What is IIT-JAM? Your Gateway to Academic Brilliance!

Written By Rashi | Edited By Varsha & Adi | Updated on 05th July 2024

Many of us take up Science with Mathematics in our High Schools with a dream of appearing for the IIT exam at least once in our lives, aiming to study engineering at one of the world’s most esteemed institutes. Pursuing a Master’s degree is a crucial step that offers advanced knowledge and specialization in a specific field, opening up enhanced career opportunities.

Every institute conducts its entrance exams for Master’s programs, and one such prestigious exam is IIT-JAM, conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology. It’s a national-level exam that provides admission to M.Sc. and PG programs across various IITs.

If you’re curious to learn more about IIT-JAM, this blog is perfect for you. We’ve compiled all the essential details about this entrance exam. Are you ready to become well-informed about IIT-JAM? Let’s dive right in!

Quick Summary

What is IIT-JAM? Your Gateway to Academic Brilliance!

  1. What is IIT-JAM?
  2. What is the Eligibility Criteria for the IIT-JAM exam?
  3. What is the Syllabus and Pattern of the IIT-JAM exam?
  4. How to prepare for the IIT-JAM exam?
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQs

1.What is IIT-JAM?

IIT-JAM stands for, the Indian Institute of Technology Joint Admission Test for Masters Programs in Science and Research field, which is a national-level entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) on a rotational basis. This exam is designed for students seeking admission to M.Sc. and other postgraduate programs in various IITs and integrated Ph.D. programs at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

JAM scores can be used to get admission in IISc and National Institute of Technology(NITs), DIAT, IISER Pune, and IISER Bhopal through centralized counselling for M.Sc. The exam includes tests in subjects like Biotechnology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, Geology, Mathematical Statistics, and Ecology to admit students into various courses.

2. What is the Eligibility Criteria for the IIT-JAM exam?

To be eligible for admission to IIT-JAM, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Candidates should have completed their undergraduate degree in science subjects or be in their final year of study. Proof of passing the undergraduate degree is required during the application process.
  • General and OBC category candidates must have at least 55% aggregate marks in their qualifying degree. For SC/ST/PwD candidates, a minimum of 50% aggregate marks is required. There is no age restriction.
  • Candidates must be Indian citizens. Foreign nationals who hold Indian degrees are also eligible to apply for IIT-JAM.

3.What is the Syllabus and Pattern of the IIT-JAM exam?

Syllabus & Pattern 

The IIT-JAM syllabus covers Physics, chemistry, biotechnology, ecology, mathematics, statistics and economics. Each subject has its detailed syllabus that covers undergraduate-level topics. Below is a brief overview of each subject-


  • Mechanics and General Properties of Matter
  • Oscillations, Waves and Optics
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Kinetic Theory, Thermodynamics
  • Modern Physics
  • Solid State Physics, Devices, and Electronics, etc.


  • Atomic & molecular structure
  • Chemical Thermodynamics
  • Theory of gases and solids
  • Electrochemistry
  • Basic concepts of organic chemistry and stereochemistry
  • Qualitative organic chemistry
  • Extraction of metals
  • Chemical bonding and shapes of molecules
  • Analytical chemistry, etc.


  • General Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Plant and Animal Biotechnology
  • Bioprocess Engineering
  • Basic Mathematics (of class 10+2)


  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Statistics for Economics
  • Indian Economy
  • Mathematics for Economics


  • Sequences and Series
  • Differential Calculus
  • Integral Calculus
  • Matrices and Linear Algebra
  • Differential Equations
  • Vector Calculus
  • Group Theory
  • Real Analysis


  • The Planet Earth
  • Geomorphology
  • Structural Geology
  • Paleontology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology
  • Economic Geology
  • Applied Geology

Mathematical Statistics-

  • Probability
  • Random Variables
  • Standard Distributions
  • Joint Distributions
  • Sampling Distributions
  • Limit Theorems
  • Estimation
  • Testing of Hypotheses
  • Data Analysis

Exam Pattern

The IIT JAM question paper will have the same pattern for all seven subjects. All papers will have 60 questions divided into three sections: A, B, and C.

  • Medium of Instruction: English
  • Total Marks: 100
  • Mode of Examination: Online, Computer-Based Test (CBT)
  • Duration: 3 hours

Section A-

  • Questions: 30 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Marking: Questions range from 1 to 2 marks each.
  • Negative Marking:1/3 mark will be deducted, for each incorrect 1-mark question, and 2/3 mark will be deducted, for each incorrect 2-mark question.

Section B-

  • Questions: 10 Multiple Select Questions (MSQs)
  • Marking: Each question is of 2 marks.

In MSQs, more than one option may be correct. There is no negative marking in this section.

Section C-

  • Questions: 20 Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions are asked.
  • Marking: This section is worth 30 marks in total. Out of these 10 questions are of 1 mark each, and the other 10 questions are of 2 marks each.

There is no negative marking for this section.

This structured approach ensures a comprehensive assessment of a candidate knowledge and problem-solving abilities across various subjects.

A detailed syllabus and the exam pattern is given on the IIT-JAM website.

4.How to prepare for the IIT-JAM Exam?

  • Preparing for IIT-JAM requires a strategic approach, dedicated study, and a thorough understanding of the syllabus and exam pattern. Here are some steps to help you prepare for the exam-

1. Understand the Syllabus and Exam Pattern

  • Syllabus: Start by thoroughly reviewing the syllabus for your chosen subject. This will help you understand the topics you need to cover.
  • Exam Pattern: Familiarize yourself with the exam pattern, including the types of questions (MCQs, MSQs, NAT) and the marking scheme.

2. Use Standard Study Materials

  • Textbooks: Refer to standard textbooks and reference books recommended for your subject. NCERT books are a good starting point for foundational concepts.
  • Study Guides: Use IIT-JAM-specific study guides and material to get focused content.

3. Practice Regularly

  • Previous Year Papers: Solve previous year question papers to understand the type of questions asked and the difficulty level.
  • Sample Papers: Attempt sample papers and mock tests to simulate the exam environment and improve your problem-solving speed and accuracy.

4. Focus on Weak Areas

  • Identify Weaknesses: Identify the topics where you are weak and spend extra time strengthening those areas.
  • Clarify Doubts: Do not hesitate to seek help from teachers, mentors, or classmates to clarify your doubts.

5. Stay Updated

  • Official Notifications: Keep an eye on the official IIT-JAM website for any updates or changes in the exam pattern, syllabus, or important dates.
  • Current Trends: Stay informed about current trends and changes in the field of science and technology related to your subject.

Subject-Wise Preparation Tips

1. Tips for preparing for IIT-JAM Chemistry?

  • Organic chemistry carries the most questions, followed by inorganic and physical chemistry.
  • Look for different sample papers and focus on organic chemistry.
  • Revise old topics and go through ample mock tests.

2. Tips for IIT-JAM Mathematics Preparation

  • The most important topics in maths are Differential Calculus based on the current trends.
  • Time management is necessary. You can practice this by giving mock tests.
  • Refer to all the previous year’s questions.

3. Tips for IIT-JAM Biotechnology Preparation

  • Competition is high as the seats are less.
  • The Biology section has 44% weightage therefore it is important to study this subject. Chemistry has 20% weightage followed by 18% each in Physics and Maths.

4. Tips for IIT-JAM Mathematics Statistics

  • The weightage of the statistics portion is 60% & 40% in maths.
  • One should practice daily to crack this exam.

5. Tips for IIT-JAM Physics

  • Clear with the basic concepts.
  • You should clearly remember all the formulae by heart.

6. Tip for IIT-JAM Geology

  • Focus on the subjects that are easier to score in.
  • The most important topic is Petrology, and give it enough time.

7. Tips for IIT-JAM Economics

  • Has a higher competition because it is in a lot of demand.
  • Be thorough with the theoretical aspects of the subjects and revise all your notes frequently.

By following these preparation tips and maintaining a disciplined approach, you can maximize your chances of success in the IIT-JAM exam. 


IIT-JAM isn’t just a test, it’s your ticket to academic excellence and career success. If you’re passionate about science and ready to put in the work, IIT-JAM opens doors like no other. It’s your chance to elevate your education and future prospects. 

So, take on the challenge, prepare diligently, and step confidently into a future brimming with possibilities and opportunities.


Q1. What is IIT-JAM?

IIT-JAM (Joint Admission Test for M.Sc.) is a national-level entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) for admission to M.Sc., Joint M.Sc.-Ph.D., M.Sc.-Ph.D. Dual Degree and other postgraduate programs at IITs and integrated PhD programs at IISc.

Q2. How many times can I attempt IIT-JAM?

There is no limit on the number of attempts for IIT-JAM. Candidates can appear for the exams if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Q3. How can I apply for IIT-JAM?

Candidates can apply online through the official IIT-JAM portal. The application process involves registering, filling out the application form, uploading required documents and paying the application fee.

Q4. What is the exam pattern for IIT-JAM?

The exam consists of three sections:

  • Section A: MCQs with negative markings.
  • Section B: MSQs with no negative marking.
  • Section C: NAT questions with no negative marking.

Varsha & Adi

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