Engineeing Admissions & Class XII Marks - A Difficult Marriage

The system to give weightage to students' Class XII Board examination in JEE-Main was introduced in 2013 with two primary objectives— first, to create a level playing field for students of the state boards and second, to make students focus on their Class XII board examinations, instead of joining a coaching institute to prepare for the entrance test.

For that reason, starting 2013, admission criteria to undergraduate engineering programs at NITs, IIITs, other Centrally Funded Technical Institutions, Institutions funded by participating State Governments, and other Institutions include the performance in the class XII exams and in the Joint Entrance ExaminationJEE(Main).

Just to put the JEE in perspective to our readers - The Joint Entrance Examination for admission to the undergraduate programmes in engineering is conducted in two parts:

This two tier common test for IITs(Indian Institutes of Technology), NITs (National Institutes of Technology) and IIITs(Indian Institutes of Information Technology) has replaced earlier IIT-JEE and AIEEE from 2013. A composite score is calculated from JEE-Main performance and your class XII (or equivalent exam) marks This score is considered for initial screening.

The Paper-1 (B. E./B. Tech.) of JEE (Main) is also an eligibility test for the JEE (Advanced), which is required for admission to the undergraduate programmes of the IITs. For admission to centrally funded institutes via JEE Main40 per cent weightage is given to boards marks of Std 12th and 60 per cent to JEE Mainscore.

Role of Class XII marks at present

Admission Process for IITs

For initial screening, a composite score is calculated with 40% weightage to class XII Board or equivalent marks and the remaining 60% weightage to JEE Mainperformance. Based on this composite score, a fixed number of candidates (1,50,000 candidates) are considered eligible for admission. These short-listed candidates are then ranked in the order of merit entirely based on their performance in the JEE Advanced examination. It is essential for you to get 75% marks or figure in the top 20 percentile bracket of your respective Class XII Boards, whichever is lower.

Admission Process For Other Institutes

If you are aspiring to get admission to NITs and other institutes only, then you need to give only JEE Mainexam. There is 40% weightage for performance in Class XII Board marks normalized on percentile basis and 60% weightage for performance in JEE Main.

A Look at Class 12 Board Results & Weightage

Different stake holders have different opinions on the relevance of giving weightage to class 12 score in preparing the rank list of JEE (Mains). Rank determination process is opaque and was objected to by various stake holders. Even the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) had reservations on coming out with a robust class 12 score normalisation process in a short time frame owing to

  1. the large number of school education boards and
  2. huge variance in their syllabus and marking patterns.

During 2015 admission year, unavailability of board results within the stipulated timeframe as set by Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) officials, had led to delay in counselling and admission processes of NITs, IIITsand GFTIs. JEE MainMerit List deadline was postponed multiple times and it was finally announced on July 1, 2015. This had also resulted in delay of Counselling for IITsasIITcounselling process was combined with the counselling process of NITs, IIITsand GFTIs under Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA).
Many candidates, who had sought re-evaluation of their Class XII marks, were left-out of the JEE Main2015 ranking list as their Class XII marks were not shared by their respective boards.
While anxious parents and candidates had cried foul and alleged major discrepancies in JEE MainRank List, CBSE had blamed different boards for not providing their Class XII board results on time.

Proposal To Again Remove Class 12 Marks Weightage

Many boards ( and India has over 30 school education boards !) were unable to declare class 12 results on time. This delayed preparation of JEE (Mains) rank list and hence caused complications in admissions country wide. Even after the rank declaration, many students kept seats blocked in non-IIT colleges sinceIITadmission process was not completed. Given that JEE (Mains) is the feeding channel for JEE (Adv), it also impactedIITadmissions. The key reason for recommending removing class 12 marks weightage is that the boards are unable to declare results in time.

Our Take

This leads to one or all of these three conclusions
  1. The concept of class 12 weightage was may not be right in principle.
  2. Some of the boards are not fully geared up to release Class 12 results within the time-frame that is required for the JEE admissions.
  3. The concept of class 12 weightage is right but the regulatory/administrative bodies controlling/managing these boards are not in a position to reform themselves.

Whatever the reasons may be , the ultimate sufferers are the students and their anxious parents. One must keep in mind that reforms that have long term socio-economic implications need to be based on deep research, empirical data analysis with pre-defined outcome measurement parameters. Even a small school lab experiment is always based on some sound hypothesis and clearly defined success outcomes. Any reform that is not based on sound fundamentals can have a devastating and long-term implication. In this whole scenario the students are not at fault. Whenever the changes are introduced, the students are caught off guard and this has an impact on admissions. Students as well as parents need to voice their opinion on this debate , so that a fair system is in place for engineering admissions.

About the blogger: Neelesh is the Co-Founder at MyExamPlan.com. He can be reached at neelesh@myexamplan.com

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