11 reasons JEE advanced (IIT exam) is so tough & difficult

In this article let’s take a look at 11 important reasons why JEE advanced is so tough and difficult exam,

You should read this article because all the reasons i mentioned in this article are backed by data and statistics.

So without further ado let’s get started.

11 reasons Why JEE advanced is so tough & difficult

Tough eligibility criteria

The first step in order to attempt JEE advanced exam is to be eligible for this exam and the eligibility criteria is that you will have to first clear the JEE mains exam which is the first stage of the exam.

Normally the JEE mains exam is conducted twice every year which is in the month of January and in the month of April.

And according to report of Indian express, In 2020, over 14 lakh students appeared for the exams in 2 sessions september and january and only 1.5 lakh students have actually appeared for the advanced exam so you can see how tough it is to crack the exam.

Which means every year more than 12 lakh students apply for JEE mains exam and out of those only 2.5 lakh students can qualify for this exam and get a chance to appear in the next exam which is JEE advanced which means if you are not among those 2.5 lakh students you cannot attend JEE advanced exam.

And Minimum 75% marks you should get in your 12 board and for SC/ST/PwD students the percentage if decreased to 65.

Because of such tough eligibility criteria of the exam only best of the best students can attempt JEE advanced exam which makes it more difficult because now

the competition is among the best students who are ready to give their 100% effort in the preparation in exam and the fact is that many students prepare for this exam for almost three years from their school age itself.

Vast Syllabus

Another reason why JEE advanced is so tough and difficult is because the syllabus and the concepts you need to learn is so huge and vast compare to JEE mains even though the subjects are Maths physics and Chemistry same in JEE mains.

For example mathematics is an important subject of JEE advanced, and the concepts you need to learn in maths are, algebra, probability, matrices, trigonometry, analytical geometry, differential calculus, integral calculus, vectors.

As you can see there are many concepts you need to learn in mathematics alone and similarly you will have many other concepts to learn in physics and Chemistry subjects which makes it quite hard to prepare because you need to remember many theorems and formulas.

You can check out the complete syllabus of JEE advanced in detail by clicking here.

Tough Paper pattern

Another reason why this exam is so tough is, even the exam pattern is quite difficult.

The exam pattern is multiple choice question and numerical answer type questions and also matching type questions.

When it comes to multiple choice question or MCQ what becomes tricky is the way questions get asked, normally MCQ questions have a list of options where there is only one correct answer you need to find but in this exam

 there are 6 questions which will have many correct answers in the MCQ options not just one so you will have to choose not just one which becomes tricky and difficult while solving the problems and there are also numerical answer type questions.

And normally the JEE advanced paper will be designed by best IIT professors and the questions will test the students critical, analytical thinking so the questions are normally based upon the concepts but majority of the Indian students have the habit of mugging up the concept, rote learning, and

cramming the formulas instead of learning the concept and because majority of the questions asked in JEE advance are based upon concept it becomes quite hard for the students to clear the exam because they do not have much knowledge about the concept of particular subject.

Limited seats & high competition

Another reason why this exam is so tough and difficult is because there are limited seats available in IIT colleges.

As a matter of fact there are only 23 IIT colleges in our country and the total number of seats for UG programs in all IITs is 16,234 But as from the data over 2.5 lakh students appear for Advanced exam for these seats in IIT, keep in mind over 60% of the seats are reserved to specific caste students.

And because of Limited seats and many students want to get a seat and admission into IIT college which makes this exam even more difficult so that the best student can get admission into the IIT college.

High value of IIT colleges

You might have got a doubt in your mind that why this IIT colleges are so prestigious and popular in Indian students.

As a matter of fact there are approximately 3,500 engineering colleges in our country but over 10 lakh students prepare to get admission in IIT colleges which are in only 23 in number.

It is because, IIT colleges are best when it comes to getting engineering graduation in India because,

  • IIT colleges have best faculty and teachers to teach a particular subject to student
  • IIT colleges have world class infrastructure and facilities for students to learn and grow
  • IIT colleges offer approximately 90% of placement guarantee for students
  • IIT colleges are world popular educational institutions and many international students visit IIT to get their education,
  • Students also get an opportunity to meet eminent professors, scientists and Nobel laureates while also being made eligible for fellowships, scholarships and financial assistance on projects in IIT

You can learn more about benefits and drawbacks of getting admission in IIT colleges in detail by clicking here.

But what about the remaining 3400 engineering colleges in our country, first of all you should know that majority of the engineering colleges in our country are private and

they neither have good faculty, professors and lecturers nor do they have good equipment and infrastructure.

And there are many engineering colleges in our country which have not been approved and do not have proper licence of AICTE and many engineering colleges are even banned by AICTE quite recently due to improper licence.

Because of this reason more than 80% of engineers in India are unemployed who graduate from low grade engineering colleges in our country and

 on the other hand students graduating from IIT colleges usually get a job in any multinational company with a package of more than one crore from computer science and other top engineering branches.

Because of this reason most students and their parents show their interest to get admission into IIT colleges compared to other engineering colleges in our country because of

better education faculty, infrastructure and salary and JEE mains and advance exam is the only way you can get admission into IIT for engineering.

Limited time

JEE Advanced Paper 1 and Paper 2 have 54 questions each, divided into PCM subjects each subject has 18 questions, and each paper carries total of 183 marks.

This is a computer-based examination where you will have 3 hours of time for each paper of the exam and four hours for physically handicapped candidates.

You might think that 3 hours for 54 questions is quite enough time but it depends upon individual, and there are factors like difficult exam pattern which we have already discussed earlier and negative marking which makes the paper tough.

There will be certain questions in the paper like in the maths subject where students spend a large chunk of their time solving that individual question and students would not be able to allocate enough time to other questions and

there will be a lot of pressure upon the students because this exam is conducted only once every year and there is only one more chance left which is the next year.

Fewer attempts chance

Another reason is that this exam is conducted only once every year and if you don’t clear this exam in your first attempt then you can get a chance to drop one year and

prepare for this exam in one year period and attempt the exam in the next year and The maximum number of attempts that the candidates can get is two times in two consecutive years.

And because of only two chances of attempt students put a lot of energy and effort in their first attempt which is also one reason why this exam is so tough to crack.

Negative marking

Another reason why this exam is so tough and difficult to crack is that there is the feature of negative marking which means for every wrong answer

you choose in multiple-choice question one mark will be deducted if the question has only one correct answer and two marks will be reduced if the question has multiple correct answers from your marks.

Because of this even in a gap of a couple of marks, your rank will get changed between a couple of thousand students.

Caste reservations

In my opinion this is also one of the reason why this exam is so tough.

You should know that Currently, reservation of IIT are 10%, 15%, 7.5% and 27% seats are actually present for the students coming from various communities like general EWS, SC, ST and OBC respectively and this concludes that more than 60% of the seats are reserved to caste students in the IIT.

Which means the real competition for students is only between 40% of the seats and there is no meritocracy system in JEE advanced exam.

Because of caste reservations certain section of students who belong to certain caste & group get upper hand over other students just because they belong to certain caste.

Lack of good teachers & guidance

Another reason why this exam is so tough is because there is a serious lack of good teachers and proper guidance of students who properly teach the subject and make it interesting.

Because of this students cannot properly understand the concept and do not properly learn and solve the questions and because of this they will get problems when they write the JEE mains exam and

majority of the questions in JEE advanced exam are based upon concept and because of lack of good teachers available in colleges who properly teach the concept to students fail in exam.

Thankfully we have many platforms now where you can get good teachers and guidance on online platforms like unacademy and byju’s for the JEE aspirants but still majority of students cannot afford the coaching because of higher price.

Lack of awareness and career guidance

This is my opinion BTW, the last reason is lack of awareness and career guidance among students.

Majority of the students in our country have limited career options in mind like becoming a doctor, engineer, Chartered accountant or Civil Servant.

And because of lack of awareness, peer & family pressure, and lack of career guidance, students choose engineering which therefore increases the competition and

the fact is majority of the students who pursue engineering in our country do not have any interest towards it.

You can learn more about career options for MPC students apart from engineering in detail by clicking here.

With that said let’s conclude the article.


These are all the important reasons why JEE advanced is so tough and difficult exam.

Do comment down what do you think are the reasons for JEE advance is so difficult and tough exam in the comment section below.

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