National Testing Agency has introduced key changes in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main 2020. Most of the changes are in the exam pattern, and a few are in other aspects such as fee and centers. Be it big or small, all changes in JEE Main 2020 are relevant for students and impact them to a large extent.
Change number 1 is the type of exams or papers in JEE Main. Until last year, there were two papers namely paper 1 for BE/B.Tech, and paper 2 for B.Arch / B.Planning. However, now there are three papers, one each for BE/B.Tech, B.Arch, and B.Planning. The erstwhile paper 2 has been split into two parts, because the eligibility criteria for B.Arch and B.Planning are completely separate now – students with PCM can apply for B.Arch whereas student with any subject combination with Mathematics can apply for B.Planning.
Change number 2 is the overhaul of the exam pattern for engineering aspirants. The paper for BE/B.Tech used to have three sections namely physics, chemistry, maths with 30 multiple choice questions (MCQs) each. Now, the sections are the same but the number of questions in each has been reduced to 25. Moreover, these 25 questions are not just MCQs, but are actually 20 MCQs and 5 numerical value answer type questions.
This is the first time that JEE Main will have non MCQs / numerical value answer type questions. Subject matter experts feel that this may increase the difficulty level of the paper. However, as the time per question has increased from 2 minutes per question to 2.4 minutes per question, that will contribute to lowering the difficulty level. Hence the overall impact of the changed pattern in terms of difficulty will not be much.
Change number 3 is the new exam pattern for architecture aspirants. Now the paper for B.Arch will have three sections, just like before. The sections will be part I mathematics, part II aptitude test, and part III drawing test, also just like before. However now, part I mathematics will have 20 MCQs and 5 numerical value answer type questions, whereas earlier there used to be 30 MCQs. part II will have 50 MCQs as before. Yet part III has changed to now having 2 questions instead of earlier 1 questions with sub parts.
Again, the introduction of numerical answer type questions in B.Arch paper are being considered as game changers. Students who have been preparing for JEE Mains + Advanced will not find it surprising as IIT JEE Advanced has been having numerical answer type questions for some time. However those who have only been preparing for the JEE Mains will have to practice such questions now too.
Change number 5 is the new paper for planning aspirants. B.Planning will now be a separate paper. It will have part I mathematics with 20 MCQs and 5 numerical value answer type questions, part II aptitude test with 50 MCQs, and part III planning based questions with 25 MCQs.
Change number 6 is the exam schedule. Last year the exam was held on all days in two shifts, first shift being from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm, and second from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm. However now BE/B.Tech, and B.Arch exams will take place in shifts 1 and 2 with same timing as before. B.Planning will only be held in the second shift. And those who opt for B.Arch and B.Plan will take the test from 2.30 pm to 6 pm.
Change number 7 is in the number of exam centres. Last year, for the January attempt, NTA conducted JEE Main at 467 exam centres in 258 cities, and second shift in April was held in 282 cities. This time JEE Main 2020 January attempt will be held in 233 cities including 9 abroad.
Change number 8 is pertaining to the exam fee. Application fee for JEE Main 2020 has been hiked by 30% for students in India, and is 50% more than last time for students outside India.
Change number 9 is the marking scheme. As earlier, MCQs will be for 4 marks. Negative marking of 1 mark will apply for MCQs. However numerical value answer type questions will not have any negative marking, correct answer will get 4 marks like MCQs. Each of the two questions in drawing test will be of 50 marks.
Thus BE/B.Tech paper of JEE Main 2020 will have 75 questions of 300 marks. B.Arch paper will have 77 questions of 400 marks. And B.Planning paper will have 100 questions of 400 marks.
The biggest change in the exam pattern is the introduction of numerical value type answers. To tackle them, students need not change their existing strategy too much. As long as one has a firm grasp over the basics of all the topics, he or she can easily solve these questions without error. They will basically require the same approach as other questions, only one cannot now go for substitution method or elimination method to solve these questions. Nevertheless, there is nothing to panic about these questions.
Numerical value answer type questions will contribute to 20% of the BE/B.Tech paper. Thus students aiming for the top ranks will have to get them right. Avoiding silly mistakes in calculations, conversions of units, calm and focused approach will help one score full marks in these questions. They may become the differentiating factor for several ranks this time.
With three months to go for JEE Main, the best way to sharpen your skill for the new JEE Main numerical type questions, is to treat more and more numerical based MCQs as questions without options! While attempting any question, a student can ignore the options and try to arrive at the answer correctly. This will definitely help in getting better at these questions in a short time!
Do you have any tips to share for the changes in JEE Main 2020? Let us know in comments below!