Critical analysis of JEST-2018 Physics paper : going through the loopholes

How does it feel when you are preparing for an exam and suddenly the question paper you came across in the exam hall contains a number of mistakes - both conceptual and literal? The higher education of this country has been suffering from such precarious situations time and again. Mistakes in lower level exams do get the limelight and people are concerned too, but exams which are supposed to bring out the best minds in science by offering them admissions into the "elite" research institutes are full of horrible mistakes and no one seems to care, which in some sense highlights the attitude of the people towards research in basic sciences.

One of such many instances was the Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST) -2018 conducted on 18th February, by IGCAR, Kalpakkam. The flaws in that paper are numerous and most of them happened to be in the sections with higher marks. I was very surprised during the exam that how can these people be so casual about their duty? When the basis of selection/interview calls for the topmost research institutes in physics is this "nationwide test", are the future of thousands of applicants not compromised? It seems to me as if the question paper was set in a hurry as some questions were even repeated from the previous years'.

While taking my exam, I heard an announcement about a question which had two same options. Later it was discovered from their official key that not one but three questions (two questions of 3 marks each and one question of 1 mark) were considered having some fault or the other and they had put “--” instead of the answer. In an exam where fractional marks play as huge a role as to drop down one's rank drastically, how can one even afford to compromise these seven marks?

JEST is one of the biggest nationwide exams in physics for those people who want to pursue their career in research and these types of mistakes affect its credibility.

In this blog, I’ll do the analysis of the whole paper (Booklet 'B')  with primary focus on the errors. Some of them are conceptual while others are spelling errors.


    If you read the above question carefully, you'll notice that the given wave function for the particle in the box is not normalized while they stated the normalized wave function for the particle in a box is this.
   And the most important thing is that the official answer key doesn't consider it as the wrong question and they provide the answer 80. Some of my friends also got the same answer by normalizing the wave function. But how one can do the question if it says that wave function is normalized. How does one expect to answer the question with incorrect information to start with ?


   The question made no sense at all as it said that ' Two conductors are embedded in a material of conductivity 10^(-4) ohm-m ' where we all know that unit ohm-m is a unit of resistivity and not conductivity. Again this silly mistake in the integers type questions is ridiculous because we don't know whether we should take it conductivity or resistivity although I got the correct answer (according to the official key) by taking it as conductivity. 


Here again they have used the symbol of Greek letter 'mu' but in other places, they have written it as 'mu'. Although this is a casual typing error in 'Latex' which we do most of the time, but should this be done in such a big entrance exam?


In this question options B & D are same. Many of us have wasted our time in solving this question and then figuring out which option should we choose as correct.


In this question there is a spelling mistake in the 2nd last line, it should be " charge on the sphere 1"  instead of "change on the sphere 1" .


In the 2nd line ' What is the order order of the.......' . Instead 'what is the order of .......'  they used order two times.

One can say that it is very easy to understand question with your common sense but at such a big level, every word may have a specific meaning and this type of silly mistakes are time-taking and confusing at the same time. This question paper depends upon assumptions rather than knowledge. 
Proofreading for one time would have been a good approach. We can do nothing except for watching how their casual attitude cost our preparation, career and dreams.  I will be glad if they clarify all errors and award marks accordingly. 

I would like to request all the authorities of the concerned institutions to kindly proofread paper at least once and then decide the eligibility criteria for the interview. Turning a blind eye would be disastrous at some level.

you can download the question paper and answer key

JEST-2018 Physics paper

JEST-2018 Physics paper answer key

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Critical analysis of JEST-2018 Physics paper : going through the loopholes Critical analysis of JEST-2018 Physics paper : going through the loopholes Reviewed by Physics Notes on 09:35 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to point out the mistakes in the JEST Exam.. It was very careless task done by Organising Institution...


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