Friday, November 20, 2009

First experience with a Scribe....

Last month a journo wanted to have my perspective about the proposed change in the cut off marks for IIT-JEE application. Since this article has already been published, I wanted to put it here,....

Mail I received:

Dear xyz,
Trust this mail finds you well. Allow me to introduce myself. I write on corporate strategy for the Forbes magazine.
At Forbes, I am working on a piece around Mr. Kapil Sibal’s recommendation that the cut off for IIT JEE aspirants should be raised to 80% from 60% today. Sure, he retracted that statement last week but his idea was that the IIT system should be freed from the clutches of coaching institutes. I will be glad if you can share your perspective on the subject. Here a couple of questions;
1. What, to your mind, would be the average percentage scored by the 7300 students who got into IIT in the last two years in their 10+2 exams?
2. What is the likely scenario to emerge in the event of the 80% cut off being implemented?

I have a deadline till Thursday to complete this piece and I am really looking forward to your assistance. Thanks for your time.

I am sorry but time is really running out. Will it be possible for me to call you. Can you share your number?

Warm regards,

My Response:
As we know that coaching classes are not unique for IIT-JEE preparations only. These has been in existence for many decades, and now we have coaching classes for the preparation of clerk recruitment, school teacher selection exams to GRE, GMAT, and UPSC and many other competitions. As the Indian economy grows further, people have enough money to provide their children with best of guidance and education, and this has led to to spread of coaching and tuition class culture.

I remember, when my father asked me to prepare well for my Rajasthan board exams first, and if I could score more then 80% marks, then he would send me for JEE coaching to Kota, Rajasthan. I scored 81% and 85% in 10th and 12th standard exams and he fulfilled his promise. I took a year's drop after school education and cleared the JEE exam to go to IIT Kharagpur. I'm sure that it would not have been possible with out coaching, as the JEE exam was very different from Board exams. He said that it was a kind of investment he was making for my better future. And I'm happy that he made the right decision.

The following are the responses to your questions:
· What, to your mind, would be the average percentage scored by the 7300 students who got into IIT in the last two years in their 10+2 exams?
It is difficult to answer this question as the syllabus and marking patterns vary widely across different central and state higher secondary education boards. The questions asked in IIT-JEE exam are based on the application of concepts and complete understanding of the subject, while the school exams are mainly rote learning based. The marks obtained by general category aspirants vary in the range of 60% to 98%. I know one of my batch mates, who had scored just 62% in his 10+2 exam of the Madhya Pradesh Secondary Education Board and cleared the JEE exam in first attempt. One the other hand, another student, who was in the merit list (top 10) of 10th as well as 10+2 exams of Rajasthan Education board, but could not clear the JEE exam even in two attempts. So it does not mean that a student with higher percentage of marks in his board exams is good student for IIT and others are not.
As per my knowledge the average marks scored by students should be in the range of 70% to 80%.

· What is the likely scenario to emerge in the event of the 80% cut off being implemented?
If 80% cut off is implemented, then it is going to be more difficult for JEE aspirants to prepare for both exams as the paper patterns and preparation methods are of different nature. Sincere aspirants may lose the focus of their ultimate target, to make it into an IIT.
It may even lead to proliferation of coaching classes and schools boasting of their students, who got higher percentage of marks in their board exams. Now coaching classes are offering classroom and distance learning courses for students of even 7th to 10th standards, to groom them for JEE and other similar competitive exams. Coaching classes are looking forward to the online education market it will create. And these developments are certainly going to put the rural and poor aspirants in a disfavour able situation.
On the other side, it may lead to some other changes as well. Students can focus on their studies in school; obtain the required percentage of marks and then prepare for JEE exam. But in this case, they will have to play with one year of their precious time. The role of coaching classes and special training schools is not going to be diminished by this change.

My contact no is +91-99864-54428.

All the best for your report.



  1. jarur ladki rahee hogi wo scribe, jabhi beta itna lamba reply aur last me apna phone number chipkaya hai ;)

  2. Your blog is very good and very helpful for students
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