Monday, August 23, 2010


Another post with an argument for keeping the JEE in its present form. The article says, 

An issue that no one seems to care a hoot about is the imminent merger of engineering and medical tests, the AIEEE and the AIPMT. Such a combined examination will be cruelly indifferent to the plight of all those who prepare for both the disciplines in a bid to keep their options alive.
Why? The combination of AIEEE and AIPMT will merge two examinations and keep four papers (Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology). A student interested in both medicine and engineering can write all four; while students interested either in medicine or engineering can write three of the four. I do not understand what is cruelly indifferent to this plight. The article goes on to say a number of corrective measures to the mistakes in JEE this year.
Error 3: The Instructions on “Question Paper Format and Marking Scheme” for section IV in the Hindi version of Paper 2 was wrongly printed. Each question in this section was shown to carry 3 marks instead of 8.
Corrective Measure: Each question of section IV of Paper 2 will be evaluated for 8 marks.
This is the typical response from an administrator but not that of a student or faculty. A student may not attempted the question because it carries only 3 marks and would have attempted it if he/she had known that it had carried 8 marks. Often it is a question of time and mark management because no one scores 100/100 in these papers.

For example, in JEE or GATE, for multiple choice questions, we have one answer and four choices to choose from. It is not uncommon that sometimes that all the four choices are wrong. The corrective measure taken by the administrator is one of the following: (a) that all students who have attempted the question are given full marks or (b) all students irrespective of whether they have attempted the question are given full marks (c) no one is given marks and the question is not evaluated. 

All this seems to be fair. But it is not. A student, who is proficient in the subject of the question, may spend enormous time (say five min) trying to solve it again and again and keep finding that the right answer is not in one of those choices. Another student may not even attempt this question. Because the differential marks between a rank of 100 and 500 in GATE is so low, all this will count. 


Ankur Kulkarni said...

Hi Prof Madras,

I don't mean to ask you this to challenge your opinion against un-nuanced administrative measures. I wholly share your opinion. But, just as an academic or mathematical curiosity, I wonder what action (in lieu of the 3 alternatives (a), (b), (c)) could be taken, so that is it is "fair"? And what does it mean to be "fair", in your opinion?


Anonymous said...

I worked with Giridhar when he was GATE chairman and I know what action he wants to take.

Ask faculty who consistently these wrong questions not to participate in the question paper setting process. But invariably these faculty are always recommended by the head of their department because these faculty have "experience"