Published on Wednesday, December 4, 2013
A Guide for Engineering Aspirants
Vivek Unnikrishnan
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Engineering is a field which has many prospects in the future. For us Indians, we have a few dreams and aspirations related to the engineering field, especially the college in which we want to study. When we hear engineering colleges, some famous names come into our minds- IITs, BITS Pilani, NITs and a lot more. But for all this we need to go through the new system of admission and entrance tests- the joint entrance examinations, popularly called the JEE. As a student who has just completed the CBSE board exams and the entrance tests, I would like to provide a few guidelines to the engineering aspirants on how to face these exams, the procedure and much more.

First there are two ways for Indians in Kuwait to enter the nits and only one way to enter the IITs. For the NITS, you can write JEE mains and get to your desired college based on your all India ranking. Otherwise you can write the SAT subject tests for Mathematics (level 2), Physics and chemistry and apply for the seats through the DASA scheme. For the IITs, there is only one way and that is writing the JEE mains. The top 1,50,000 people get selected to write the JEE advanced, out of which 10,000 get selected for the seats of IITs. Now you may have a lot of questions. What are these two levels- JEE mains and advanced? What is the DASA scheme for NRIs?

The JEE or the joint entrance examination has two parts, the mains and the advanced. The JEE mains is for admission into NITs, IIITs, and other colleges. From the JEE mains, top 1,50,000 get selected to write the JEE advanced. JEE advanced is for the entry into the IITs. The top 10,000 out of the selected students get selected to IITs. The main change that was bought is the inclusion of board marks. 40% of your board marks is taken into consideration for your ranking. If you have a 95+ CBSE board marks your ranking goes up by 2000. This is why the CBSE board marks are important. For the JEE mains, our CBSE books are good enough. A few extra books like the RD Sharma mathematics, H.C.Varma Physics and the comprehensive series are a good guide to help you in this preparation. What we have to understand to crack the JEE mains is to have a through idea about the core concepts of physics, mathematics and chemistry, especially the 11th standard ones. Most of the questions in JEE mains are asked from 11th standard concepts. Due to the fact that we write JEE mains after our 12th boards, we will be aware and almost through of our 12th standard concepts, but we will forget the 11th standard ones. Try to brush up your 11th standard concepts in the summer vacations or during the 1 month after boards. Another important thing is to practice the time taken to complete the test. Time is of the essence and we have to take a lot of mock tests to get an idea about the time taken per question and complete the test at least 15 minutes before the allotted time.

If you are one among the top 1,50,000 people who have cleared the JEE mains, then you are eligible to write the JEE advanced, which is frankly speaking, very hard. If you have a dream about getting into the IITs start preparing from 11th. There are lots of study materials available so that you can get an idea of the exam. The format changes year to year and so does the marking scheme.

When the rankings come out in JEE mains, we get two ranks- one called the home state ranking and other the all India ranking. All institutions in which we can get seats through JEE have allotted almost 50% of their seats to Home state candidates. For example if you are from Kerala, using your home State ranking maybe you can get easily into NIT Calicut. For us NRIs our home state is the state mentioned in the passport.

Now if you pass the JEE mains and get a seat but not in your preferred college, then NRIs always have the option of the DASA scheme. The DASA scheme is a scheme to enable NRIs and foreigners to get seats in premier institutions like NITs, MNITs etc. For applying for the DASA scheme, you need to write the SAT subject tests in three subjects- Mathematics level 2, Chemistry and Physics. We can write how many ever times we want and send the best scores to NIT Suratkal using the SAT website itself. After the deadline, the list of the seats we get will be issued and we can accept the seat, reject it or give for up gradation. This year there were 3 rounds of seat allotment. If you have a good SAT score usually 2200+ you can get into the top 3 NITs- Trichy, Warangal or Suratkal. Even though the fees are higher compared to getting in through JEE mains, we have the chance to study in good colleges. There are many people who have clear JEE mains and advanced, but since they didn’t get their desired college, they have used the DASA scheme to achieve their dreams. Not getting the desired stream is actually secondary, since there is an option of internal sliding in NITs and IITs. Internal sliding refers to change of branch in the second year if you have a certain CGPA.

Engineering is a field where to be successful we have to stand out from the rest. Regardless of what college you go to, unless we use the resources that are made available to us in the most suitable and efficient way, we won’t reach anywhere in our career. There are a lot of engineers not only in India but all around the world. We have to be different from these other engineers to be successful in our career and get placed in reputed companies. Engineering is an ever changing field where we have to strive to be different and unique.

As Ralph J Smith said “Engineering is the professional art of applying science to the optimum conversion of natural resources to the benefit of man.”


Vivek Unnikrishnan
Sources: -from Google images, dasanit.org, jeemain.nic.in, jeeadv.iitd.ac.in.
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