IIT JAM is the Joint Admission Test for Masters that is conducted by one of the IITs or Indian Institute of Technology.

Students who wish to pursue a Master’s Programme from renowned Indian institutes like IITs, IISc, and NITs, apply for this exam. Students need to fulfill some criteria to be eligible for this exam. IIT Roorkee is conducting the IIT JAM 2022 exam for all seven subjects.

More than 55,000 students apply for this exam every year and aim for admissions in IITs, IISERs, IISc, and NITs. In 2022, the Joint entrance examination will be held in approx. 103 JAM exam centers, located in 8 different IIT zones.

Following are the IIT JAM participating institutes:

S. No. Institute Participating in JAM Number of Seats Offered through JAM
1. IIT Bombay 342
2. IIT Bhubaneswar 103
3. IIT Delhi 167
4. IIT Gandhinagar 82
5. IIT Guwahati 149
6. IIT Hyderabad 67
7. IIT Indore 72
8. IIT Jodhpur 30
9. IIT Kanpur 179
10. IIT Kharagpur 181
11. IIT Madras 157
12. IIT Patna 45
13. IIT Roorkee 168
14. IIT Ropar 33

Passing the IIT JAM exam brings in good career opportunities. You can get into IITs, IISERs, IISc, and NITs with their desired cut-offs for your masters. An opportunity window opens for Ph.D. in IIT as well.

Students get to study pure science that entices them. After clearing the exam, you can apply for a master’s or dual master’s and Ph.D. in IITs and other renowned institutes.

Now the common question that arises is, how hard is IIT JAM? We will talk about its cut-offs, selection ratio, number of aspirants, exam pattern, and comparison with other entrance exams to better understand its difficulty level.

Number of Candidates Appeared in IIT JAM the Last Few Years

With each passing year, the number of appeared candidates in the IIT JAM exam increases, and seat number is becoming limited.

Thus, the competition is growing, and the difficulty level increases every year of the IIT JAM exam.

In 2021, about 73,360 candidates registered for the IIT JAM examination last year. 62,654 students appeared for the exam. Out of that, around 23% of the students qualified for the JAM exam.

Here you can analyze the number of aspirants that appear in the IIT JAM examination in the last few years.

S. No. Year No. of Candidates Appeared (Approx.)
1. 2015 25,000
2. 2016 45,000
3. 2017 54,654
4. 2018 55,498
5. 2019 66,958
6. 2020 60,972+
7. 2021 62,654

As per the number, the number of aspirants is increasing with each passing year. It shows how the difficulty level is increasing and the chance to crack the IIT Joint Admission test is slowly getting lower every year.

Selection Ratio in the Last Few Years

IIT Joint Admission Test is a very tough nut to crack for its selection ratio. Last year, 14473 aspirants appeared in IIT JAM Chemistry.

There were only 1223 seats available in all the institutes put together (729 in IITs, 494 in NITs & CFTIs). The selection ratio stands at 8.45%. Seeing the given analysis it is evident that the completion is increasing. Although the candidate number is increasing, the number of seats remains almost the same every year.

Year Level of Difficulty
2016 Moderate
2017 Moderate
2018 Difficult
2019 Moderate
2020 Moderate
2021 Difficult

IIT JAM 2022 highlights

Full Exam Name Joint Admission Test for M.Sc. Programmes
Short Exam Name JAM
Conducting Body Indian Institute of Science Bangalore
Frequency of Conduct Once a year
Exam Level National Level Exam
Languages English
Mode of Application Online
Application Fee (General) 1500 Rs [Online]
Mode of Exam Online
Mode of Counselling Online
Participating Colleges 36
Exam Duration 3 Hours
Number of Seats 2802
IIT JAM Exam Day Session & Time JAM Test Papers
14-Feb-2022 Session-I: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM Biotechnology (BT), Physics (PH), and Mathematical Statistics (MS)
Session-II: 3 PM to 6 PM Chemistry (CY), Economics (EN), Geology (GG), and Mathematics (MA)

How hard is IIT JAM?

The difficulty of one exam depends from person to person. According to the IIT JAM Exam analysis, tricky and conceptual questions come in the exam, making the exam a little different from the previous patterns.

There were primarily formula-based questions in the IIT JAM in the past two years. But in 2021, the NAT section was very lengthy and time-consuming. The MCQ portion had tricky questions, which made the paper hard.

Cut-Offs in the Last Few Years

Below are the qualifying marks and category-wise, subject-wise cut-offs of the IIT JAM exam in the last few years.

IIT-JAM 2021

Test Paper(s) Number of Appeared Candidates IIT JAM 2021 Cut Off Marks
Mathematics (MA) 13186 24.69 22.22 12.35
Chemistry (CY) 14473 19.52 17.57 9.76
Physics (PH) 14298 19.91 17.92 9.96
Mathematical Statistics (MS) 3535 22.08 19.87 11.04
Biotechnology (BT) 8806 34.13 30.72 17.07
Geology (GG) 2788 34.65 31.18 17.32

IIT-JAM 2020

Test Paper(s) Number of Appeared Candidates IIT JAM 2021 Cut Off Marks
Mathematics (MA) 14374 33.65 30.29 16.82
Chemistry (CY) 16687 16.96 15.26 8.48
Physics (PH) 16379 21.70 19.53 10.85
Mathematical Statistics (MS) 3473 19.96 17.96 9.98
Biotechnology (BT) 8999 39.86 35.87 19.93
Geology (GG) 53.01 47.71 26.50

IIT-JAM 2019

Test Paper(s) Number of Appeared Candidates IIT JAM 2021 Cut Off Marks
Mathematics (MA) 12863 22.96 20.66 11.48
Chemistry (CY) 15731 20.31 18.28 10.15
Physics (PH) 15501 24.99 22.49 12.49
Mathematical Statistics (MS) 3355 16.08 14.47 8.04
Biological Science (BL)* 10510 17.34 15.61 8.67
Biotechnology (BT) 6453 22.93 20.64 11.46
Geology (GG) 2545 35.07 31.56 17.54

How hard is IIT JAM compared to other M.SC entrances?

IIT JAM is not much known like other exams JEE, CAT, GATE etc. It is lesser competitive than them. This is because many people do not opt for pure science as much masses go for other fields.


IIT JAM and GATE are Post Graduate entrance exams for getting admissions into IIT. As per the difficult level, GATE is a lot more difficult than IIT JAM.


JEST and IIT JAM both are popular for MSc. Examination. The major difference with JEST is, you cannot apply in IITs after cracking JEST exam. IIT JAM is tougher than JEST.


IIT JAM and DU MSc is well known for the Master’s Course exam. . The major difference with DU MSC is, you cannot apply in IITs after cracking the DU MSc exam. You can apply only to DU-based universities. DU MSc is a bit easier than IIT JEST.


BHU MSC is an equally popular Masters Entrance exam. But it is for Banaras Hindu University. You cannot apply in IITs through this exam. BHU MSc exam is lot easier than IIT JAM.

Overview of IIT JAM Paper

Sections/Types Section A Section A Section C
Number of Questions 30 10 20
Duration Three hours
Marks 10 questions – 1 mark; 20 questions – 2 marks 2 marks for each question 10 questions – 1 marks; 10 questions – 2 marks
Negative Marking 1/3rd marks will be deducted for each question carrying one mark 2/3rd marks will be deducted for each question carrying two marks No negative marking No negative marking
Types of Question Multiple Choice Multiple Choice No options will be displayed
Mode of Exam Online Online Online
Total number of Question 60
Total Marks 100

Tips to Prepare for IIT JAM

Know your syllabus

First, you need to know the syllabus completely to get a proper idea of the exam. It would be best if you got adequate clarity of all the contents. You prioritize the subjects you need to focus on and study accordingly.

Exam pattern and marking scheme

Next, follow their question paper pattern and how they mark. Refer to previous years’ question papers. This will help to understand the nature of the questions.

Preparatory material

You can find the preparation materials online or refer to books for the exam. There are several online sites that provide materials and mock tests for preparation. Previous years’ papers are also a good method to prepare yourself for the exam.

Make a timetable

It is important to manage time. It will help if you make a proper timetable for that. You need to start working at the time, and you can focus the most. Start working on each subject separately. As you finish the syllabus, start revising together.

Attempt mock tests

A mock test is crucial no matter what exam you are sitting for. After you complete your syllabus for JAM, start with a mock test. A mock test will help you discover your strengths and weaknesses in the topics.


IIT JAM is an entrance exam that brings you great opportunities. Once you crack the exam, you have numerous renowned institutes to apply to.

How hard is IIT JAM depends mostly on student to student. But if you start preparing properly with complete concentration, it is not impossible to crack. As you have a comprehensive view of the exam, you can start preparing yourself for it.

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