Getting into IIT might get a lot tougher from the 2017 session as the IIT Joint Admission Committee is planning to add a written section after the Mains and Advanced test.
This new segment is bound to add an extra layer of complexity to an already difficult examination wherein every percentile counts. The board hopes that this will eliminate the possibility of guess work and enable the students to display their grasp of the subject. This will necessitate an overhaul of the evaluation system but the committee is ready for it if it brings about a difference in the quality of students.
A drawback of the MCQ is that candidates can make blind guesses for about 10-15% questions and jog their memory to attempt some others without really knowing the concept. This is especially true in India where rote learning is almost a part of the education culture and IIT-JEE coaching is a multi-crore business.
JEE hopes this new change will better the quality of students.
According a senior IIT professor “Candidates sometimes use the method of elimination to choose an answer. We want to minimize that. The best way to do this is to make candidates write the answer rather than tick a box”. MCQs are a standard method to assess a candidate’s comprehension, analysis or application skills but an essay type question will enable them to display how much they truly understand a concept and the analyst can understand how they segregate their thoughts to develop an argument.
Incorporating the first and getting the candidates to write on their own can be done with a little effort but with over 13 lakh candidates appearing the test evaluation would be at risk. To this dilemma they arrived at a solution being that only those answer sheets would go for evaluation only if they obtain a certain score in the IIT-JEE (Advanced) claimed sources.
“We are trying to develop a machine-readable answer script. We need to make some changes in the computer programming so that it can read the near possible answers and accordingly evaluate the answer scripts,” claimed a source. According to an official this whole process will take up some time and once the committee okays the proposal the written segment will be introduced from 2017.
Experts see this as a welcome change to break the monopoly of mushrooming coaching classes “The entrance examination has already been bifurcated. The coaching-centre hegemony will be further curtailed if a written component is introduced and students have to find a solution to the problem,” claimed a tutor at a major coaching centre.