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JEE Main vs. JEE Advanced: 5 Key Differences to Understand

Home Blog JEE Main vs. JEE Advanced: 5 Key Differences to Understand

JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) is the dream of every engineering aspirant. The JEE exam is composed of two sub-exams JEE mains and JEE Advanced. Both exams open up the path to the top engineering colleges such as IITs, NITs, IIITs, and other govt. Engineering colleges.

The two exams JEE Mains and JEE Advanced are among equally important for admission to the top IITs, NITs, and other top-notch colleges in India. However, the students are often puzzled by the fundamental difference between the two. The basic difference is that the JEE Mains is the prerequisite for appearing in the JEE Advanced exam.

Therefore, the primary difference is that the JEE main is the foundation stone for the JEE Advanced exam. The students who have passed the JEE mains exams and meet the criteria of cut-off marks and qualifying marks can appear for the JEE Advanced examination.

In this blog, we will delve into the details and learn more about the JEE Mains and JEE Advanced in terms of the syllabus, exam pattern, and a lot more.

JEE Main Exam

The JEE Main exam is conducted twice a year by the National Test Agency (NTA) to check the aptitude and skill for admission to the top engineering colleges across India. The exam has a high level of difficulty. It is also composed of two papers. Paper 1 is for admission to the B.E./ B.Tech. program whereas Paper 2 is for admission to the B. Arch/ B.Planning courses.

The syllabus of the JEE mains includes full courses from classes 11 and 12 in the core subjects i.e. physics, chemistry, and mathematics. The students are required to cover the entire syllabus so that they can score well on the exam.

JEE Advanced Exam

The JEE Advanced exam is administered by one of the 23 IITs in the country. In the year 2024, IIT Madras will organize the JEE Advanced examination. Based on the All India Ranking (AIR) achieved the students will get admission to the IITs college. The syllabus of the exam remains the same but the level of the question difficulty may vary. 

JEE Mains vs. JEE Advanced

JEE mains and JEE Advanced both have similar syllabi but they are distinct in terms of the questions asked. JEE mains have only one paper of 3 hours whereas JEE Advanced has two compulsory papers of three hours each. 

JEE Mains and JEE Advanced also vary based on the types of questions. In JEE Mains the questions are basically from the concepts whereas in JEE Advanced a balanced question paper is set up that contains conceptual as well as analytical thinking questions to check the overall preparation of the student.

JEE Advanced is an extended version of the JEE Mains where the student’s eligibility is checked based on textual questions, conceptual questions, in-depth understanding, and analytical thinking-based questions. It checks the overall mental status of the students before letting them enter the most renowned engineering institutes IITs. 

  1. JEE Mains and JEE Advanced Eligibility Criteria

The minimum eligibility requirements for the IIT JEE is a 10+2 pass or appearing with a minimum of 75% marks. However, for JEE Advanced the minimum requirement is JEE Mains passed with AIR ranking in the top 2,50,000 students.

JEE Mains Eligibility

  • The candidate must be an Indian citizen.
  • The candidate must have passed a recognised board’s class 12th exam with PCM as the main subject.
  • The individual is eligible to take the JEE. For three years in a row, take the main exam.
  • There is no upper age limit for the JEE Exam

JEE Advanced Eligibility

  • Candidates who pass the JEE Main test are eligible to take the JEE Advanced exam.
  • Candidates who passed the class 12th exam in 2022, 2023, or 2024 are eligible to take the exam.
  • Candidates must take the exam for at least two years in a row.
  • Candidates from the reserved categories are eligible for age relaxation.
  1. Exam Difficulty Level

The difficulty levels of both JEE exams are different. The JEE mains offer admission to the MNIT, NIT, and IIIT whereas JEE Advanced caters admission to top-tier IITs.

JEE Mains Difficulty Level

  • As compared to the JEE Advanced exam, the questions in IIT JEE Main are formula-based and direct.
  • The JEE Main test is very simple because the questions are drawn from the class 11th and 12th curriculum.
  • The JEE Main exam assesses students’ conceptual knowledge and clarity.

JEE Advanced Difficulty Level

  • When compared to the JEE Main exam, the difficulty level of JEE Advanced is quite substantial.
  • The exam questions assess the candidate’s conceptual & analytical abilities and problem-solving skills in addition to reasoning.
  • JEE Advanced questions assess the candidate’s accuracy and speed.
  1.  Exam Pattern

The JEE Mains and JEE Advanced papers are designed differently. The Mains exam includes MCQs and Numericals in one paper whereas the advanced paper constitutes questions such as MCQs, Numericals, and Integers. 

JEE Mains Exam Pattern

Mode of ExaminationComputer Based Test
Types of QuestionsMCQs and Numerical
No. of Papers1
Time Duration3 hrs.
Total No. of questions 90
No. of Questions to be Attempted75
Total Marks300
Languages of Examination13 (English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu)
JEE Mains Marking SchemeCorrect Answer: +4Wrong Answer: -1

JEE Advanced Exam Pattern

Mode of ExaminationComputer Based Test
No. of Papers2
Time Duration6 hrs. (3hrs. For 1 paper)
No. of questions54
Types of QuestionsMCQ’s, Numericals, and Integer
Language2 (English & Hindi)
JEE Advanced Marking SchemeSingle Correct Answers: 3 marksMultiple Correct Answers: 4 marksWrong Answers: -1 marks or -2 marks
  1. JEE Main vs. JEE Advanced Colleges

After passing the IIT JEE examination the candidates become eligible for admission to the engineering colleges across the country. JEE Mains grants admission to colleges such as MNIT, and IIIT whereas JEE Advanced grants admission to IITs.

List of colleges for JEE Mains

The top 10 colleges that come under JEE mains examinations are:

  1. National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu.
  2. Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad.
  3. National Institute of Technology (NIT) Warangal.
  4. Netaji Subhas University of Technology, New Delhi.
  5. National Institute of Technology, Surathkal.
  6. National Institute of Technology, Calicut.
  7. Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur.
  8. National Institute of Technology (NIT) Rourkela.
  9. Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal.
  10. Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) Jaipur.

List of colleges for JEE Advanced

The top 10 IIT colleges in India are:

  1. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
  2. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
  3. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
  4. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
  5. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.
  6. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
  7. Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.
  8. Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad.
  9. Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi.
  10. Indian Institute of Technology, Indore.

5. Preparation Strategies

The preparation strategy for both exams varies as the questions asked in the exams are from different perspectives. The JEE mains questions are mostly conceptual whereas the JEE Advanced includes questions that check the problem-solving and analytical thinking of the candidate.

JEE Mains Preparation Strategies

  • Focus on the wide range of syllabi, along with the good books and erol with the best JEE Mains coaching in your area.
  • Effective time management strategies are useful for the JEE main competitive examination.
  • Revamp your preparation with the practice tests, mock test papers, and solving previous year’s exam papers.

JEE Advanced Preparation Strateiges

  • Requires a deeper understanding of advanced concepts and problem-solving skills.
  • Use advanced research material along with expert guidance to gain an in-depth understanding and problem-solving approach.
  • Keep an eye on the previous year and make your preparations accordingly.


Though the JEE Mains and JEE Advanced look the same, but there are some significant differences between them. Learning about these distinct features is very crucial for every engineering aspirant so that he/she can prepare accordingly.
IIB Coaching Centre is one of the best JEE and NEET coaching centres in Maharashtra that offers comprehensive courses for the preparation of the JEE and NEET exams. The IIB Coaching classes are located in prime locations across Maharashtra including Pune, Akola, Latur, Kolhapur, Chatrapati Shambhaji Nagar, and Nanded. With its expert faculty and comprehensive study material along with innovative teaching methods, the IIB takes the lead among all the coaching institutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the minimum eligibility criteria to apply for top engineering colleges?

Answer: The minimum percentage required to apply for the top engineering colleges across the country is 75% in 12th class with science subjects including Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry.

What is the major difference between JEE mains and JEE advanced?

Answer: The main difference between the JEE mains and JEE Advanced is that Mains is for admission to the NITs, MNITs, and other engineering colleges whereas the Advanced is for admission to the top-tier engineering colleges such as IITs.

Will the 75% criteria for JEE mains be considered for 5 subjects or only PCM?

Answer: The 75% criteria is for aggregate marks obtained in all 5 subjects including Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and other optional subjects. However, the criteria vary from one college to other colleges.

Which is easy main or advanced?

Answer: The JEE Advanced is considered to be more tough than the JEE mains. The mains exam includes questions based on the theory and concepts whereas the JEE Advanced includes questions based on concepts and their application to check the analytical and problem-solving approach of the students.

Which branch of IIT JEE is best?

Answer: Some of the most popular branches of IIT are:

1. Computer Science & Engineering.
2. Mechanical Engineering.
3. Aerospace Engineering.
4. Metallurgical Engineering.
5. Engineering Physics.
6. Electrical Engineering.
7. Chemical Engineering.
8. Civil Engineering.
Which is the best coaching for IIT JEE in Maharashtra?

Answer: IIB Coaching Centre is one best coaching institutes in Maharashtra offering comprehensive JEE classes for 11th, 12th, and repeater students. The proven track record of the institute makes it one of the leading coaching institutes in Maharastra. The institute also offers online coaching programs for remote-located students.

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