have listed down common mistakes made by students during JoSAA counselling and tell you why you need to as well as how you can avoid them.
Avoid these Major Mistakes During JoSAA Counselling
Mistake: Not filling the choices in order of priority, starting with first preferred choice at the top.
Why to avoid: During choice filling, some students go on adding one combination (course and institute) after another without giving much thought to the order of preference. But it is the incorrect way to approach choice filling. It is because the choice or combination listed at the top will be by default considered as the first choice of the candidate, even though the candidate meant something else. And once a candidate is offered a seat that is the candidate’s first choice, it cannot be changed. So, the candidate has no option but to accept the seat or reject it.
To avoid such a fate, it is always advisable to first make a list of combinations in descending order of priority on a sheet of paper or on a word file. Try as many combinations you can, and cross check whether the order is right.
Mistake: Not reading up on what Float, Freeze, and Slide means
Why to avoid: When a seat is offered, the candidate will be asked to choose between these three options. Now being unsure about which one is what, is not a comfortable position to be in. Yes some of us may wriggle out of the situation by enquiring what they mean, but the problem is when you have so much going inside your head and at such a crucial juncture, a blunder is only a hair’s breadth away. Also, what guarantee is there a good samaritan would be waiting there to take pains and explain the meanings to you?
So, to be on the safe side, finding out what they mean is recommended.
Float, Freeze, and Slide Options Explained
Freeze: If you are offered a seat and you choose this option, you will no longer be considered for any further rounds. The seat will be locked in your name. You must use this option only if you are content with the seat being offered. Otherwise, you must opt for any of the following two options.
Slide: By opting for this option, you accept the seat while leaving the option open for upgradation to an academic program of higher preference, within the same institute.
Float: This option allows you to accept the seat, but leave the option of upgradtion open. One basic difference between slide and float is float option gives you the scope of upgrading to a higher preferred academic program in any institute.
Mistake: Filling choices that the candidate has no interest in.
Why to avoid: Choice filling is probably the most critical aspect of JoSAA Counselling. As such the candidate mustn’t take short cuts, like filling only one or two options correctly and then the next couple of choices just for the heck of it. Instead the candidate must list out all his/her favourite branches and institutes, and fill those choices in the order of priority. There are more than a dozen engineering disciplines on offer, so if you put your head together and devote enough time, you should be able to come up with a couple of disciplines that will interest you.
Also, JEE Advanced qualified candidates must consider the academic program + IIT combination. JEE Main candidates, meanwhile, will have to decide on the NITs, GFTIs, and IIITs, where to pursue the program.
Mistake: Filling only a handful of choices
Why to avoid: When a candidate is urged to fill choices, he/she is expected to fill atleast some 50 odd combinations, unless the candidate is ranked within the top hundred, or may be in the top 200. Even in the case of a top ranked candidate, it is advisable not to take chances and fill as many options they can. It is because, while a candidate may be ranked in the top 100, we have to account for reserved category seats as well.
Consider this: A candidate, say, ranked AIR 100 in JEE Advanced, applies to Electrical Engineering in IIT Bombay. Now IIT Bombay has only some 60 odd Electrical Engineering seats. So, for the candidate to get admission based on his current ranking, a number of things will have to fall in place. Like many inside the top 100 must choose to study Electrical Engineering in some other institute. Ditto for reserved category candidates -a few of them may also need to opt elsewhere to make space for this candidate. But it is not prudent to rely on some many ifs and buts when things can so easily go wrong. The best solution then is to fill as many choices as one can.
Mistake: Not taking cue from cutoff trends of previous years.
Why to avoid: Going through the cutoff of JEE Advanced of previous years would give the candidate insights into the counselling process. For one, the candidate will be able to compare the category-wise opening and closing ranks for various engineering branches and institutes. The cutoffs will tell the candidate which course and institute is in heavy demand and likely to have a stiff cutoff. Now while the cutoff changes every year, one can always find a pattern. For example, IIT Bombay is among the top favourite among students; so even if the cutoffs diverge, it won’t be by much. Secondly, the cutoff list will help the candidate identify the institutes he/she is likely to get admission in. This information would be very handy when filling choices.
On the other hand, candidates who don’t check the cutoffs are taking decisions randomly based on intuition, which might work sometimes, but most likely to misfire.
Mistake: Forgetting to lock choices.
Why to avoid: It is a basic mistake, but it does happen and can sometimes cause severe agony. In JoSAA counselling 2017, if a candidate doesn’t lock the filled choices, the system will automatically lock the last saved choices. The last date to lock choices is June 21, which is after the second mock allocation. If the candidate had saved the choices in the correct order, there is little to worry, but if by chance the candidate was expecting to come back and make modifications later on, it can’t be done once the system locks the saved choices. So, allotment will be as per that last saved choices, which may not reflect the actual preference of the candidate.
Mistake: Reporting at the wrong institute during Dual Reporting
Why to avoid: If a candidate, who has chosen float option, is offered a seat in, say, an NIT in one round and later upgraded to an IIT in a subsequent round, the candidate has to report again for document verification, but at a reporting center (RC) for IITs, and not a RC for NITs.
Reporting at the wrong institute would cost the candidate both the seats – the one initially accepted by the candidate and the one offered in a subsequent round.
By following the points on major mistakes to avoid during JoSAA counselling listed here, the candidate can increase his/her chances of admission greatly. So follow these points to have a great time during JoSAA counselling.
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