The JEE (Mains) exam will be held four times in 2021, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced on Wednesday evening. The first phase of JEE (Mains) will be held from February 23 to 26, 2021. The subsequent phases will be held in March, April and May. Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said that the multiple opportunities will give a fair chance to students who might not be able to do well in the exam in a single attempt.
The pattern of the question paper will also be different, the Minister said. Of the total 90 questions asked in the exam, candidates will only have to answer 75. There will be no negative marking for the remaining 15 questions, even if attempted. The Minister said that this will help students cope with the reduction in syllabus, which differs for various school education boards.
Candidates will be allowed to appear for the exam multiple times, and the highest marks of all their attempts will be considered as their final score, Ramesh Pokhriyal said. “The first attempt will give students an experience of the exam, so they get to know their mistakes. In subsequent attempts, mistakes can be corrected and students will become more confident. This can also help avoid wasting a year which often happens,” he said. He also added that if a student misses a chance for various reasons, including severity of COVID-19 infections in their region, they can always attempt the exam in subsequent phases.
The exam will be held in 13 languages this time, including Hindi and English.
In 2020, the JEE (Mains) exams were held between September 1 and September 6, after much delay due to the pandemic. The JEE (Advanced) Exam was conducted on September 27.
The Union Ministry of Education has made the decision to conduct the exam in four phases, after examining suggestions received for conducting JEE-Mains in 2021. In an online interaction with students last week, the Education Minister had announced that the government is considering the possibility of holding the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) three or four times a year and a proposal is being evaluated on reducing the number of questions that students can attempt in JEE (Main) 2021.
The Minister has already clarified that there will be no change in the syllabus for medical entrance exam NEET or engineering entrance exam JEE-Main next year.
Regarding the class 10 and 12 board exams, the minister had said the consultations with stakeholders are in progress for deciding the dates of board examinations and it will be announced soon based on the feedback from the stakeholders.
"The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is yet to take a decision on the dates of conducting board examinations including practicals. In case students are not able to do practical in classes before the examinations, alternatives to practical examinations will be explored," the Minister had said.
There have been demands for postponement of board exams to May in view of the continued closure of schools and teaching-learning activities being completely online.