JEE Main 2024: ‘Candidates equally distributed in session 1, exams held as per norms, procedures’, NTA clarifies

New Delhi: The National Testing Agency (NTA) has said that it has evenly distributed the number of candidates appearing in the Joint Entrance Examination Main (JEE Main 2024) session 1 in terms of gender category in the multiple shifts. NTA has released the data on JEE Main 2024 shift-wise allotted number of candidates after several students who appeared for the exam between January 24 and February 1 alleged errors in percentile calculation and uneven distribution of candidates within shifts after the declaration of results.
“It was ensured that each shift was equally distributed in terms of candidate count, gender, and category,” NTA in an official statement said.
As many as 11,70,036 candidates appeared in JEE Main paper 1 in the January 2024 session. Several students claimed that there was a difference in the JEE Main marks and the scored percentile and the January 27 and January 29 shifts had more students as compared to the other shifts leaving the students at a disadvantage.
The date, shift and slot of examination is randomly allotted by the computer as per the normalisation process, NTA added.
JEE Main 2024: Shift-wise distribution of candidates
Here is the data on the number of candidates allotted in each JEE Main 2024 session 1 shift. The NTA data, however, does not have the details of the candidates who did not appear in each shift.
As per the norms followed by NTA, the Testing Agency said, various question papers of a similar nature in content were prepared and randomly selected for each shift without knowledge of the difficulty level of each the question paper.
NTA further added: “The varied difficulty level in question papers is an inherent part and parcel of multi-shift examination and thus normalization is the preferred mode for deciding scores. There is no equivalence between raw scores and normalized scores.”
The process, NTA reiterated, ensures that all candidates appearing in a shift are administered the same question paper with jumbled questions and options. In this sense, they are being tested on a level playing field. It is a common practice that, in such a case, a candidate who scores, say, 75 marks will always be ranked higher than any other candidate with lower marks, say 70.
Saying that the normalisation procedure based on percentile score was used to ensure that candidates were neither benefitted nor disadvantaged due to the difficulty level of the examination, NTA said: “JEE (Main) – 2024 Session 1 examination has been conducted as per the norms and procedures followed for the conduct of any high-stakes examination thereby providing fair and equal opportunity for all candidates.”
Although the NTA shared the data on the number of candidates in each shift, a user on X posted: “I think this data is not correct as there is no third gender and still its total is 12,21,624 which is total registered candidates. Where are those 9 third gender candidates?”
The JEE Main result of the first session was declared on February 12 and the registration for the second session is underway.
The NTA has also released the percentile of candidates appearing in various shifts between January 27 and February 1.
The JEE Main percentile score indicates the percentage of candidates that have scored equal to or below (same or lower raw scores) that particular percentile in that examination. Therefore the topper (highest score) of each shift will get the same percentile of 100 which is desirable. The marks obtained between the highest and lowest scores are also converted to appropriate percentiles as per the following formula:
(100 x Number of candidates who appeared in the ‘Session’ with raw score equal to less than the candidate)/ total number of the candidates who appeared in the ‘session’
Normalisation procedure, is an internationally accepted system designed for direct comparison by transforming the marks onto a common scale, NTA added.


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