For years, India's Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) have been plagued by issues of cheating, paper leaks, and extremely tough papers.
However, all that is set to change with the newly-formed National Testing Agency (NTA).
The competitive exams will get an overhaul from December 2018 when the NTA plans to use unique question papers for each candidate and multiple exam dates, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The NTA is also planning to use advanced tools like artificial intelligence, psychometric analysis, and computer-based adaptive testing to change the exam system in India.
Adaptive testing will use AI to gradually take candidates to the next level of difficulty in problem-solving once they have shown competence at the current level. It will be rolled out for the NEET exam in December this year, and the rollout is expected to touch all 1.5 crore candidates appearing for both NEET and JEE.
NTA Director General Vineet Joshi has promised that hacking will not affect the system and said, "The highest level of encryption will be used so that no one can hack into the system." Hacking, however, is just one of the few concerns. The NTA has not revealed how it plans to upgrade infrastructure at the exam centres. These centres often have a slow internet connection and old computer systems that tend to crash.
The NTA believes that by going smart, it will do away with the rote learning system that often requires intensive coaching. By using an algorithm and an auto-picking software, the new exams will have multiple-choice questions based on the set difficulty level.
The system isn't all bad though. It will allow candidates to revisit questions later if they were confused or unsure. Multiple exam dates will also allow candidates to appear for the exam at a time best suited for them. There are also rumours of re-exams being allowed, which would be a big bonus for candidates.