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Monday, May 16, 2011

JEE 2011 Admits Errors in Question Papers

JEE has announced the answer key on its website.

It took JEE only 5 weeks to announce the answer key. And it must have hurt the organizers of the world's toughest exam to admit that they had SEVEN questions which were either ambiguous, or had a printing mistake, or were simply wrong. And these questions are worth 36 marks. That is huge when 4+ lakh students are vying for less than 10,000 seats.

And this is not all. Apparently, there are more questions, even in Chemistry, where the "official" answer is being considered unsatisfactory by the students. But IIT will not take cognizance of these complaints. The answer key is final.

And one wonders why did IITs take 5 weeks to announce the marking scheme. If they had done so in 5 hours, they could have taken inputs from all, and then finalized the scheme. But now, they have to announce the result on 25th May, and they can't change the key at this late stage, even if some errors are genuine. The doubt about JEE 2011 will always remain.

Of course, given that they weren't interested in listening to the students to begin with, they did the next best thing, in terms of giving marks to all, or giving marks for multiple correct answers.

But doing the best under the circumstances does not mean that it won't hurt anyone. For the ambiguous questions, if someone found the answer, what is now deemed correct, but did not write the answer, the candidate does not get any benefit. Of course, the hope is that there are very few such students, and some unfairness to them is more acceptable than to redo the exam and delay the entire admission process by two months. (And I agree that one needs to be practical about these things.)

The Right to Information Act has forced JEE to give out some information in the last 5-6 years, and in each of these years, there have been some serious doubts about the conduct of the exam. It makes me wonder. Was I lucky to have passed JEE a few decades ago. May be they were equally inept at conducting the exam at that time too, and I was declared selected by mistake. I must thank my stars that there was no RTI then. Otherwise, someone else may have studied in IIT in my place, and that someone would have been writing this blog, instead of me.

I think IITs should seriously consider giving up JEE. They just can't handle it. A professional organization should be entrusted with conduct of such an important exam.


CY|\|O$|_|RE said...

Sorry to say this...but this is seriously very irresponsible behavior on their part...

Ranjai Banerji said...

Shocking! I had thought that complaints about unfair evaluation would disappear after the switch to the multiple choice format. But a new set of problems had appeared. Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire!

Shantanu said...

Well I think that one solution to this is ny scrapping JEE and selecting students on the basis of an examination like SAT and 12th marks. After all this would satisfy the frustration that many professors (especially in IITK)have that "Coaching" products are reaching IITs and real talent has gone somewhere else (where, no one knows because all colleges are full of such "coaching" products).

WebMiner said...

"[IITs] just can't handle [JEE]." --- correct. In fact, IITs cannot build houses that don't leak, or recruit staff that will actually work, or hire professors or students that can deliver satisfactory research output. But ... "A professional organization should be entrusted with conduct of [JEE]." --- There is no organization in India that you can hire for any amount of money that will do this any better. Such is the state of the nation.

maneesha said...

They should learn to be honest and transparent. They should treat these students like their own sons or daughters and think that even one mistake can change a life and mind set of a child and that child can be their own as well. This sentiment can make them behave like a humen being not a machine or robot.

Gopal said...

36 marks swing has devastated many aspiring kids and I agree with you Prof. Sanghi that IIT K and other institutes dont have the sensitvity to handle this. Infact they have lost their credibility to conduct such selection exams, which has wrecked havoc with lives of young students - who in IIT K (if at all) would be held responsible for - cutoff marks shifting by whopping 36 marks is criminal - my wishes to young students to learn from such cruel jokes played on them and gear for the same in their proffessional lives. JEE should be scrapped.