What is the Key Difference in the Preparation of the JEE Mains and Advance?

by Sagar Mankar, August 14, 2020

Both JEE Main and JEE Advance are the entrance examinations conducted to facilitate admission to the top engineering colleges in India. If you are a student from science stream and aspiring to get an engineering degree from NITs, IITs, CFTIs, then you must be wondering about the difference between JEE Mains and JEE Advance.

Knowing the differences in detail is essential. It will help you to plan your preparation accordingly. Here, we will be discussing the vital difference between JEE Main and JEE Advanced, and how you can balance between the preparation for both.


What is the Significant Difference between JEE Main and JEE Advance?

Even though both the examinations are entrance for engineering stream there exist difference between the two. The primary difference between JEE Advanced and JEE Main is that the former is only for admission to the Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs). On the other hand, JEE Main is for admission to several National Institute of Technologies (NITs) along with other central-aided engineering colleges in India.

Furthermore, it is the National Testing Agency (NTA) that conducts JEE Mains but one of the seven zonal IITs conduct the exam each year under the Joint Admission Board, which is a major difference between JEE Mains and JEE Advance.

Likewise, in terms of total marks, JEE Main is of 360 marks and questions are classified into physics, maths and chemistry and are in MCQ pattern. From each section, 30 questions are asked, and for each correct answer, you get +4 marks, and for a wrong attempt, you get -1 mark.

On the other hand, in JEE advance, the total marks will be 306 where you will get three sections for each subject. Furthermore, each section contains a different kind of MCQs wherein a single MCQ can have more than one correct answer as well. It is important to keep this distinction in mind. Before appearing for any exam, assessing the question pattern and marks distribution will aid you to prepare effectively.

Another JEE Main and Advance difference pertains to the difficulty level. The difficulty level of JEE Advance is much higher than its counterpart, JEE Mains. Needless to say, students need to level up their preparation accordingly.


Which Exam Should I Aim For - JEE Main or Advanced?

Choosing between JEE Mains and Advance can be challenging for most of the students, and an analysis of the area of strengths and weaknesses is needed in this regard. As a matter of fact, most ambitious students would like to get admitted into the IITs as those are considered to be the premier colleges for obtaining an engineering degree.

However, securing a seat in IITs is not an easy task owing to immense competition. In 2019, a total of 1.73 lakh students appeared in JEE advanced for 13, 853 seats in different IITs across the nation.

 Although JEE Advanced is the second part of JEE Mains, the fundamental JEE Advanced and JEE Mains difference is the pattern of questions asked from the subject and the associated level of difficulty. For instance, while JEE Mains mainly adhere to the syllabus of class 11 and 12, JEE Advanced asks conceptual questions that require much greater understanding and may not be readily available in the study materials.

Hence if you want to excel in JEE Advanced, you need to take a rigorous approach towards the preparation. On the other hand, if you are aiming to qualify only JEE mains, then covering the class 11 and 12 syllabuses thoroughly and following NCERT books are recommended.

For those who do not know, a vital difference between JEE Mains and JEE Advance is that after qualifying class 12 board exam, a student will be eligible to apply for JEE Mains. However, to sit for JEE Advanced, you must qualify Mains first with the required cut-off marks.

For instance, almost 9,21,261 students are likely to appear for JEE mains in 2020, and only 2,50,000 candidates will be qualified to sit for JEE advanced. From these statistics you will be able to realise the intense competition that you have to withstand to secure a place at the institution of your choice.

It is advisable to make a fair assessment about where one stands with respect to academic performance. Once you are promoted to class 11 and chosen science stream, you will be able to understand where you are heading with the studies within a year.


How can I Prepare for Both the Examinations?

Even with the difference between JEE and JEE Advanced, the syllabus is more or less the same. Following are some tips that you can consider while preparing for both the examinations.

  • Get a clear and detailed idea of the entire syllabus for both examinations and find out the topics that are common and start with those. For example, gravitation, waves, optics, semiconductors are there in physics syllabus in both Mains and Advanced.

  • Once the common chapters from each subject are covered then move on to the chapters that are varying in the two examinations.

  • No matter the exam you are appearing in, developing an in-depth understanding is vital as it will equip you with adequate knowledge to sit for any exam that have similar syllabus.

  • Another difference between Mains and Advanced is the pattern of examination. Usually in Mains, direct formula based questions are asked. On the contrary, in Advanced, you can expect derivation based questions as well. Hence, you need to have a good preparation so that you will be able to tackle any kind of question that may come.

  • Practice makes one perfect and it applies for exam preparation as well. Rote learning is futile in such national level entrance examination. Along with the detailed study, you need to solve as many questions as you can. Also, sit for mock tests to assess your level of preparation.

No matter what the difference between JEE Mains and JEE Advance is, following these simple tips can bring you success in the examinations.


What are the Things I Need to Keep in Mind while Preparing for Both JEE Mains and Advance?

First and foremost, students who are preparing to sit for JEE Mains and Advanced must be aware that both these exams consist of two papers - Paper 1 and Paper 2. However, now JEE Mains have added a third paper, B.Planning to the syllabus leading to another difference between IIT JEE Main and Advance.


Some of the Other Differences are -

  1. Eligibility Criteria

Before appearing for any exam, you must have clear knowledge about the eligibility criteria as any confusion may lead to the cancellation of your exam application. In this regard, you must know that in JEE Mains, there are no age limit criteria. It means the candidates who have cleared the class 12 board or equivalent exam in 2018 or 2019 will be eligible to sit for JEE Mains. 

You may check the age-related criteria with the institutions, you want to apply. On the other hand, to sit for JEE advanced, the candidates must be born on or after October 1, 1995, and a relaxation of 5 years is given to SC/ST/ PwD candidates. 

  1. Number of Attempts

Another major difference between JEE Mains and JEE Advance is the number of attempts that a student may give. National Testing Agency is in charge of conducting JEE mains in India. They have declared that a total 6 students can appear for the mains in three consecutive years from the passing year of their 12 board examination. 

However, in the case of JEE advanced, the maximum number of attempt limit is 2 in two consecutive years. 

  1. Subject Wise Marks Distribution

The marks distribution for physics, chemistry and mathematics are different in JEE Mains from Advanced. If you want to make a foolproof study plan to crack the exam in one go, then you must remember the topic-wise weightage of each subject. Doing so, you will be able to put extra effort into the areas that require special attention. 

Another difference between JEE Mains and JEE Advance is that the number of questions in JEE Mains is fixed unlike in the JEE Advanced. 

  1. Exam Dates

If you are appearing for any of these exams, you must keep an eye on the important dates regularly. It will ensure that you are not missing any important dates like the last date of submitting a form. 

  1. Tentative Seat Availability

Besides continuing with consistent preparation, you should also find out the seat availability for the year you are appearing. It can be confirmed by visiting the college website where you intend to apply for your degree course. For example, in 2019 a total of 1115 seats were available at IIT Bombay for JEE advanced qualified students. 

These are some of the key difference between JEE Main and Advanced preparation that you need to take into consideration while appearing for any of these entrance examinations. Being clear about these aspects will enable you to perform well in the exams and securing an excellent position likewise.

Hence equipped with sufficient information, ace the examinations and get admission at your dream engineering institution.

What is the Key Difference in the Preparation of the JEE Mains and Advance?