The model answers for the JEE(advanced) released on Tuesday reveal errors in two questions, one in the maths and another in the physics paper, that could cost students six marks and make a significant impact on their all-India rank.
Also, for the second year in a row, JEE organizers have persisted with fixing subject and overall cutoffs even before assessing the performance of students. Till 2011, cutoffs were based on the performance of all candidates and after evaluating all answer sheets.
Only around 5,000 of the 1.5 lakh students who took the JEE (advanced) would make it to the premier IITs.
This year, subject cutoffs for maths, physics and chemistry are 12, 11 and 6 respectively for general, OBC and SC/ST students. The aggregate cutoffs are fixed at 35%, 31.5% and 17.5% for general, OBC and SC/ST candidates. With 360 as the total marks, it comes to 126, 114 and 63 respectively for general, OBC and SC/ST candidates.
As pointed out by many senior IIT faculty members last year, the flipside is that each candidate who scores above above the cutoffs gets an all-India rank and based on that he/she will be allotted an IIT and course.
But not every student with an all-India rank will make it to the IITs since rankings go up to 25,000 and above, whereas there are only a little over 5,000 seats to be filled in these top-rung institutes.
In the model answers, it has been found that question number 48 (paper I) of maths shows three correct answers, A, C or AC. But the question is such that there could only be one correct answer. If a student ticks more than one correct answer, he is penalized with negative marks.
The second error in the JEE (advanced) is that question number three (paper II) of physics has been shown to have two correct answers – ABCD or BCD.
“How can option A be both right and wrong? Besides, candidates who spend time (race against time phrase meaning) to correctly solve the question would have realized that all the other options are correct as well. These students would have avoided marking any of the options out of fear of being marked negatively. Such a situation creates unnecessary ambiguity and doesn’t test the candidates’ knowledge,” a faculty member from IIT-Bombay said.