MHTCET at Par with JEE Main; Is it a Blessing in Disguise?

The regulatory body of MHTCET has decided to bring the paper level of MHTCET and quality at par with MEE Main.MHTCET was re-introduced in 2016, after it was scrapped in 2014 and 2015. For two years, the admissions to the state level engineering colleges were based on JEE Main scores.

This recently released notification, started with a decision by Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), Maharashtra to addits class 11 syllabus inMHT CET. Additionally, it was also decided to provide more weightage to class 12 than class 11 syllabus. Prior to this, MHT CET was solely based on class 12 syllabus of Maharashtra State Board. DTE reached at this decision based on instructions received by the Higher and Technical Education Department of the Maharashtra Government.

The primary question here is whether the changes introduced which are at par with JEE Main makes it a blessing in disguise in the long run.

How JEE Main and MHT CET Differs Now?

Currently, many experts have raised concerns with regard to the changes brought in this exam. The doubts are based on whether the changes made would really raise the difficulty level of MHT CET as that of JEE Main. On the other hand, having such an exam at a similar level ensures more seats and college admission options, for lakhs of engineering aspirants every year. Surely, the limitations of admitting students based on JEE Main scores can be mitigated and adjusted with colleges accepting MHT CET scores, side by side. Engineering aspirants don’t have to wait another year in case of failure of achieving the required JEE Main cut offs.

According to recent notifications, the weightage, syllabus and pattern of MHT CET 2018 was updated by DTE, Maharashtra.  Now, all the questions will be based on the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education syllabus. This further divided the entire syllabus into two portions- 20% weightage went to class 11 and remaining 80% to class 12 syllabus. In total, this exam will have 3 papers with MCQs and each paper will be of 100 marks. On the other hand, pattern of JEE Main consists of 3 sections with 120 marks allotted to each.

In addition to this, certain decisions with regard to time allotted for the sections of MHT CET didn’t quite add up to that of JEE Main. To be specific, Physics and Chemistry sections were set with total of 100 questions and 90 minutes to solve. The problem with this time limitis that the candidates would be left with only 54 seconds per question. On the other hand, JEE Main allowed candidates to spend two minutes per question.

Moving on, the mathematics section under MHT CET was set with 50 questions and 90 minutes to solve them. That means, examinees would be left with 108 seconds to solve each question. In some ways, this calculation alone brought MHT CET at par with that of JEE Main time frame of 120 seconds per question. Hence, it would be right to say that the mathematics section would probably be at par with JEE Main in terms of difficulty level, than compared to Physics or Chemistry sections.

In terms of the marking scheme, it is decided that MCH CET will be free from negative marking, as compared to JEE Main. Initially, there were suggestions to introduce negative marking and implement the actual syllabus changes for 2019 but was later declined by the state government.

Is MHT CET Being at Par with JEE Main a Boon?

Now the question arises whether raising the standards of MHT CET with JEE Main would be a blessing in disguise and help the students in the long run. To do that, first let’s analyse the exam preparations and coaching scenario for both the exams.

Looking at the amount of preparations that’s usually put in for JEE Main, it isn’t actually the reality in case of Maharashtra as hardly 20,000 students enroll for JEE Main coachingevery year. This could also be due to the fact that many students resort to self-studying or combined coaching for class 11, 12 and MHT CET together. On the other hand, the candidates who write MHT CET after their class 12 boards won’t be left so unprepared, which is a plus point. As the majority of questions are picked from class 12 syllabus under the new changes adopted for MHT CET 2018. Yes, it can be inconvenient for class 12 students as they have to start with class 11 syllabus once again.

Next, the revisions for MHT CET can take place faster as JEE Main take place in the first week of April while MHT CET will be in the second week of May. So, a good study routine for JEE Main can ensure easier and stress-free preparations for MHT CET with another 30 days to spare.

However, the concern raised here is the basic difference in the state board syllabus and NCERT syllabus for MHT CET and JEE Main respectively. But, that can be managed easily with proper adjustments in topics allotment and timely revisions.  On the other hand, good preparations strategy for JEE Main can also ensure one’s preparation for application-based questions, that are likely to come in MHT CET 2018. This point is sure to benefit those trying their luck at both the exams this year.

However, all this requires students to stay focused and increase the intensity of their studies and practice of mock tests and sample papers.  This is mainly because there would be less time to spend on each question in two subjects for MHT CET.  This can be seen as a drawback of the new changes but still a bigger picture emerges in the end. Any serious engineering aspirant would automatically adopt a systematic approach to deal with the exam pressure and end up being better equipped with skills and knowledge to become qualified engineers tomorrow, which is the requirement in most companies.

To sum up, the efforts in raising up the standards of MHT CET is definitely a good move and blessing in disguise at the larger front and picture.