Competitive entrance exam like JEE main, NEET-UG and UGC NET are ready for a major transformation from next year. There will be a unique set of questions for each examinee, with a software developed to pick questions randomly, and multiple dates for an exam.
This change is directed by the National Testing Agency (NTA) which is going to conduct its first exam in December 2018. NTA is planning to use various tools like artificial intelligence, psychometric analysis, and computer-based adaptive testing. Once examinee is free with easier questions, they will be taken to the next level.
According to Vineet Joshi, Director General of NTA, “The tests will be 100% safe. The highest level of encryption will be used so that no one can hack into the system”. The agency will be responsible for testing approx. 1.5 crore candidates every year. The test will be designed keeping in mind that rote learning and intensive coaching are of negligible help to candidates unless they have deep and thorough knowledge of the syllabus. Questions type will be Multiple choice questions. For a particular test, millions of questions will be prepared instead of a couple of questions. Candidate will be dependent on software’s algorithm which will pick up question for him at a particular date. The test will be based on prescribed difficulty level.
Most importantly, these computer-based tests are coming with several advantages. Candidates will be able to revisit appeared questions later and keep some for review once finished with easier ones. Candidates will be able to choose another examination date from a given set of dates, if he is not comfortable given. In case scores are not satisfactory, he can again take the examination after three months. This time, the examination will be completely technology driven. Artificial intelligence tools will be used for setting questions and answer keys.
NTA is now in a process of doing a psychometric analysis of previous years’ tests. It is analyzing three factors, first, how each question has fared to determine its level of difficulty. Second, how the multiple-choice questions have worked. These MCQs should properly distract the candidate so that only the candidates knowing the subject are able to answer correctly. Third, how good the entire question paper has worked. Were they reliable or not.
Therefore, NTA is working hard and leaving no stone unturned on trying the number of new things such as psychometric analysis of data, psychometric analysis to train the question writers, web-based test writing with technology so that no errors are there in question and answer keys and computer adaptive testing.