Putting to rest all confusion over admission to Indian Institutes of Technology  (IITs), the joint admission board (JAB) of IITs clarified that the format of the joint entrance examination (JEE)-Advanced paper will be the same as that of IIT-JEE in the last few years.

The ministry for human resource development (MHRD) issued its first ever notification on JEE-2013 for admissions to all centrally-funded technical institutes on August 14.

JEE-Advanced, which will determine admissions to IITs for 2013, will be held on June 2. The JEE-Advanced paper will only have multiple-choice questions which the students will attempt in two sessions, morning and afternoon. This will come as a relief for aspirants who had been preparing in keeping with the old format which did not include subjective questions. Several IITs, including the one in Mumbai, were in favour of a subjective JEE.

The difficulty level of and the marks allotted to JEE-Advanced tests will be similar to that of previous JEEs.

“We have decided that the format of the test should remain the same as it is too late to introduce changes. However, the notification is just for 2013. The MHRD has also formed an apex board in order to have a smooth JEE-Main and JEE-Advanced this year and in future too,” said a senior official from IIT-Bombay. Ashok Misra, the former director of the institute, is the honorary chairperson of the JAB.

The official, who attended the JAB meeting, added, “Machine-readable answersheets will also be retained. The rule allowing candidates to take home a copy of their answersheets will also be followed. While the format and everything else will remain the same in 2013, it can change in future.”

According to the notification, top 1.5 lakh candidates, including all categories, from the JEE-Main exam will be eligible to appear for the JEE-Advanced. Students who qualify in the JEE-Advanced exam and fall in the top 20 percentile of the successful candidates in their respective board results will be eligible for admission to IITs.

If states want to admit any students on the basis of JEE scores, a separate state merit list will be given to them. Questions papers can be printed in regional language on demand.