01 Jun

IIT-Kharagpur professor Rajiv Kumar, who had highlighted errors in IIT entrance exam, has rubbished a series of explanations by the IIT-Joint Entrance Examination Board on mistakes in this year’s paper.

Kumar said in its explanation, IIT ignored the biggest error in its instructions for section II of paper I and section IV of paper II, by which a candidate could score 93 marks by blindly darkening all corresponding bubbles and without attracting any penalty due to no-negative marking for wrong answers. The first error was that subject headings of physics and mathematics in the optical response sheet (ORS) were interchanged. This resulted in loss of time and created confusion.

In its corrective explanation, IIT said each ORS (both for paper one and two) will be evaluated in two ways: sequential question number-wise and subject headings-wise. In each case, the higher score of the two evaluations will be taken as the candidate’s score. Should one of the ways of evaluating lead to a mark below the minimum qualifying mark in one of the subjects, the other way will be deemed to be the higher of the two scores.

But Kumar said correction by the IIT will not address the real issue. He said the main issue was of wastage of variable amount of time due to late instructions. Kumar said it would have helped if the late instructions were not passed and studets would have marked in their own way: either following the numbering of question paper or the
ORS. Since the instructions were passed, Kumar said, every studentmarked the answer in one unique way as per the instructions.

Therefore, there is no possibility of any student not following the instructions. The evaluation of ORS in two ways will not help at all. The second error was that question 44 in the mathematics section of paper I in code four of the Hindi version was not printed. In its explanation, IIT said ORS of the candidates who were given code four of the Hindi version of the paper I would be evaluated omitting Question 44 and the overall score for the mathematics section of paper 1 of those candidates will be appropriately scaled. But Kumar said, “A candidate, who got misprinted question, will suffer the most due to scaling because scaling of marks is proportionate to the average of themarks.” Kumar illustrated his argument. He said the average marks of JEE-2009 was only 11/160 or 7% in mathematics. Thus, a student, on an average, will get only 7% of the marks, which is equal to 0.21 marks instead of 3 marks, if he had attempted. A score of 0.21, on an average, is added to the score, which is not worth mentioning.

Further, he said, the average of mathematics may be less than that of JEE-2009. Third error was the question paper format and marking scheme for section IV in the Hindi version of Paper II was wrongly printed. Each question in this section was shown to carry three marks instead of eight. The corrective measure taken by IITs is that each question of section IV of paper II will be evaluated for eight marks. But Kumar said it was easy for IITs to say evaluation will be of eight marks but the main issue was that in the absence of any partial marking and seeing a low scoring question, students did not attempt this question.

How will IITs address this problem, he asked. The fourth error was that in few cases, the question paper contained two unreadable pages and two partially readable pages in the physics section of paper I. In its response, IIT said since the registration numbers of these candidates have been taken note of at the time of the examination, their ORS will be evaluated omitting the unreadable questions and their scores for the physics section of paper I will then be appropriately scaled. Kumar said like the second error, average score of physics in 2009 JEE was 8/160 or 5%. Thus, a student will get, on average, a score of extra 5% on sliding.

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