Some thoughts about IIT …

There are some problems with the IIT-JEE … One big one that i am seeing in the discussions is how IIT is amenable to mugging up. This has led to the coaching industry. Probably Mr. Anand Kumar from Super 30 put it very well … If students are able to mug up and clear JEE, then theres something wrong with the way the JEE is structured. Agree with Mr. Kumar. I feel the heyday of the JEE was during the 80s and the 90s (no, this has no connection with me going to college in the 80s). Peparing for JEE was uphill, and there was no way one could look at last few years papers and try to figure out what kind of questions would come in JEE this year. In other words, there wasnt much of a pattern to the JEE.

And this, probably, is the main aspect of the reform required in JEE. One of the reasons the IIT’s have done well is because they have ensured that they selected the best students in the country. This was laid to rest by the coaching industry. Though, i feel, it would be folly to blame the industry. If the JEE had a different format, the industry would have prepared students for that format. There is a coaching industry around CAT, too, after all.

Theres probably a different way to solve the problem … That may be to change the format of the exam. I remember, questions used to of the type that if you dont have your concepts clear, you might probably end up spending half an hour to solve a problem, but if you were clear, it would probably take ten minutes. Probably a better idea would be to bring in a format which challenges students to think, which tests their concepts.

Scenario … The objective is to determine the pressure on the wall of a check dam of a particular depth … Given the information about the dam, students might need to calculate the pressure distribution on the wall. Or, the motion of a spring is defined by a differential equation, and the student may need to find the displacement of a particular point on the spring at a particular point of time. (you will see that i havent come up with a scenario for chemistry, but thats only because in the last few words i have described e limits of my knowledge of the subject).

Idea is, make the exam so that there are no set patterns … Yes, do have a format for the exam, but not patterns for the questions. Ths may be the way to take JEE to the next level.


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