This just in, National Testing Agency (NTA) will be setting up 3000 test centres to provide free practice sessions to students who will be appearing for JEE Main and NEET-UG in 2019.
Here are the highlights:
- 3000 practice centres across the country will be set up to give aspirants an opportunity to get a real feel of the computer-based test (CBT).
- These centres will function on the weekends, that is Saturdays and Sundays.
- Students will be given an hour of practice to experience what a real CBT feels like.
- NTA is planning to launch a mobile application wherein students will be able to locate the centre closest to their location and register themselves for a practice session.
It was further announced that no changes in exam pattern, syllabus or difficulty level will be made this time (2019). This is because, at such a short notice, students will not be able to manage well with the changes and their board exams. However, since NTA is seeking to standardise the competitive exams, you may expect some major changes in the upcoming years.
Although the decision to make JEE Main online received backlash from thousands of students, particularly by those who are not adept at using computers. In fact, a large section of JEE aspirants are from rural areas and economically backward families, studying in government schools. These students have probably never even used a computer mouse. They are already struggling with language problems while preparing for JEE. Making the online mode mandatory puts these students in a highly disadvantageous position. A number of teachers have also come forward in support of such students.
Nonetheless, even if we talk about students studying in schools well-equipped with computers, they too are a little reluctant towards online exams. Reason being, all examinations until the school level are conducted in an offline mode. Odds are, they have never appeared for online tests. JEE is accredited to be the most important exam of an engineering aspirant’s life. Now, who would want to experiment with something new at such a crucial stage? Despite being well-versed with using computers, over 70% of students still opt for the conventional pen and paper mode.
NTA identified this problem at large. But, even the CBTs have their share of advantages. In fact, an online exam is much more smooth, transparent and less prone to errors. In the long run, going online will be the right decision. It is for the same reason that NTA will be setting up practice centres at sub-district/district level for the benefits of the rural students. They would even provide hands-on training to students wherever possible.
Only time will tell how beneficial the practice centres will prove to be. For now, students are eagerly waiting for the NTA to announce the final exam dates for JEE Main January. The official notice is expected to release on September 1, 2018 along with the commencement of application processes.
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