Eduncle posted an Article
March 25, 2022 • 18:09 pm

Difference between IIT JAM Biotechnology and Biological Science

JAM Ranker Souvik Dey

Being one of the top-chosen subjects in IIT JAM, Biological Science(BL) & Biotechnology(BT) have advantages and disadvantages.

What are they? Let's hear it from an IIT JAM cracker himself. Sourik Dey is presently studying MSc Biotechnology at IIT Roorkee. He bagged 2-digit ranks in IIT JAM exams in Biological Science(BL) & Biotechnology(BT).

His JAM Ranks were - Biological Science(46) & Biotechnology(23). When we asked him about sharing his views and words of wisdom on this ongoing JAM Biological Science vs. Biotechnology debate, he readily agreed to share it with Eduncle.

Important Note - IIT Kanpur has removed the Biological Science subject; the JAM exam will be conducted in only seven subjects from 2021 onwards.



Download Free PDF of IIT JAM Mock Test Papers for Biotechnology and boost your speed and accuracy.



Q: Is it possible to appear for BL and BT both in IIT JAM?


From 2020, Biological Science was not on the subject list of IIT JAM, so candidates can only apply for Biotechnology subject. Here are the session timing and fee details:


Session Time Test Papers and Codes
I Morning

Mathematical Statistics (MS)

Physics (PH)

Biotechnology (BT)

II Afternoon

Chemistry (CY)

Economics (EN)

Geology (GG)

Mathematics (MA)


IIT JAM Fee for one test paper - INR 750 for female/reserved category & INR 1500 for UR category candidates.

IIT JAM Fee for two test papers  - INR 1050 for female/reserved category & INR 2100 for UR category candidates.



Q: Which subject should one choose over another among JAM BL and BT?

Although the subject preference depends on the candidate, I would suggest the IIT JAM Biotechnology exam should be the first choice of all students interested in the subject of Biology because JAM BL will not help you secure a seat in the IITs.

It can only be used for shortlisting students for conducting interviews at specific research institutes. However, BT rank is also sufficient for that. In the long run, it is of no importance, and I will suggest one focus on their BT paper more because it will bring all the benefits that JAM can provide. Also, the competition is lesser here than BL because people think that BT paper is not their cup of tea. However, I can assure you that one can easily crack the exam with dedication and good practice.



Download IIT JAM 2023 Biotechnology Syllabus PDF Free



Q: Considering future job aspects and salary, is Biological science the right choice?

At least the students selected in the IITs will learn about the placement opportunities and can prepare accordingly to secure a job from the IIT placement drive itself. Although, it is not going to be a piece of cake, as they have to compete with engineers for the job.

However, there are many examples from our senior batches (mainly from IIT Bombay) where MSc students could get jobs in Research & Development, Coding, and Coaching Institutions. Thus, it is proof that even postgraduates of Biotechnology can secure employment with packages as high as 12 LPA.

If a student wants to pursue an academic career, he can do it from anywhere. However, getting an IITian tag will add to their benefit in the long run and will make one stand out in the crowd. The rest of the process is the same for any postgraduate student who wants to pursue higher studies in India.



Q: As none of the IIT offer courses for BL students, what are the good options left?

There is no separate course for biological sciences at IITs. Through CCMN, a potential candidate can study MSc in Life Sciences at NIT Rourkela or MSc in Food Technology at IIEST using their BL rank.

However, there is good news also for biological science candidates. If they want, they can pursue the Integrated MSc-PhD course offered by IIT Kharagpur and IACS. It is becoming quite popular nowadays, and IIT KGP will provide the degree. Apart from that, IIT KGP also provides courses in Medical Microbiology, Nuclear Medicine, and Radiation Technology.

One can use the JAM BL rank to qualify for the interview round of IISERs and IISC (the main reason people give BL paper). Students are scared of the BT paper because of the Physics and Maths questions in it, but if one wants to study at an IIT, he should earn it. So, fear is not an option.



Q: Would you like to share some other exams for Biology students to get into IITs or other premier institutes?

Apart from the IIT JAM exam, one should try JGEEBILS and JNU CEEB exams. These are prestigious exams and are well sought after.

Many prestigious institutions like RCB, TIFR, TCIS, NCBS, etc., use the JGEEBILS rank. The JNU CEEB rank is used by more than 50 different institutes in the country.

One can also give the CUCET, SPPU & Hyderabad University entrance exams. One can apply for NIV, MKU, Centre of Human Genetics, DU, etc, and these are only some of the names that I have mentioned here. There are many such institutes and depending upon one's interest, he/she should very carefully explore all the options available and make the best decision that will shape their academic career.



Start Your Preparations for IIT JAM 2023 Biotechnology. Get Syllabus, Sample Theory, Last 5 Years Papers. Download All for Free.


I hope that this information will help JAM aspirants to choose the right sbject and prepare for the 2023 exam. If you have any query regarding the JAM BT and BL, you can ask us through the comment box below.

You can also join India’s No.1 Learning Community for IIT JAM, where you will get doubt solutions for all your exam-related queries with the help of experts from all over India. To join the community, you can download the Eduncle App now.


Thank You!



Showing 1 comments out of 2
  • Nandini saha

    how can I prepare for IIT jam in biological science?


    Hello Nandini,
    Greetings from Eduncle!
    The Biological sci subject has been removed from IIT JAM exam in 2020. You can apply for IIT JAM Biotechnology subject for the same. For detailed information, kindly visit- IIT JAM Eligibility Criteria
    Thanks for asking your query with us!


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