JEE Main Counseling: How Does It Work?

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Once you qualify for the JEE Main exam for admission into the National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), and Government Funded Technical Institutes (GFTIs) you can participate in the JEE Main counseling process.

JEE Main counseling is conducted by the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA). The counseling process takes place online and consists of six rounds for admission into the participating institutes.

The JEE Main counseling process consists of five steps.

JEE Main Counseling Step 1 – Online Registration

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You must register online to participate in JEE Main counseling, and for filling in the institutes and branches of your choice. You need to enter your JEE Main roll number and password.

Once you’re logged in, verify your personal information. This personal information is the same as what you put in your application form for the JEE Main. You can edit your contact details, if required. Submit the form after you’ve filled and verified all the required details.

JEE Main Counseling Step 2 – Online Choice Filling

You need to fill out your choice of institutes and branches in decreasing order of preference. Fill in as many choices as possible. The seat allocation is done considering:

  • what your preferences are,
  • your All-India rank,
  • your category,
  • availability of the seats for that branch and institute,
  • reservation norms, and
  • preferences of the other candidates.

Candidates who secure better ranks get their preferences before candidates who get a lower rank.

If you fill in too few choices for the branches and institutes, you might not be allotted a seat–particularly if the choices you’ve filled are occupied by candidates who secured better ranks than you. So you should fill in a large number of choices to be on the safe side. You can get an idea of the choices that you should fill by looking at the rank cutoff trends of previous years.

After making your choices you can still change, edit, or delete them. When you are satisfied with your choices, you can go ahead and “Lock” them. Once you’ve locked your choices, you cannot edit them later. If you fail to lock your choices before the time-window closes, your last saved choices will be automatically locked.

Note that you can lock your choices after each round of JEE Main counseling. You can fill and lock your upgraded choices after each round.

JEE Main Counseling Step 3 – Seat Allotment

The Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) is responsible for the seat allotment of the various candidates who participate in JEE Main counseling. You are allotted a seat according to one of the choices that you filled in during counseling.

These following factors are considered for allocation of the best possible seats:

  • Category (GEN, OBC, SC, ST, PwD etc) of the candidate
  • All-India rank of the candidate in JEE Main
  • Priority order of the choices of institutes and branches filled by the candidate
  • Availability of the seats as per the candidate’s category

Once you are allotted a seat, you are informed via an email on the registered email ID, or an SMS on the registered phone number. After this, you must download your seat allotment letter.

You must select one of the ‘Freeze’, ‘Float’, and ‘Slide’ options for the seat you are allocated. These options are described below:

  • Freeze: You should select this option to accept the allotted seat. However, you will not be allowed to participate in further counseling rounds.
  • Float: When you accept the allotted seat but want a seat in a higher preference institute, you should select this option. By selecting this option, you are considered in the further rounds of JEE Main counseling.
  • Slide: If you accept the allotted seat and are looking for a higher preference option in the same institute, you need to select the Slide option. Then, you are still considered in the further rounds of the JEE Main counseling.

Note that the Freeze, Float, and Slide options won’t be available to you if you have been allotted your first preference. Also, if you want to change your selected option (Freeze, Float, or Slide), you must report to the allotted center for changes. No changes are permitted in the last round of the seat allocation process.

JEE Main Counseling Step 4 – Seat Acceptance and Fee Payment

Registration on the JEE Main counseling portal and the filling up of choices is free. But if you accept the allotted seat, you must pay the seat acceptance fee through SBI Net Banking/e-Challan.

For provisional seat acceptance, you must get your documents verified at the reporting center. You’ll then be issued a provisional admission letter. Provisional seat acceptance means that you have accepted your allotted seat and are willing to take admission in the allotted institute. It also means that you wish to do your graduation in the allotted branch if you are not allotted a seat of higher preference.

However, you may withdraw your admission even after provisionally accepting a seat. But this comes at the cost of losing your chance to take part in further rounds of counseling, and the spot round as well (you’ll get to know about the spot round later in this post).

JEE Main Counseling Step 5 – Reporting to the Final Allocated Institute

This is the last step in the JEE Main counseling procedure. You need to report to the allotted institute along with the necessary documents and certificates. The required documents are as follows:

  • 3 passport size photographs (the same photo as you uploaded during registration)
  • Provisional seat allotment letter
  • Category certificate (if applicable)
  • Class 12 mark sheet
  • Photo identity card
  • JEE Main admit card
  • Proof of seat acceptance fee payment
  • Date of birth proof
  • JEE Main scorecard

Withdrawal of Seat

To withdraw your seat, you must arrive at the reporting center before the sixth round of counseling. You will not be considered for the further rounds of JEE Main counseling once you have withdrawn your seat.

After the withdrawal of the seat, the seat acceptance fee will be refunded after deducting Rs. 1000 as the processing charge.

Seat Reservation

According to the rules made by the Government of India, candidates who belong to any reserved category will be allotted the seats reserved for them. The reservation rules of the state apply to candidates who are seeking admission in State Engineering colleges through JEE Main. The state reservation benefits are given only to candidates if their castes, classes, or tribes are in the respective central list for admission into the NITs, IIITs, and CFTIs, as published by the Government of India.

The various reserved categories for admission into the institutes via JEE Main are as follows:

  • Other Backward Classes – Non-Creamy Layer (OBC-NCL)
  • Scheduled Castes (SC)
  • Scheduled Tribes (ST)
  • Persons with Disability (PwD)

Spot Round Seat Allotment

When some seats are left vacant after the regular rounds of JEE Main counseling, a spot round of seat allotment might happen.

If you are already registered for the JEE Main counseling process, you need not do a fresh registration for the spot round. However, if you have not registered for the counseling process earlier and you wish to take part in the spot round seat allotment, you need to register on the counseling portal. You must fill in the choices, pay the fee, and lock your choices.

Some Other Important Points

  • 50% of the seats at any NIT are reserved for the Home State (HS) quota candidates, whereas the remaining seats are open for the Other State (OS) candidates
  • The candidates from the Union Territories which do not have an NIT (for example Andaman and Nicobar islands, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli) will receive full HS quota at the nearest NIT. The seats reserved for the candidates from these Union Territories are ‘supernumerary’ – meaning they will be allocated in addition to the HS quota seats of the respective NITs.

This is all you need to know about JEE Main counseling. I hope this post helps in making your counseling process smoother. I wish you good luck for getting the institute and branch of your highest preference. All the best!

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4 Responses to JEE Main Counseling: How Does It Work?

  1. Hadi June 23, 2018 at 7:12 pm #

    How will we get to know that we have been alloted a seat in first round only or further.
    And is there anything we need to do on the counselling date

    • Harshita Srivastava
      Harshita Srivastava July 5, 2018 at 5:53 pm #

      Hi Hadi!
      The status of seat allocation will be displayed in the JoSAA portal when you login. If a seat is not allotted in the first round, the candidate has to wait for the further rounds.
      If a seat is allotted, the candidate has to submit a provisional acceptance letter along with other documents in the zonal IIT.
      Hope that helps! 🙂

  2. ANUSHKA VERMA May 1, 2019 at 9:59 am #

    In step 4 of jee main counselling…. The amount which we pay through e-challan for freezing the allotted seat it’s paid to whom?! And how much do we need to pay through online banking?!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 24, 2019 at 5:08 pm #

      Hi Anushka,

      This website is meant to help people prepare for the JEE, but we do not administer the test or collect fees for it. You may want to as your question on the JEE page:

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