Mumbai: With barely a month to go for the exam, the National Testing Agency released the timetable for the Joint Entrance Examination or JEE Mains 2023, slot one of which is slated to begin on January 24, 2023. Engineering aspirants have been thrown into a frenzy as the January slot dates clash with the practical and preliminary examinations for their Class 12 boards.
ISC, CBSE, and HSC, all the three predominant boards in Maharashtra begin their practical exam sessions on January 1 whereas the written board examinations begin in mid-February, leaving aspirants only weeks to prepare for their papers.
“Board examination dates of various other states are also clashing with the JEE Mains dates. Students that reside in smaller towns have to travel almost 200 km to reach a JEE testing centre. These students have been forced to make a choice between their school exams and board exams,” said Advocate Anubha Srivastava, President of India Wide Parents Association.
Shortly after announcing the JEE dates, the National Testing Agency mandated a minimum score of 75% in Class 12 board examinations for students to be eligible for JEE counselling process, which determines the admissions in national engineering institutes such as IITs, NITs, and IIITs.
Previously, these mandates were taken away for JEE Mains in 2021 and 2022, when the COVID -19 pandemic pushed students to learn in online mode. During these years, several engineering aspirants who scored poorly in their board exams dropped out of the JEE counselling process to take a second shot at the nationwide test. The last-minute reinstating of this rule has thrown these time two contenders out of the JEE race.
“Students have sent representations to the Ministry of Education, the Human Rights Commission, and various other governmental bodies to express their problems. If push comes to shove, we can take these matters to court,” said Anubha. Student and parent associations planned to move to court against JEE Mains 2022 dates as well until NTA postponed the exam 15 days before it took place.
The changes made at the eleventh hour have aspirants worried about their prospects. “Our coaching classes were under the assumption that JEE slot 1 will be conducted in April too. Most of our professors have not completed the syllabus and are rushing through it before January, I am very scared to attempt the exam next month. All our hopes lay on slot 2,” said a Class 12 student from New Delhi.
JEE Mains is to take place in two slots in 2023, students can attempt the exam in both January and April sessions, and the best of these two scores will be calculated.
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