How to Prepare for JAM Exam


Name: JAM IIT (Joint Admission Test Indian Institute of Technology)

Exam held in the month of: February usually

Mode of applying for JAM: Online

Age criteria: No age restriction

Exam pattern: Both objective and descriptive

Negative marking: Yes 1/3rd marks will be deducted for each wrong answer consisting of one mark and 2/3rd mark will be deducted for questions comprising two marks

Validity of JAM IIT score: One year

What is JAM?

Joint Admission Test (JAM) is an all India admission test conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore on behalf of the Ministry of Human Resources Development. This test enables a candidate to get admission into M.Sc programme, joint PhD dual degree, and other post B.Sc programmes at various IITs. The first JAM was conducted in 2004. The seven IITs and IISC conduct the exam on a rotational basis. The institute that conducts the exam in a particular year is termed as the organising institute.

Programmes candidates can opt for after clearing JAM

Institute Programme
IIT Bombay Two-year Master of Science (M.Sc.) programs in:
  • Applied Statistics and Informatics
  • Applied Geology
  • Applied Geophysics
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics and
  • Physics

M.Sc.-Ph. D. Dual Degree programs in:
  • Energy
  • Physics
IIT Delhi Two-year Master of Science (M.Sc.) programs in:
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
IIT Guwahati Two-year Master of Science (M.Sc.) programs in:
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics and Computing
  • Physics
IIT Kanpur Two-year Master of Science (M.Sc.) programs in:
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Statistics

M.Sc. - Ph.D. Dual Degree program in Physics
IIT Kharagpur M.Sc. - Ph.D. Dual Degree programs in:
  • Chemistry
  • Geological Sciences
  • Geophysics
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
IIT Madras Two-year Master of Science (M.Sc.) programs in:
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
IIT Roorkee Two-year Master of Science (M.Sc.) programs in:
  • Applied Geology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Industrial Mathematics and Informatics
  • Physics

Master of Technology (MTech.) program in:
  • Geophysical Technology
  • Geological Technology
  • Three-year Interdisciplinary Master of Computer Applications (MCA) program

Who are eligible to take JAM?

JAM is open to everyone Indians as well as foreign nationals. Foreign nationals will have to satisfy the rules and regulations meant for foreign students. There is no age restriction.

Educational qualification

Different academic programmes have different educational criteria, which are prescribed by respective institutes. A candidate will have to fulfill the educational criteria to apply for the academic programme.

Usually the candidates who have appeared or are due to appear for their degree exams are eligible to appear for JAM and a minimum of 55% marks is termed as compulsory.

Application procedure

The eligible candidates have to first register online for JAM IIT exam. Then, they have to fill and submit the application form online, post which they have to make the payment of the application fees. The application fees can be paid via chalan or NET Banking. Then a print-out of the JAM IIT Application Form has to be taken and submitted to the Organizing Chairman by the specified date.

Admission procedure

Only those candidates who clear JAM will be able to seek admission to the programmes offered by IITs and IISC. Once the JAM results are declared, the qualified candidate will have to apply online using the application form of the organizing institute. A candidate can refer to the official website of JAM for further admission details.

Exam pattern: JAM IIT

JAM IIT question papers are descriptive or objective in nature based on the subjects one chooses. IIT JAM comprises eight subjects:
  • Mathematical Statistics
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Geology
  • Physics
  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Applications

A candidate can opt to appear for either one or two of the above mentioned papers. While Biotechnology and Computer Applications are objective in nature, the other subjects are descriptive in nature.

The objective papers comprise 100 questions and 100 marks one mark for each question. A negative mark of 1/3rd is applicable for every wrong answer.

The descriptive papers are divided into two parts Part I and Part II

Part I comprises 60 percent marks and contains one-mark and two-mark multiple choice questions. A negative marking of 1/3rd is applicable for wrong answer of one mark each and a negative marking of 2/3rd is applicable for a wrong answer of two marks each.

Part II comprises of 40 percent marks and is subjective in nature. There is no negative marking in this section.

Preparing for JAM IIT

For JAM IIT, the questions are usually from graduation. If you have prepared well for your graduation, then you stand at an advantage while taking JAM IIT. Nevertheless it is a good idea to set aside 3 to 4 hours of study for JAM at least for a year. Here are some points that will enable you to prepare for JAM IIT.

Start preparing well in advance

If you are planning to take the JAM IIT, then it is best if you have this vision right from your graduation. For if you are clear that you will be appearing for JAM IIT, you can begin your preparations while studying for your graduation itself. Most of the questions are asked from graduation level. This also means that you have to be very thorough with your graduation syllabus. Try to have clear concepts and understanding about each topic. While you are preparing for your JAM, there may not be much time to go to your first year or second year degree course, so keep making notes as you are studying for graduation.

Getting admitted into JAM coaching institutes

There are several coaching institutes that offer JAM coaching. You can opt for one, if you desire. That will give you a structured way of learning. Having said that, there are people who clear JAM without the help of any coaching institute.

Getting acquainted with syllabus

Depending on the course that you are opting for, get acquainted with the syllabus. The syllabus is announced by the organizing institute or respective institutes well in advance. Be sure to prepare each and every topic that has been mentioned in the syllabus.

Refer to past question papers

The more you solve past question papers, the better you are going to get. Solving past years question papers will not only give you an insight into what to expect but will also make you confident on the day of the exam. Past years question papers will also allow you to have an idea of the occurrence of the questions from various topics. The past years questions are either available online or can be bought.

Take mock exams

There are mock exams available online which you can attempt. Taking mock tests will enable you to have a strategy in place - in terms of time management and prioritizing the topics to be tackled first.

Refer to IIT JAM books

There are different IIT JAM books by various authors. Referring to them while you are preparing will help you extensively. Last but not the least, have the confidence and a positive attitude that you will be able to crack the exam. Best of luck.

Useful links

Official website of JAM IIT (
Past year question papers (

Useful books
  • Mathematical Methods In The Physical Sciences: Mary L Boas
  • An Introduction to Mechanics: Kleppner and Kolenkow
  • Waves and Oscillations: N.K. Bajaj
  • Introduction to Electrodynamics: David J. Griffiths
  • Quantum Physics: H.C. Verma
  • Solid State Physics: S.O. Pillai

Last Updated on : January 19, 2016

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