The new JEE will feature an aptitude test. What can students expect?
By The Career Choices Team
There are many worried faces out there anxiously scanning websites and textbooks for a hint as to what the new IIT JEE exam means. We all know that the IIT JEE format has been changed and that students from next year can expect to appear for an aptitude test as well. But, as many parents and high school students ask, what the heck is an aptitude test? For a student of science, an aptitude test might be completely novel and new. You’d all have been focused on studying Physics, Chemistry, and Mathermatics, and ‘bang’, here comes something new.
Well, as you must have gathered from our series of articles on the new JEE/ISEET, the new exam format will actually make things easier for you. Lesser academic and financial pressure, less time spent studying, the possibility of a well-balanced lifestyle, and more post-school
avenues…. The benefits seem clear!
But, some of you still might have apprehensions over the new format itself. What is the aptitude test component going to feature? What is an aptitude test? Will it be harder? Will you have to start preparing all over again? Will it really tell you if you have the qualities required to be a good engineer? Never fear; just read on and your fears should vanish!
Aptitude can loosely be termed as ‘a natural ability or tendency to do something’. When we say someone has the aptitude to become a good artist, it means that they show the basic signs and qualities one would expect to see in a Picasso or Rembrandt! Aptitude is something that helps you learn and master a skill faster than those who lack the aptitude for the skill in question. Aptitude is what makes Class XI
Calculus seem easy to some of you, while other around you look at the blackboard in dismay! Of course, while aptitude is often innate, it can definitely by improved with practice and study - aptitude develops over time and it would be a fallacy to believe that you can’t improve it with study and preparation!
Aptitude testing, therefore,
measures your tendency and ability to master a skill. An aptitude test will ascertain your likelihood of becoming an expert in a field by assessing your thinking, understanding, and other ‘mental’ abilities. This is very different from a knowledge-based test, where the only thing under the scanner is often your subject
expertise and knowledge.
Therefore, an aptitude test for engineering will look at the traits an engineer requires, and not the subject matter knowledge required. What are the traits an engineer requires? Logical reasoning abilities, comprehension and understanding skills, and critical thinking and
These skills are what universities would like to see in an engineer. In-depth knowledge of Class XI and XII PCM is indeed very useful, but that - intensive subject knowledge - is something experts say should be honed at the university level. And, according to some experts, aptitude in a subject is a better indicator of future performance than theoretical subject knowledge, which can often be built up despite no natural
tendency or aptitude.
EVERYWHERE YOU GO
Over the years, aptitude tests have entered almost every academic sphere. Several of you may have taken an aptitude test after Class X - designed to come up with subject recommendations. This is used by several schools and career counsellors. Then of course, there’s the
famous CAT exam. Used for
admission to the IIMs and other top B-schools, the CAT is an aptitude
test almost every future MBA has to give! The US has its own SAT (for university admissions) and GMAT (for B-school admissions). Also, for all students of Class XI and XII, preparing for the JEE aptitude test can help you get the initial start for other tests:
1. MBA: If you decide to go in for an MBA after graduation, you won’t be completely at sea when you start preparing for the CAT. This will, at the least, familiarise you with what you’ll have to study.
2. Law entrance: Law school entrance exams like the LSAT and CLAT also have a strong aptitude content.
3. BBA: Want to go in for a BBA? Well, BBA entrance tests also use aptitude testing!
4. Going abroad: SAT/GMAT! Again, you’ll be familiarised with what to expect.
5. Employment: Several companies have now started using aptitude testing to measure candidates’ abilities and potential for future growth.
Of course, each exam and stage of study has its own level of difficulty and focus areas. However, the idea behind aptitude testing is the same - testing your comprehension, thinking, presence of mind, logical abilities, etc.
Okay. Now that we’ve hopefully put you at ease over the aptitude testing component of the new JEE, you’re sure to be wondering what areas you have to focus on, and how to go about preparing.
Well, the surest way is to enrol in a good test prep class or course. This will give you access to a properly-structured programme for skill enhancement and testing, all backed up with professional guidance.
The new IIT JEE / ISEET will focus on these areas:
1. Comprehension: Comprehension is an important skill required in any field of study. This measures your ability to grasp concepts and messages, and sees how well you can understand complicated statements in English. Apart from enrolling in test prep classes that will train you for the specifics of the IIT JEE (or CLAT/LSAT/BBA entrance, if that’s where your preferences lie), you can boost your skills by reading and improving your language skills. Read newspapers and books - whether it be a classic broadsheet, or a newsmagazine, a science-fiction novel, or even a biography!
2. Critical Thinking: Similar to comprehension, critical thinking examines whether you draw the right conclusions from a text passage. Critical thinking testing lets prospective employers and institutions ascertain whether you can analyse information and draw logical conclusions to make sound and valid decisions. The emphasis here is on your ability to analyse and grasp logical arguments - whether you can pick up facts, important details, and statements from the passage. One common format is to give students a short passage, followed by a series of statements. You then have to select the ones that may be true, given what is contained in the passage. You can hone your skills in critical thinking by reading, and of course, with extra-curricular
pursuits such as debating!
3. Logical Reasoning: Logical
Reasoning sections in aptitude tests utilise puzzles, ‘mindbenders’, and brainteasers. The skills being tested here include - deduction, or drawing the right conclusion; inferring a rule from given information; and inferring the cause or precondition. The best way to prepare for the LR component - apart from practice questions - is to attempt puzzles, sudoku, and other brainteasers!
Hopefully this explains the new IIT JEE Main Exam - in a clear manner. Now, to see where you stand, attempt the practice questions on the next page!