The National Testing Agency (NTA), on Thursday, removed the provision of giving priority to a candidate older in age in the rank lists of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main 2021 for Engineering and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2021 for Medical admissions. The NTA prepares the rank lists of both the Medical and Engineering entrance exams by using a tie-breaking policy so that two candidates don’t get the same rank.
The step will be counted as a major change to the national-level Medical and Engineering entrance exams. This year’s JEE and NEET information booklets do not mention candidates’ age as a criterion for the tie-breaking policy. In NEET 2020 the age factor was used to decide the all-India topper as two students, Odisha’s Soyeb Aftab and Uttar Pradesh’s Akanksha Singh both scored 720 out of 720. Soyeb was given all India rank 1 due to his older age.
In 2020, for the JEE Main Engineering exam, the tie-breaking method was that candidates with higher NTA scores in Mathematics will be given preference, followed by their scores in Chemistry and Physics. And if it’s a tie between two students then the candidate with less share of negative responses will be favoured, followed by the candidate older in Age.
However, this year the age factor for tie-breaking for the JEE Main exam has been removed.
Similarly, this year in NEET examination, the ties between two students will be resolved in this order— Candidate obtaining higher marks/percentile score in Biology subject will be given preference, followed by higher marks in Chemistry and if tie still remains then candidate with less proportion of attempted incorrect answers in all the subjects will be favoured.
With this huge change, it is predicted that the final merit lists of both the national exams will have multiple candidates on the same ranks.