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Preparing for Engineering Entrance Exams

Usha Albuquerque &
Nidhi Prasad 

Choosing to do Engineering is linking your thoughts with converting scientific knowledge into technology and technology into innovations. Engineering is at the core of economic growth and plays a critical role in tackling global challenges, including water and food security, climate change and biodiversity, infrastructure and energy, health and population. In India, typically the challenge before engineers is in manufacturing, natural resources,  infrastructure and science sectors.
 The students who are willing to take admission in an engineering college in India for pursuing B.E., B.Tech or B.Arch. need to appear for the common Joint Entrance Exam (JEE)- Main &  Advance conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) every year. Through this student can take admission in premiere engineering colleges like IITs, NIITs and others. The scores can be used for getting admission at various engineering colleges in the country offering engineering courses in different branches. However, many institutes also take their own entrance test for admission into various undergraduate courses of engineering.
•IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology)
•NITs & IIIT (National Institutes of Technology & Indian Institutes of Information Technology)
•University departments/ Constituent Colleges
•Affiliated colleges
•Private universities/ deemed Universities
Admission to an engineering college is a complicated process because it varies depending on the entrance exam, the type of institution and the State in which the institution is located.
Admission to the bachelor’s degree (B.Tech/B.E) in engineering is through an entrance test. The major entrance tests for admission to an engineering college include -
A JOINT ENTRANCE EXAMINATION (JEE) is conducted for admission to engineering courses at the IITs, NITs, Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs) like IIITs etc. and other participating Institutions. There are sixteen IITs at present, located at Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mandi, Mumbai, Patna, Ropar, Roorkee and includes IT-BHU, Varanasi, ISM, Dhanbad, Roorkee, IIIT Allahabad, IIIT Gwalior and National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT) at Ranchi.
JEE Mains – (Paper Pencil) & JEE Advanced.
The States of Gujarat, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Odisha have joined JEE (Main) system. Therefore, the candidates seeking admission to the institutions in these states, which were earlier admitting students, based on their State Level Examination, are also advised to fill in the JEE (Main).
BITSAT for admission to BIRLA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCE, at Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad campuses for courses in Engineering, Sciences, Technology and Pharmacy. Students who have obtained a minimum of 75% aggregate marks in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics subjects in 12th class examination, with at least 60% marks in each of the Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics subjects and adequate proficiency in English are qualified to sit for the entrance test BITSAT.
DELHI TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY & NETAJI SUBHASH INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, DELHI - For Delhi Region Candidates 85% of seats, Outside Delhi Region Candidates (15% of seats). Admission based on all India overall rank giving 40% weightage (suitably normalized) to class XII (or equivalent examination) and 60% to the performance in JEE(Main)- Examination and also the candidate must have declared eligible for Central Counselling by the CBSE for Indian students and based on SAT-II (Physics, Maths level-II) score for NRI, FN, PIO candidates.
The Central Government has established four IIITs at Allahabad, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Kanchipuram. These institutions are meant to provide undergraduate as well as postgraduate education in Information Technology and related disciplines. The IIIT at Gwalior is for IT in Management. The IIITs at Jabalpur and Kanchipuram are for IT in Design as well as Manufacturing. Admissions into undergraduate programmes in IIITs are made through the JEE Mains.
MANIPAL UNIVERSITY : Admissions are on the basis of rank in the All India Manipal University Online Entrance Test. You should have passed your 10+2, or A Level, or IB, American 12th grade or equivalent with Physics, Mathematics and English with Chemistry or Biotechnology or Computer Science or Biology or Engineering Drawing as optional subjects and a minimum of 50% marks in Physics, Mathematics and any one of the optional subjects. Non resident Indians may also apply for NRI quota seats.
NUET (NIIT UNIVERSITY)- NIIT University, Neemrana
The admission is on basis of  Physics, Chemistry & Maths in Class XII for CS & EC, and Physics, Chemistry & Biology for BT with minimum 60% .Should have appeared in either JEE-
Main, BITSAT, SAT, or NUET or any State Engineering Entrance Examination.
Physics, Chemistry & Maths in Class XII with minimum 60% should have appeared in JEE-Main Examination.
University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) -offers B. TECH (4 YEARS) – Admission to above course is based on UPES Engineering Aptitude Test (UPESEAT) followed by Centralized Counseling or Non-Exam Pathway -Board Merit and - JEE Main Merit - Centralized Counseling through UPES JEE Main Merit rank.
Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology- offers B.Tech. (Information and Communication Technology) (ICT)- Admission to the above programs will be based on the All India Rank of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE-Main). Therefore, candidates who are appearing for JEE Main only can apply for these programs.
List of State Engineering Entrance Exams
*Andhra Pradesh Common Entrance Test (EAMCET)
*Bihar Combined Entrance Competitive Examination (BCECE)
*Goa Common Entrance Test (GCET)
*Jharkhand Engineering Entrance Exam (JCECE)
*Karnataka Common Entrance Test (CET)
*Kerala Engineering Architecture Medical (KEAM)
*Maharashtra Engineering Entrance Exam (CET)
*North East State Engineering Entrance (NEE)
*Orissa Joint Entrance Exam (JEE)
*Pondicherry Joint Entrance Test (PJET)
*West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination (WBJEE)
The Paper-1 (B. E./B. Tech.) of JEE (Main) is also the eligibility test for the JEE (Advanced), for admission to the undergraduate programmes offered by the IITs.
JEE (Main) has two papers, Paper-1 (B. E./B. Tech.) and Paper-2 (B. Arch./B. Planning.). Candidates can take any one or both Papers depending on the course.
Pattern of JEE (Main) - BE/
B. Tech (Paper 1)
*Entrance examination constitutes of a three-hour examination and objective questions from subjects like Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are displayed.
*Every question is scheduled to include four options.
*There will be negative marking in the exam.
Once you have cleared the Mains, the next step is to prepare for the JEE Advanced.
B. Arch/B. Planning (Paper 2)
*The entrance examination will have three parts: Mathematics, Aptitude test and Drawing test.
*While Mathematics and Aptitude test will include objective questions, the drawing test will offer questions to check the drawing aptitude of a student.
JEE Main Eligibility Criteria
*Candidates must have passed in final examination of class XII or its equivalent, referred to as the qualifying examination to be able to apply for JEE Main.
*They must have passed five subjects in their Class XII.
*Candidates can attempt JEE Main for a maximum of three times.
JEE Advanced
The JEE Advanced is the second stage of the Joint Entrance Examination, the common entrance examination for engineering admissions to 16 IITs and ISM, Dhanbad.
JEE Advanced Eligibility Criteria
Candidates must qualify in the JEE Main and be one of the top 1, 50,000 candidates to appear for the JEE Advanced.
Key to success in any entrance exam: Practice. Improve speed. Clear the concepts.
*While preparing for the JEE or other exams, keep making a sheet of all the important formulae, points to remember, tricks and everything, you feel like revising a few days before exams.
*Start with listing topics, subject wise. There are a few topics which are not in JEE syllabus, but in state entrance exams’ syllabus. Put those topics in a separate list.
*Clear concepts for the new topics, and keep revising the topics you have already read or are good at. Make the sheet for the new topics as well.
*Make a study plan according to the number of days left for your state exam and try to cover all the topics listed above. You need not go too deep into each topic, since the questions in the state exams aren’t often as demanding as that in JEE.
*Just make sure to visit every topic, especially those, in which you didn’t score well in other entrance exams.
*Solve previous papers, look for a pattern. Identify the hot topics, and make sure, you are strong in those topics. If not, then you need to Practice.
*Take timed tests: yes, it is as important, as studying your concepts. You might be able to solve many questions, but what if you cannot solve them in time, or because you were under pressure. Sit for a mock test as if you were at the JEE – no disturbance, no breaks. After the test, go through the solutions and try to identify topics that need more attention.
*Watch out for negative marking if there is any. You might actually lose more than gain by random guessing. Make guess only if you are more than 75% sure. Most of those exams don’t have negative marking however. So, make sure to attempt all questions in that case (mark the one for which you are even 50% sure).
Remember -Just keep calm and answer the questions. All you need to care about is to complete the maximum questions correct in the given time. And that will determine your rank, and the college later.
So, list topics, make a study plan, clear concepts, identify important topics, if possible, and revise all the topics at least once, and practice with timed tests. Watch out for negative marking. There you go!
There are certain strategies to follow before you attempt an entrance exam:
The first and foremost strategy is to believe in yourself. Never allow negative thoughts to rule over you. Keep a positive attitude and be confident about clearing the exam without any hassles. Help yourself, depending on your ability and capability to write an entrance exam.
You need to be a planner. Know your strengths and weaknesses to plan accordingly. The plan you chalk out should help you achieve your targets in the exam. Concentrate on your weak subjects, which require more attention and dedicated time. Then, come back to those subjects, which you can doodle over it in no time.
Keep Calm and Study
Keep calm and concentrate on your studies. Do not be overexcited while studying. Your mind should be cool and stress-free. Being optimistic throughout your exam schedule can bring in positive results. Some deep breathing should help!
Social Life
Do not cut out your social life. Try to balance your social life and academic life. Never get too engrossed in your preparation that it starts haunting you. Socialize with people around you, which can help you get back to your studies with a fresh mind.
Sample Papers
One of the best tricks to crack entrance exams is to solve sample question papers. With sample question papers, you can figure out a tight plan to manage time during your exams. The sample papers will help you get an idea about the actual question papers, and you can strategize your exam in an organized form. You will have a thought and worked out what to attend to first, and which question should be attempted in the end.
Tips for the D-Day
*Be ready to reach the test centre at least 30 minutes before the exam.
*Ensure that the Admit Card is with you during the exam.
*Attempt those questions first which don’t carry negative marking. Try to avoid those questions which you are not sure about.
*Complete the easier questions first and leave the tougher ones for later on.
*Keep calm – your preparation will help you to ace the JEE.
Usha Albuquerque is Director and Nidhi Prasad is Senior counseling Psychologist at Careers Smart Pvt. Ltd) e-mail id:
Views expressed are personal.
 Image: Courtesy Google
To get authentic information about the schedule and other details of various  engineering entrance tests readers may visit the websites of the respective institutions
- Editor