Thursday, Oct 06, 2022

Why are JEE Main toppers reappearing for the entrance exam?

It seems even scoring above 95 percentile is not enough for some, as aspirants have been retaking JEE Main multiple times even during the pandemic. Here’s why:

jee main toppers, jee main admit card, jee advanced exam date, jee main 2021 toppers names, how to score 300 in jee main, jeemain.nta.nic.inMany top scorers decided to retake the JEE Main to improve their score. (Graphic by: Abhishek Mitra)

Pravar Kataria scored 100 percentile in the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) held in February this year, but the 17-year-old reappeared for the April session and topped again. Kataria said he went for the second attempt to “beat the pandemic blues” and to “brush up on concepts for JEE Advanced.”

Similarly, Kavya Chopra had scored 99.98 percentile in the February session, but re-attempted the examination in March as she had “set-up a personal benchmark”. Chopra scored a perfect 300/300, becoming the first girl this year to do so.

For some, scoring full marks is a matter of achievement, others want to sit for JEE to keep themselves ready for upcoming entrance tests or overcome exam anxiety. But a majority of students also want to improve their scores, as the best of four attempts will be considered while preparing the final merit list of JEE Main.

JEE Main is held four times a year – in February, March, April and May – for admissions to BTech and BE courses in NITs/IIITs and GFTIs. This year, the April session was held in July and the May session will be conducted in August-September.

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Out of over 10 lakh students, nearly 2.4 lakh will qualify for IIT-JEE Advanced. The final score will be announced by the National Testing Agency after the May attempt.

Every year, nearly 36,000 students crack JEE Advanced to secure admissions (around 16,053 seats) in 23 IITs and ISM Dhanbad. The cut-off for Advanced depends on the difficulty level of the exam, the total number of applicants and seats, previous year’s cut-off trends and a candidate’s performance.

According to experts, those who scored above 95 percentile are already eligible for JEE-Advanced and shouldn’t focus on Main anymore as the former is a notch higher in difficulty.


FIITJEE expert Ramesh Batlish says multiple attempts are meant for students who wish to improve their score/rank in JEE Main. “Students who are not sure of a preferred choice of seat in the IITs are considering multiple attempts of JEE Main this year as a backup option for the NITs/IIITs & GFTIs,” he said.

Interestingly, six students got 100 percentile in the February session. This jumped up to 13 in the March session and 17 in the April session, making competition tougher.

Last year, reported that the number of students appearing for Advanced has gone down in the past three years. An IIT dean attributed this to the preference given to top ranking NITs over newer IITs.


Moreover, there may be students with lower percentile in JEE Main who might fare well in JEE Advanced and vice-versa as the two exams are quite different. “However, students having a percentile above 98 in JEE Main have a fair chance of getting into NITs/IIITs with a good branch,” Batlish said.

S Harsha Varma from Andhra Pradesh has consistently scored 99.99 percentile in all of his three JEE Main attempts in 2021. Varma plans another attempt for the “sake of a perfect score” but his focus is on JEE Advanced.

“If a student has got a rank under 500 in JEE Main but above 8,000 in Advanced, such aspirants will have better chances to secure a seat in their preferred course in NIT. Therefore, they keep trying to improve their rank in Main,” said Ajay Kumar Sharma, national academics director, Aakash Institute.

First published on: 21-08-2021 at 02:56:15 pm
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