The Abhyas App was the favourite of the aspirants from rural sector who could ill-afford expensive private coaching. “Aspirants through this app can take free mock tests, work on them offline to save internet data and assess their strengths and weaknesses. In 2021, out of the 6 lakh students who were scheduled to appear for JEE Main April session, only 65,000 students would have been attempting the exam for the first time. Majority of the aspirants had already got a feel of the exam in February and March, which boosted their confidence,” says former NTA official and senior IIT Delhi faculty on condition of anonymity. NTA’s decision to conduct the exams four times a year has helped students better their performance.
“Postponement of the exam could be a boon to students as it can improve upon their chances of getting into the IITs. On the flipside, the uncertainty may breed complacency and loss of concentration,” says NV Ramanna Rao, director, NIT Warangal.
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Rescheduling of exam dates does not impact the cream of the students. “It is the fence sitters who get impacted,” he adds. Since many students enrol for IIT coaching as early as in class VI, deferring the exams by a few months can hardly make a difference. “By the time such students with high IQs and ability to tackle problems easily attempt JEE Main, cracking competitive exams is no longer a huge challenge.”
At Kota, the hub of IIT coaching, which caters to 35,000-40,000 students for JEE Main every year, the focus is on making aspirants take the mock tests. “Around 80% of our students appeared in the February and March sessions with 9,000 students preparing for the April exam,” says Vinod Kumawat, vice president and senior faculty-Physics, ALLEN Career Institute, Kota. Students are now focussing on multiple revisions and online tests without slackening their preparation process, he adds.?
Jabalpur boy Utkarsh Singh, an aspirant from the institute, has no regrets that he could not attempt the April session. With over 99 percentile score in both the February and March sessions, Utkarsh says the risks of a one day’s performance in April far outweighs the lure of a 100 percentile score. “I no longer look forward to it.” Presently, he has his sights on the IITs and the CBSE boards, attending Zoom classes, live interactions and telephonic chats for conceptual clarity. With dreams of becoming a software engineer from one of the top five IITs, he hopes for better days ahead.