JEE questions identical to 2016 test in coaching class?

MUMBAI: Students who took the national Joint Entrance Exam (Main) on Sunday for admission to India’s top engineering colleges have complained that a section of questions appear to be exactly similar to those asked in a mock test conducted by a coaching class chain in 2016.

At least nine objective questions in physics from Set C in the JEE were the same as those in the mock test held by a Hyderabad-headquartered coaching class, with even the values in the problems being similar, they said. The information was shared as a forward on Tuesday evening, going viral within hours. Some students have complained to the CBSE-which conducts the JEE-about the “coincidence”. For the board, the incident comes right after the embarrassment over the class X and XII paper leaks.

The JEE is a high stakes contest which students prepare for by attempting previous years’ tests; paper setters are conscious of that and avoid repeating problems. “We have received a word on this and the director has been alerted. We are awaiting a statement from him,” said CBSE public relations officer Rama Sharma.

Students said not only were the questions the same, even the four answer options were identical in some cases. Question numbers 64, 67, 77, 78, 81, 83, 86 and 87, were the ones found to be similar to those in the mock test.

Officials of Narayana Coaching Academy were, however, quick to refute the claims. Spokesperson Srinath said, “These questions were a part of our ‘grand finale’ test a few years ago in 2016. Similar questions are there in some text books also.” The coaching chain’s IIT coordinator Ashok Kumar Veda said, “Our research team have received these forwards and it looks like someone has doctored our question paper to malign our image.”

The similarity has baffled several other coaching classes too, which were quick to react. “We are going to ask all our students to complain about this to CBSE. I too am personally going to write to HRD minister Prakash Javadekar and demand a probe,” said Vinay Kumar, MD and CEO of Rao IIT Academy.

The 2018 edition of the JEE (main) was taken by a total of 10.43 lakh candidates who took the exam across 112 cities. The top 2,24,000 candidates will be eligible to appear in JEE Advanced on May 20, 2018 to vie for one of around 11,000 seats in the prestigious IITs.

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