New Delhi: The merit list of candidates appearing for the Joint Entrance Examination – Main (JEE-Main) will be based on the percentile scores. JEE-Main Exam is conducted for aspirants seeking admission to engineering colleges, including Indian Institutes of Technology. The merit list for the same will not be based on the marks secures by the candidates in the exam. A qualifying exam for JEE-Main aspirants has been introduced based on a two-cycle computer-based examination system from 2019. Candidates who clear the JEE (Main) can sit for JEE (Advanced) for admission to IITs.

The new procedure to arrive at the NTA score, as set by the National Testing Agency (NTA), is based on the final merit list. Since the formats for courses such as engineering and architecture have changed with tests to be held in January and April, the merit list prepared finally will be used for admissions to IITs.

The “normalisation procedure based on percentile score” to arrive at the NTA score is based on the format that an undergraduate-MBBS test conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi currently practices, stated a senior official of the HRD ministry. The official added, “A core group of experts from IITs (Roorkee, Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati), IIM-Lucknow, NITs, UGC, IASRI (Pusa) and AIIMS, Delhi, among others have been asked to finalise the process for calculating the NTA score.”

From 2019 onwards, a JEE-Main aspirant will have the choice of attempting the test two times, during the January and April cycles. Each test cycle will have 14 days with multiple sessions each day. An NTA official explained the format saying, “Candidates will get different sets of questions per session and though efforts will be made to maintain equivalence among various question papers, the difficulty level of question papers in different sessions may not exactly be same.” Therefore the prospects of cheating and manipulation are lesser.