How to apply for JEE Main 2021

Aspiring for a career in engineering? Looking forward to joining one of the prestigious institutes for engineering like the NITs and the IITs? Learn here in this article the entire process for applying for the JEE Main 2021 exams to be conducted by NTA from February to May 2021.

Engineering aspirants across India can now heave a sigh of relief. The NTA or the National Testing Agency has announced the exam schedule for the prestigious and much-awaited JEE Main 2021 exam. NTA in a recent notification dated 16 December 2020, has released the dates for the most popular engineering entrance exam that is attended by more than one million students in the country. The registration for the exam has already begun since December 16, 2020, and eligible candidates desirous of applying for the same can do so by visiting the JEE Main website. The JEE main exam is the gateway to top engineering colleges in the country, including the NITs, IIITs, CFTIs and is the much important first step for admission to the IITs.

In a departure from past practices, due to the extraordinary Covid situation prevalent in the country, the NTA has brought some changes to the exam format. For a change, in 2021, the exam will be held four times, once every month from February to May. The candidates will have the freedom to apply for any one session or all four. The best NTA score of the candidate from all the sessions will be counted for finalising the JEE Main ranking. A few changes have also been brought in the number of questions being asked (discussed later in the article) to compensate for the non-uniformity of syllabus among the different examination boards conducting the class 12 exam. Here in this article find all the necessary details of the JEE Main 2021, including the eligibility criteria, application process, exam dates and pattern of the exam.

Important Dates

  • Submission of online application form – December 16, 2020 to January 16, 2021
  • Last date for payment of application fee – January 17, 2021
  • Dates of exam:
    February session –23, 24, 25 & 26 February 2021
    March session – 15, 16, 17 & 18 March 2021
    April session – 27, 28, 29 & 30 April 2021
    May session – 24, 25, 26, 27 & 28 May 2021
  • Correction in particulars (for February session) – January 19 – 21, 2021
  • Admit card downloading – from the second week of February 2021
  • Display of questions attempted by the candidates and answer key – To be notified later by NTA

Exam timings

The exams will be held in two shifts, the timings for which are given below:
First shift – 9 am to 12 pm (IST)
Second shift – 3 pm to 6 pm (IST)

For the first shift, candidates to report to the test centre by 7:30 am to 8:30 am. For the second shift, candidates to reach by 2 pm to 2:30 pm. The date and the shift will be printed on the admit card. The admit card is to be preserved for future reference. Important instructions too will be printed on the admit card.

Examination Fee

Paper 1 (B.E./B.Tech) / Paper 2A (B.Arch) / Paper 2B (B. Plannng):
  • General/Gen-EWS/ OBC(NCL): Rs 650 (male candidates) and Rs 325 (female candidates)
  • SC/ST/PwD: Rs 325 for both male and female candidates

Paper 1 & Paper 2A / Paper 1 & Paper 2B / Paper 2A & Paper 2B:
  • General/Gen-EWS/ OBC(NCL): Rs 1300 (male candidates) and Rs 650 (female candidates)
  • SC/ST/PwD: Rs 650 for both male and female candidates

For transgenders, the fees are Rs 325 for one paper and Rs 650 for two papers respectively.

For candidates outside India, the corresponding category wise fee is Rs 3000 and 1500 for a single paper. Rs 6000 and 3000 for two papers.

An additional Goods and Services Tax (GST) and bank processing charges are to be paid along with the fee. The fee structure given above is for one single session. In case the candidate desires of appearing for more than one session, they need to pay the fee accordingly as per their category. Alternatively, the candidates may apply for the different sessions separately as and when the application windows are opened by the NTA for those sessions. A welcome feature is, those candidates who have already paid for multiple sessions can ask for the reversal of the fee for the session they do not intend to appear. This request for refund can be made whenever the application process for the particular session begins. Also, in case a candidate intends to miss a session, the fee can be carried forward to a subsequent session of JEE Main 2021.

The examination fee is to be paid online by using any one option among net banking, debit card, credit card, UPI and Paytm.

Mode of Exam

The different papers of JEE Main 2021 will be conducted in the following modes:
  1. Paper 1 (B.E./B.Tech) – Computer Based Test (CBT)
  2. Paper 2A (B.Arch) –
    Mathematics and Aptitude Test: CBT mode
    Drawing Test: Pen and Paper in an A4 sheet paper
  3. Paper 2B (B.Planning) – All sections (Mathematics, Aptitude and Planning) in CBT mode only

Choice of Medium

For JEE Main 2021, another big change brought by the NTA is in the medium of question papers that will be now available to the candidates. The exam will be held in 13 different languages. This is, in fact, the first time that candidates will have the choice to appear for such a prestigious test in their chosen medium. During JEE Main 2020, only English, Hindi and Gujarati were available to the candidates to choose from.

Assamese, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu are the other ten languages that the candidates can now choose from during JEE Main 2021. It is to be noted that only English, Hindi and Urdu will be available on a nationwide basis. The rest of the languages are restricted to the respective state where they are chiefly spoken. For example, candidates from the two Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana only have the privilege of opting for the Telugu medium. Similarly, students from Odisha alone can opt for the Odia medium. Language once exercised cannot be changed later.

Examination Pattern

The scheme and pattern of JEE main 2021 is given as below=
Paper 1 (B.E./B.Tech):
  • In Paper 1 (B.E./B.Tech), an equal number of questions will be asked from Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Each subject will have two sections, Section A and Section B.
  • In Section A, the questions are objective multiple-choice (MCQs) type. There will be 20 questions in all, each of (+4) marks for a correct answer and (-1) for an incorrect one. No mark for the unanswered questions.
  • Section B of the paper will have 10 questions. Candidates will have the choice of attempting any five out of the ten. Correct marks will fetch (+4) marks. There will be no negative marking. the answers for the questions in this section are numerical value-based and there would not be any options to choose the answer from.
  • The total mark for the paper is 300 and the subject wise breakdown for each subject is 100.

The choice of questions in Section B of JEE Main 2021 is being given to compensate for the syllabus reduction that has been approached by various educational boards in different ways.

Paper 2A (B.Arch)
  • Paper 2A (B.Arch) will have the three subjects mathematics, aptitude and drawing.
  • The mathematics part will have 30 questions. 20 questions are of MCQ type and 10 numerical based type. Out of the 10, the candidates will have the choice of answering only 5. The total mark for this part is 100.
  • The aptitude part will have 50 MCQ type questions. Total marks are 200.
  • The drawing test will have 2 questions for a total mark of 100.
  • The MCQ type questions will have (+4) marks for a correct answer and (-1) for an incorrect one. As for Paper 1 (B.E./B.Tech), there is no negative marking for the numerical based questions.

Paper 2B (B.Planning)
  • Paper 2B (B.Planning) has the subjects mathematics, aptitude and planning based questions.

  • The mathematics and the aptitude part are similar to that of Paper 2A (B.Arch). In the planning part, the number of questions will be 25, which will be of MCQ type and the marking system will be the same as in the other parts. The total mark in the planning part is 100.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates who have passed class 12 or an equivalent exam in 2019, 2020 or appearing for the same in 2021 can apply for JEE Main 2021.
  • Should have taken mathematics, physics and chemistry as core subjects in 10+2.
  • There is no age limit for appearing for the JEE Main.

Candidates get three consecutive years to appear for the JEE Main exam.

Exam Centre

JEE Main 2021 will be held at various centres in India and abroad. The candidates will have the choice to fill up any four cities given in the list, in order of their preference. The list of cities is given in Appendix III of the Information Bulletin released by NTA for JEE Main 2021.

Overseas Centres

Apart from the numerous centres in India, following are the overseas cities, where the JEE Main 2021 will be held.
  1. Bahrain
  2. Colombo
  3. Doha
  4. Dubai
  5. Kathmandu
  6. Muscat
  7. Riyadh
  8. Sharjah
  9. Singapore
  10. Kuwait


The results of the candidates, called the NTA score, will be in percentile. Each shift will have its own percentile. After all the four sessions are over, the best NTA score of the candidate will be taken for finalising the All India Ranking. In case of a tie, the NTA score in mathematics will have precedence over physics and chemistry (in that order) for Paper 1.

How to Apply

The JEE Main 2021 has to be applied online. The following guidelines will help the candidates to fill up the application form correctly-
  • Visit the JEE Main NTA official website and download the Information Bulletin available there.
  • Read the instructions carefully and check for the eligibility criteria.
  • On fulfilment of the eligibility criteria, visit the online application page and register yourself by providing your email id and mobile number.
  • Login with your login credentials and note down the generated application number.
  • Fill up the online application form with the required details
  • Upload scanned images of your recent photograph, signature and category (SC/ST/OBC/EWS) or PwD certificate, if applicable.
  • Pay the necessary fee using any of the SBI/ICICI Bank/Canara Bank/HDFC Bank/Paytm online payment gateway through either net banking, debit card, credit card or UPI. Download the proof of payment for future reference.
  • Take a print out of the confirmation page of the application, after the fee has been successfully remitted. Keep it for future reference.

The steps mentioned above are to be meticulously followed and the information given should be correct. Once submitted, there won't be any opportunities to amend the details later. It is to be noted that the application process for JEE Main 2021 is completely online. There won't be any physical submission of application forms, documents or fee.

Advisories concerning the COVID-19 situation

Due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic candidates are advised to carry only the following items while attending the exam=
  • Admit card along with Self Declaration Undertaking. The undertaking is to be downloaded from the NTA website and printed on an A4 paper. To be filled with necessary details.
  • A transparent ballpoint pen
  • Passport size photograph, for pasting on the attendance sheet
  • Hand sanitizer (50 ml)
  • A transparent water bottle
  • Sugar tablets or fruits, in case of diabetic candidates, only

Items like pencil/geometry boxes, calculators, paper, stationery, electronic watches, mobile phones, slide rules, earphones, camera or any either gadget are not to be brought in the exam hall. The candidates will be provided with rough sheets to carry out rough work for calculations.

It helps if you follow the article on Important do's and don'ts for JEE Main on the exam day.

Contact details

In case of any correspondence or technical support, the candidates may contact NTA at the following address:

Block C-20/1A/8, Sector 62,
Gautam Budh Nagar, Noida – 201309

NTA Helpline number: 0120-6895200 (10 am to 5 pm)

JEE Main -

Apart from the above, there will be an online Query Redressal System (QRS), where the registered candidates can submit their queries and grievances 24x7. To help candidates new to Computer-Based Tests, the NTA will be arranging for Test Practice Centres (TPCs), whose services can be availed by registering online on the NTA website.

Article by Dhruv
Dhruv, an electrical engineer by training and profession, loves to dabble in writing during his free time. For the last seven years, he has been a content writer creating content for ISC on topics mostly related to school and college admissions.

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Author: Umesh20 Dec 2020 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

This is one very exhaustive and detailed article on JEE examination in which all the modalities associated with it are very explicitly explained by the author. As the Govt has announced to hold the exam 4 times in a year it would benefit some of the students whom it suits well so that they have less clashes within other career building pursuits elsewhere.
JEE is one of the most prestigious entrance exam in our country and the eligible students should appear in it not only for undertaking an engineering course but also to check their knowledge and get it tested in this national level entrance examination. JEE is an opportunity to see one's excellence when it comes to compete in a nation level competition. So I would recommend that students should definitely apply for it and test their knowledge levels.

Author: Dhruv27 Jan 2021 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

In another new update today, the NTA has announced the opening of the 'Application Form Correction' window. The correction window remains open from 27.01.2021 to 30.01.2021. To access the correction window, the applicants will have to visit the JEE Main NTA website Registered candidates have to log in by providing their JEE Main Application No. Candidates can verify their details and make corrections (if required). In case any additional fee is to be paid, it can be done through Credit/Debit Card/Net Banking/UPI and PAYTM Wallet. Except for the exam centre, the candidates can correct any information and also include image and signature. It is to be noted that the corrections are allowed only once.

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