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JEE Main Online vs. Offline

It was in the year 2013 that CBSE made the addition of online mode to JEE Mains and since then, it has been a topic of heated debate among JEE aspirants as to choose which one: Online mode or Offline mode for the exam? Here we would put both in contrast and leave it on to you to draw conclusion.

Sense of Familiarity

It is well known that most of the students join some or the other classes to aid themselves in their preparation for JEE. Except for the “online exclusive” coaching classes, all others follow the conventional “pen and paper” method in their test series as well as internal tests.

Owing to it, the students become very comfortable with the offline mode of examination. To choose JEE Main online mode is a risky endeavour for such students as their comfortable zone is “pen and paper” and not “keyboard and mouse”.

Dissimilarity in Methodology

The methods of tackling the two different types of examination are quite different. To begin with, the method of representation of questions is different: in the JEE Main online mode you’ve a single question on your screen at once, while in the offline mode you’ve anywhere from two to five questions on a single page. JEE Main online mode , fosters to focus on a single question, but for some students it could be a disadvantage as they might be used to looking at and working with multiple questions simultaneously.

The representation of the question list is also different in both the modes and, in a way it could have a huge impact on your performance. There is a question palette in the JEE Main online examination to help you navigate through and make “marks” through the paper. This proves to be helpful except for a few instances- say you’ve marked some questions for review and you wish to move to the question on the topic of “Gaseous state” for review at the moment, to find it you’ll have to navigate through all the marked questions. However, in the offline mode it’s not much of a pain since you have your eyes on many questions at a single time.

Another important and highly neglected aspect is the time-management under the two contrasting modes; in one you’ve the clock placed above your head and in the other in front of your head. For many, it could be an important decisive factor since nobody likes to hear the tick of the time-bomb every second. It might instil the unnecessary pressure and prove to be a blunderbuss in such times.

Nonetheless, JEE Main online has the biggest plus point in terms of time management that is, you don’t have to darken the bubbles but just click the right answer. Even against the fastest student, it is a straight unconditional lead of 15 minutes and can make a massive difference in the score. Added to that is the fact, you cannot change your answer once marked in the offline mode but in JEE Main online it can be done till the time’s running.

Impact Over Solving Problems

JEE Main online is held at least a week after the offline exam. Since JEE Mains is majorly held during or just after the class XII examination of many boards so, those few extra days that you get in online mode for revision can prove to be of ultimate significance. It is generally this reason that gravitates many students towards JEE Main online. The freedom to choose your slot and higher number of online centres are like icing on the cake.

Most of the times, it happens that while solving a problem in the offline paper we run out of space and must compromise the solution on that very page itself. This can have a negative impact on questions that involve long calculations (very common in JEE Mains) and sky-rockets the chances of silly mistakes. Such is not the case with online pattern and ample of rough sheets are provided; even to the extent that you can solve each question on separate sheets (not recommended though).

Following from previous points, JEE Main online does have its own share of issues in the context of problem solving. The most troublesome of them is that one must reiterate all the important details like diagrams and other values onto the rough paper and it can consume time, and not everyone’s perfect with hands/speed. However, this is not the case with offline mode and you can always project your pen over the paper directly.

For most it is very fatiguing to sit in front of computer and solve the paper with utmost focus in that condition. This can majorly lead to error in copying values from the screen to the rough sheet and sometimes, even lead to missing important details of the question. In the offline mode, it is much easier to cruise through the questions in the last few minutes and find things that you might have missed on such as some easy question, some calculation mistakes etc.

Other Minor Factors

It is widely infamous that at the online centres technical glitches are common and this leads many to not opt for JEE Main online mode. This is partially true and can prove to be more of a boon than bane. The clock in the system stops working the moment there is some glitch in the system and resumes only once the things get rectified. The time after the glitch and before the rectification is all yours and can be used to solve the problem you were working on or just relax your mind. That said, with five years of experience in conducting the online exam, these bugs and technological hiccups have been reduced to (almost) nil.

Also, the exam happens during summers and the weather can be daunting in some parts of the country, and it is then that JEE Main online will come to your rescue. The online exams are held in well Air-Conditioned labs of reputed institutes and private tenders thus, setting a great environment contrary to school-classroom environment of the offline exam mode.

Apart from the above-mentioned points, there is almost no difference between the online and offline exam; not the least in terms of difficulty. The toughness of the paper is similar and there is no correlation between the mode you attend and complexity of the paper at all. It is you who must choose between the two (keeping in mind the above given points) and ace the paper.

Just remember — “Not necessarily the most travelled way is always meant for you, sometimes all that is required is the path less travelled.

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