‘Can cost us the branch’: JEE Main 2022 answer key for chemistry has students worried

JEE Main 2022 Answer Key: Students and coaching classes have pointed to errors in questions and JEE Main provisional answer key for chemistry, physics.

‘Can cost us the branch’: JEE Main 2022 answer key for chemistry has students worried Students are worried about their desired branches due to the errors in JEE examination paper. (Image: Shutterstock)
Sheena Sachdeva | Jul 4, 2022 - 5:13 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Akshat Pathak wrote the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main in the second shift on June 24 in Delhi. He did alright and was expecting to score 194 in the first session of JEE Main 2022. He felt this was good enough for a computer science engineering seat at Delhi Technology University. Once the exam body National Testing Agency (NTA) made public the JEE Main 2022 provision answer key on June 2, Pathak grew worried.

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“In the chemistry section of JEE Main 2022, there was a question on the stability of carbocation and there weren't any correct options given. Further, when I checked my answers through the answer sheet, I scored 194. With this question, my score may become 189. When I checked my predicted percentile on platforms, there was a huge difference in the branch and can cost students their desired branch,” said Pathak, worried he might have to abandon BTech in CSE.

Over July 2 and 3, after the NTA posted the JEE Main 2022 provisional answer key online, students from across the country began complaining of errors related to the chemistry section. The highly-stakes exam – often colloquially called “JEE Mains” – is an admission test for some of the top engineering colleges in the country and serves as a screening round for admission to the premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). The JEE Main 2022 is being held in two sessions, the first was conducted from June 23 to 29. The JEE Main 2022 exam dates for the Session 2 are from July 21 to 30.

The hashtag #JEEMains2022ExtraAttempt has been trending on Twitter and coaching institutes are encouraging students to challenge the provisional JEE Main answer key.

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NTA JEE Main 2022: Answer key challenge

“On 24th June, second shift, in one of the questions in the Chemistry section, there were no correct options given. And later, in the 29th June exam, there were several wrong options given in a few questions. There is a huge uproar amongst the students," said Virendra Kumar, chemistry expert at Bansal Classes in Kota, Rajasthan, a coaching hub for JEE preparation.

On July 3, a PDF document with the alleged errors was circulated on social media and messaging applications.

Ramesh Batlish, managing partner and head, FIITJEE Noida, said: “There are a few errors in a few JEE examination papers including 26 June evening shift in the Chemistry section and another error in answer key of 28 June morning shift in Physics section. We have asked the students to challenge it.”

Kumar believes the errors will impact the students' scores drastically. “The errors that students have found are in general questions with around 25 errors in the answer key. Moreover, the errors have occurred in more than one paper. The examination body is playing with the lives of thousands of students. These authorities get one whole year to make such papers, hence a rigorous checking and cross-verification must happen. It’s very crucial for students who have their final attempt this year,” said Kumar.

There are demands on social media for change of the answer keys. Batlish added: “Such errors have been occurring. The authority either accepts these challenges and gives students grace marks or cancels the question. It's for the organising body to decide what kind of decision should be taken so that it's fair for all students.”

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Gaurav Singhal, a physics expert who also teaches in Kota and Delhi, reminded that the NTA charges for each question challenged in the JEE Main answer key. The current rate is Rs 200 per question challenged. Having many errors implies students have to spend more.

JEE Main 2022 extra attempt

The answer key wasn’t the only reason for students demanding more attempts. Others complained of being hindered by the floods or facing technical glitches at the JEE Main exam centre.

Divyanshu Mayank from Agartala, Tripura, missed the exam on June 25 because he couldn't reach the examination centre due to floods. “I had to give my paper at NIT Silchar [National Institute of Technology]. I had mailed NTA several times and after several emails and Tweets, just two days before the exam, the authority mailed back stating five general frequently asked questions for JEE Main queries. But this didn’t help at all. The authorities are not concerned about students at all,” said Mayank.

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Another student set to write the exam on June 24 at a private engineering college in Hyderabad said they did not conduct the second-shift exam due to “server issues”. “There is no seriousness about children’s aspirations but in collecting the fees,” a parent told Careers360. They are hoping for a retest because the students’ chances were harmed by “bad exam centres without minimum facilities”.

There were similar complaints about another NTA JEE Main exam centre, again a private engineering college, in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, where candidates could not write the June 24, second shift exam “due to network server problem”. The students complained on the NTA helpline number.

So far, there has been no announcement of another round of JEE Main.

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