The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main is a life-changing exam for students across India. Every year, over 10 lakh students attempt it, since it opens doors to premium colleges including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) across the country.
Last year, the National Testing Agency (NTA) conducted the JEE Main exam in the computer-based test format, and in multiple days across two sessions – January, and April. The NTA’s aim was to give students a stronger chance at putting their best foot forward.
In video| JEE Main 2020: New exam pattern
Deciding between January and April
This new pattern has been continued in JEE Main 2020 as well. The first session will be held between January 6-11 and the second one between April 3-9. Many students are confused about which session should they take the test in.
My simple advice is – both!
The NTA only considers your best score. Even if you are not fully prepared for the January session, you have the chance to experience the actual exam and know how well do you perform under pressure.
What if you haven’t completed the entire portion?
Try completing as much of the portion as you can. You may take help of an ed-tech app to watch free video classes, practice personalised questions to improve your understanding, take mock tests, or get your doubts cleared instantly on chat by an expert. Attempt the questions that you know in a stipulated amount of time. Your final score will also give you an idea about how percentile works in JEE and how much effort do you need to put in to get a good rank and qualify for Advanced. This January session acts as an eye-opener for thousands of children.
JEE Main mock test, sample and last year question papers
What if you have completed your portion?
Taking the exam twice gives you a better chance of scoring better. In case you score very low, you won’t feel panicky and pressured. You can then calmly explore other options like state CETs while accelerating your JEE preparation. This will help you get an admission in a quality engineering college, even if it isn’t an IIT.
If you score well, you can focus wholeheartedly on your board exam while starting your JEE Advanced prep earlier than other students who solely rely on April. Even if you get a good score, I will still recommend re-attempting the exam in April to improve your performance.
Both sessions, January and April are equally important and serve their own purposes. Attempt both of them seriously and give it your best shot.
— The author is VP, Educational Content, Toppr.