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National Aptitude Test (NAT) for engineering courses may be extended to cover medical, law courses as well

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The Economic Times | By Prachi Verma | ET Bureau | 3 February, 2016 |

NEW DELHI: The National Aptitude Test (NAT) — being planned as a preliminary screening exam for engineering schools such as the Indian Institutes of Technology and the National Institutes of Technology — may be extended to cover medical and law courses as well. The ministry of human resource development (HRD) is pushing for this system to ease the pressure on students.  “This testing will be more like national aptitude testing that would test students on psychometry, aptitude, logic reasoning rather than academics,” said a person with knowledge of this at the ministry.  “We will roll this out for the engineering students first from this October-November.”  He added that the ministry was trying to make the NAT score subject neutral so that this could be used by medical, pharmaceutical, law and other higher education institutes requiring entrance examinations.

As part of the exercise, the government is also setting up an independent testing body. This will replace the existing JEE Main. The Class 12 batch of 2017 will be the first to appear for this.  “The government is currently evaluating experts in this domain including those with expertise in psychometric testing,” said a director at a leading IIT. The government is also organising a global workshop on February 25 and 26 that will be attended by psychometric experts. “This will give a good opportunity to zero in on the best of psychometric talent to form the authority,” said the HRD official.  Over the next 12 months, the government intends to conduct at least two such NAT exams.  Student will have the option to select the better score of the two. For IITs, NITs, etc., the top 4 lakh students will be picked based on this score. They would then be eligible to take the JEE exam. “The idea is to make life easier for students aspiring to get into any government academic institutions for higher studies,” said a senior faculty member at a leading IIT.

Lately, concerns by the ministry, institutes and students to reduce the academic pressure starting from young school days, mainly from coaching. For starters, this test would be conducted on the class 12the batch of 2017 appearing for engineering. This would then be followed up for entrance examinations for medical, law and pharma. The ministry of human resource development (MHRD) is pushing this system in place to ease the pressure from coaching and cramming to enter the institutes for higher education.  “This testing will be more like national aptitude testing (NAT) that would test students on psychometry, aptitude, logic reasoning rather than academics. We will roll this out for the engineering students first from this October-November,” said a person privy to this at the MHRD. He added that the ministry is trying to make the NAT score subject neutral so that this could be used by medical, pharma and law institutes as well.  In order to bring this new testing system in place, the government is also setting up an independent testing body like the “CBSE” that would conduct this test. The new testing system like NAT will replace the existing JEE Mains. “The government is currently evaluating experts in this domain including those with expertise in psychometric testing,” said a director at a leading IIT. The government is also organising a global workshop on February 25th and 26th where it is inviting psychometric experts.- Courtesy


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