On 10th of November 2018, the incumbent HRD minister, Mr. Prakash Javadekar tweeted this:
He also said “From 2019 the National Testing Agency (NTA) will start taking over the various entrance examinations conducted by bodies such as CBSE, which conducts 24 different examinations and AICTE. It will be done in a phased manner and will start by relieving CBSE of various entrance examinations it conducts. So that CBSE can concentrate on the Board examinations alone,”
This had many students as well as the coaching centers worried about what could the future of engineering entrance exams be. There is an environment of uncertainty as to how the phase-out would take place and what changes would NTA bring to the pattern and difficulty level of these exams. Some students are still confused about who is going to conduct the exams after all.
What is not vague as of now is that NTA is slated to organize entrance exams online twice a year. Now, whether JEE Main would be organized twice a year or not is yet to be seen. If yes, then it would be a welcome step for students but when and how it will be done is still in the questions.
Official Stand on exam pattern:
There hasn’t been one. What changes will likely be seen is still a mystery and has added to the confusion. There have been rumors that there will be a single entrance exam for all the engineering institutes but what is unclear is that whether the state level entrance tests will be scrapped or not. The wait for an official statement is still awaited on whether the single entrance exam will be phased in or will be effective from 2019.
The current predicament
With a 5-year tenure, Vineet Joshi the former chairman of CBSE has been appointed as the Director General of National Testing Agency (NTA). An official stand is expected to be out very soon, just when is still unclear. NTA has asked for reviews from the state boards to weigh in on the option of a common entrance test for engineering institutes. All states have consented to the matter except West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
A sum of Rs. 25 crores have been allocated to the NTA by the government to begin operations and the rest is still a mystery.
The Bright Side:
The students from rural areas have been the sufferers as most exams have now moved to the online mode and NTA organizing entrance tests will be no different. In order to cater this problem, the NTA will be setting up centers at District and sub-District levels to train students. Now this is a welcome move but how deep-rooted will it be is yet to be determined.
How to prepare?
Yes, there is a sense of ambiguity in the air but that will hold true for every aspirant, who are looking forward to attempt these entrance tests next year. No matter who conducts the examinations and whatever the difficulty level is, a student’s preparation according to the prescribed format and syllabus will be the key to success.
The magic formula to succeed in these entrance tests will still be the same:
- Master the concepts
- Practice and solve as much as you can
- Take mock tests as and when you are done with the concepts
- Solve previous year papers
Preparing for engineering entrance tests in 2019? Stay tuned for an official statement and keep yourself updated.