The engineers among us would be aware that the notification for the Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET) conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) is out and registrations are in full swing. Here is the JMET 2011 Ready Reckoner – some tips to help you sail through.

What is the eligibility criteria for appearing for the JMET?

You need to be an engineer or an architect in order to be eligible for an MBA from any of the IITs. However, only the Masters of Human Resources Management at IIT Kharagpur also allows admission to graduates in commerce or arts. So if you are a non-engineer, you could take JMET specifically for the Human Resources Management course. For all other courses under JMET, engineering or architecture is a must.

Students in their final year of qualifying degree course are also eligible to apply. Such candidates, if selected, will be admitted provisionally, and their continuation in the programme is subject to the completion of all requirements for the qualifying degree and submission of provisional degree certificate on or before the date stipulated by the admitting Institute.

You can go through the eligibility criteria for the various participating institutes here.

Which are the participating institutes in the JMET and which are the courses on offer?

The list of participating institutes in the JMET and the information on the various courses is given here. You can apply to the institutes if you satisfy their eligibility criteria.

Now that I am eligible, how can I get myself registered for the test?

The application guidelines have been provided on the JMET 2011 website.

When is the test going to be conducted?

The JMET will be held on the December 12, 2010 at various test centres across the country from 10 am to 1 pm.

What is the pattern of the paper?

The pattern of the paper along with few sample questions is put up on the site.

JMET has not changed its pattern for the last two years and has remained the same. The JMET paper consists of 120 questions and the duration is 3 hours, slightly more than the other popular management entrance tests.



Number of questions

Marks per question


Quantitative Ability




Data Interpretation




Logical Reasoning




Verbal Ability





120 marks

For every incorrect answer, 1/4 mark is deducted.

Are there any sectional cut-offs?

Yes, there are nominal sectional cut-offs. Those who manage to clear the cut-offs are given a rank on the basis of which they can apply to the institutes after the JMET results are out.

Toppers’ Talk

I had a chat with a few of the JMET crackers from the last couple of years: Vinay Raj Kumar Mandaville (Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay, Batch of 2009-11), Hari P R and Prashant Gupta (both from the Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi, Batch of 2010-12) and Kanishka Chakraborthy (Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur Batch of 2010-12). Here are some edited excerpts.

Vinay Raj Kumar Mandaville, SJMSoM, IIT Bombay

How different is JMET from the other management entrance tests?

According to Hari: Not very different. The key difference is the additional half hour’s time (compared to other exams), and the relatively low difficulty level, which increases the cut-off (I guess it was around 77/120 for IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi last year). Also, the sectional cut-offs are usually pegged at reasonably low levels, so one can go for the kill in one’s strong areas.

According to Vinay: The basic sections are the same with the Data Interpretation/Logical Reasoning section bifurcated into two separate sections taking the total number of sections to four (maths and verbal being the other two). Since the questions are not as tough as some of the other tests, it becomes a speed-cum-accuracy game.

Is any additional preparation needed for someone who is already appearing for CAT?

According to Hari: Not much, as far as the questions are concerned. Preparing for the CAT readies one for tackling JMET questions. However, it is always advisable to take a couple of practice mocks to ensure that one is fully warmed up and ready for the real thing. Since it is a three hour exam, one might want to use a different strategy in terms of time allocation and question selection. So, a few mocks will surely help.

Kanishka adds: The only extra effort required is to go through your engineering maths books.

According to Prashant: Last year, as soon as the CAT got over we had special week-long classes for higher maths at my coaching centre. I think the main difference lies in the strategy for the exam and not in the course. Serious aspirants of CAT should not face any problem as far as the course for JMET is concerned. Just attempt and analyse well all the mock JMETs.

Prashant Gupta, DMS IIT Delhi

With almost all the other tests being timed at around 2.5 hours, how much more endurance do you think a 3-hour test demands physically and mentally?

According to Vinay: This is something which might look like a minor issue but is not. A three hour test entails concentration for a longer period and some practice is required so that you are at full throttle throughout. So, after the mock CATs and the actual CAT is over, one should try giving a three-hour test too.

Hari suggested a simpler approach: To go too deeply into physical endurance would be complicating things a bit. It does take a bit more mental effort because of the additional half hour involved, but for the average serious aspirants who spend months in dedicated preparation, it shouldn’t make any massive difference. My advice would be — don’t think too deeply about the duration; just go out there and take it like any other exam.

According to Prashant: The available time per question is the biggest differentiator in this exam. The pressure is high because right from the beginning you know that you have ample time to solve all the questions and now it’s up to you to solve as many as you can accurately. You are supposed to remain completely alert for the full 3-hours. Sometimes laxity caves in after some two and a half hours but that is to be taken care of because each mark and each question is important.

Higher maths and vocabulary. Are they that important? And is it actually possible to get comfortable with them now that there are only 2 months left for the test?

According to Hari: Vocabulary is always good to have, but it isn’t a vital part of the exam, unlike, say, in the FMS entrance test. Higher maths has been asked in the past JMETs, but it hasn’t been stressed upon too much in the last two years. In fact, the weightage given to higher math last year was minimal. A quick brushing up of the basics should suffice, in my opinion.

According to Kanishka: Higher maths has not formed a considerable part of the JMET paper for the last 2-3 years. But revising the important concepts and formulae will certainly help. No need to delve too deep. Vocabulary on the other hand is certainly very important. Go through the last year’s paper and you will have an idea.

Prashant adds: As I told before, higher maths asked can easily be covered in a week after CAT. For vocabulary, I always considered it to be the bedrock for Verbal Ability preparation. Vocabulary building needs continuous work and reading. The Hindu newspaper and good literature are imperative to get comfortable with words. Initially, the task might seem to be insurmountable but once you start spending more and more time with words you tend to develop a liking for them.

Hari PR, DMS, IIT Delhi

Speed or accuracy: which is more important considering that there are 3 hours to finish the test?

According to Hari: Both are important. The cut-off marks for the top 2 IITs (around rank 418 for Bombay and 490 for Delhi) was somewhere in the range of 80/120 in 2008, and 75+/120 last year. So, it’s usually a pretty high percentage of the total marks that makes the cut. Also, the density of students near the cut-off score is really high: a mark or two can pull down one’s rank considerably, and can make the difference between getting a call and missing one.

Kanishka says: The ideal approach is always a mix of both. I know it sounds cliched but it is true. Plan well before the test how you are going to divide your time. Stick to your schedule as much as possible and you will do just fine.

Any specific section or subsection to look out for?

According to Hari: It depends on one’s strength, really. Like I said, it is possible to make the most of one’s strong areas in an exam like JMET. But, because of the traditionally high cut-offs, I would suggest that a maximum number of questions be attempted, overall. Also, in the past, quant used to be a tough nut, but it has been on the easier side in recent years.

Kanishka shares the same thought: Maths is the only section that needs JMET-specific attention. For all other sections, CAT preparation should suffice.

According to Vinay, however: I found the verbal section to be one, where one could solve most of the questions without spending a lot of time thereby, leaving more time for the other sections.

Time distribution per section and strategy you had followed.

Hari says: I spent roughly 40-50 minutes per section (there were 4). My strategy was to maximize in the VA/RC section, and the logical reasoning section. I did a fair number of questions in the other 2 sections too, though. It is not really wise to take any section lightly, because, like I said, the overall cut-off is usually high, and every question, every mark matters.

Prashant had kept in mind a few things:

In all the entrance exams I took, some points were common in my strategy. Like,

  • leaving my strongest section (quant) for the end when the pressure is the highest.
  • As I was in the habit of working with a pen while solving questions I made it a point to mark all the answers in the end. It may sound trivial but it did saved me a lot of time.
  • Strict time allocation. You have to remain committed to the time allocation you did before the exam. It should only be changed in case of drastic changes in the paper pattern which normally we know beforehand.
  • Attempting my weakest section(VA) in the beginning when there is least pressure.

My suggested strategy for JMET 2010:

i) VA- 50 minutes

ii) DI- 50 minutes

iii) QA- 50 minutes

Then mark the answers and spend the rest of the time in your strongest section(QA) to maximize score. This time can also be spent in attempting some questions which you were not able to read in the allotted time but don’t contemplate much, look for sitters.

Final Thoughts?

Prashant: One last advice from me, especially applicable to JMET. Never get stuck on any question. In my analysis of the last 2 year papers there were many questions with wrong data and finally full marks were awarded to all the candidates. So, if in case you feel some doubt about some question like data missing or incorrect data or option missing, just move on to the next question without spending any time on it.

Vinay sounds a caution: The standard of questions from the time I gave to the next year increased so, the trend could continue.

Hari: Focus on CAT preparation; JMET preparation would automatically be taken care of. It would only need a couple of mocks in addition.

Kanishka: Don’t loose your cool. Be calm and do your best.

To discuss JMET preparation, please continue on this thread. There are active seniors from IIT b-schools there who will help you out.

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