The JEE-Mains exam for admission to engineering colleges will be held four times a year starting 2021 to offer flexibility to students and a chance to improve their scores, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced on Wednesday.

READ | JEE-Main 2021: Exam schedule, other important details announced; students know major decision

The first edition of the JEE Main exam will be held from February 23 to 26, followed by rounds in March, April and May. “We have examined the suggestions received from students and various quarters and it has been decided that JEE-Mains will be held in four sessions in February, March, April and May,” Nishank said.

“The first session will be held from February 23-26 and the results will be declared within five days from the last date of exams,” he said. “The move will ensure that students don’t miss out on opportunities due to clash of exams or due to the COVID-19 situation at present,” he added.

Nishank also said students will be given a choice to answer 75 questions (25 each in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) out of 90 (30 each in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics). 

“The students will be able to give the exam at their own discretion anytime in these four turns. They will be able to choose the exam month as per his choice. A student takes the exam four times, in which the best of four will be counted,” said Pokhriyal.

He said, “In a first, IIT JEE will be conducted in 13 languages The JEE (Main) is being conducted in multiple sessions (February/March/April/May 2021) for admissions in the next academic session.”

The minister added, “The candidates will thus benefit in the following ways: This will give multiple opportunities to the candidates to improve their scores in the examination if they fail to give their best in the first attempt without wasting their whole academic year.”

“In the first attempt, the students will get a first-hand experience of taking an examination and will know their mistakes which they can improve while attempting for the next time. This will reduce the chances of dropping a year and droppers would not have to waste a full year. If anyone missed the examination due to reasons beyond control, then he/she will not have to wait for one full year. The student’s best of the 2021 NTA Scores will be considered for preparation of Merit List/ Ranking,” he added.

Earlier, he said that he examined the suggestions received for conducting JEE-Mains 2021 and the schedule will be announced as per that. “Thank you all for sharing your constructive suggestions regarding JEE (Main) exams. We have got your suggestions examined. I will be announcing the schedule, the number of times the exam will be held at 6 PM today,” Nishank tweeted.

In an online interaction with students last week, the Minister had announced that the government is considering the possibility of holding the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) three or four times a year and a proposal is being evaluated on reducing the number of questions that students can attempt in JEE (Main) 2021.

The Minister has already clarified that there will be no change in the syllabus for medical entrance exam NEET or engineering entrance exam JEE-Main 2021. Regarding the class 10 and 12 board exams, the minister had said the consultations with stakeholders are in progress for deciding the dates of board examinations and it will be announced soon based on the feedback from the stakeholders.

“The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is yet to take a decision on the dates of conducting board examinations including practicals. In case students are not able to do practical in classes before the examinations, alternatives to practical examinations will be explored,” he had said.

Schools across the country were closed in March to contain the spread of COVID-19 and partially reopened in some states from October 15. However, a few states decided to keep them closed in view of a spike in coronavirus cases.

The board exams that were being conducted in March had to be postponed mid-way. The exams were later cancelled, and the results were announced on the basis of an alternative assessment scheme.

Competitive exams like JEE and NEET were also postponed twice this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been demands for postponement of board exams to May in view of the continued closure of schools and teaching-learning activities being completely online.

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