Multiple JEE sessions evokes mixed academic response

The decision of the Ministry of Education to conduct Joint Entrance Exam (Main) in multiple sessions this year, starting from February, has evoked mixed reactions from school heads.

Within days of announcement of results by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for the first session of JEE Main conducted from February 23 to 26, students are required to get ready for the second session scheduled from March 15 to 18.

According to the principal of a Tiruchi-based CBSE school, the performance of students may not be to optimal levels in the second session as they are preoccupied with preparation for practical exams.

Though less in number, students have registered impressive scores in the first session. The first score of 99.94 is the highest so far in Tiruchi district, R.V.S. Muralidhar, Founder and Director, Seekers Educational Services, said.

Ganesh Rajagopalan, Senior Principal, Thamarai International School, Thanjavur, feels the impressive performance by students assumes significance as the teachers and students had to overcome the challenges associated with the pandemic lockdown. “Forty students on Thanjavur and Kumbakonam campuses have secured 90 percentile and above, and the top score is 99.88. Going by last year’s criteria, more than half of these students stand a chance of securing admission in top-ranked NITs.”

In all likelihood, the performance of students will be better still in the third session from April 27 to 30, as there will be sufficient time to prepare, school heads say. The fourth session has been scheduled from May 24 to 28.

The online classes conducted by schools so far, though an appreciable effort, have not been effective enough for students to come out with their best performance, Mr. Muralidhar pointed out.

The rationale behind the multiple attempts is to give opportunities to candidates to improve their scores if they fail to give their best in the first attempt without wasting their whole academic year.

In first attempt, the students will get a first-hand experience of sitting for an examination and will learn their mistakes and improve the next time. This will reduce the chances of dropping a year, according to NTA.

The student’s best of the 2021 NTA scores will be considered during preparation of merit list/ranking for admission to undergraduate programmes in NITs, IIITs and other Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs) in the next academic year (2021-2022).

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