Eduncle posted an Article
April 13, 2024 • 12:28 pm

Difference Between IIT JAM & JEST - How to Prepare for Entrance Exam


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IIT JAM and JEST exams are held to test the eligibility of a science graduate to get admission in M.Sc. programs such as master's in Science, Joint M.Sc. – Ph.D., M.Sc. – Ph.D. Dual Degree, etc.

The Joint Admission Test allows you to get admission in top IITs, NITs, and IISc, while JEST opens the doors for admissions in India’s premier institutions and colleges.

But you all must be thinking that if both exams offer the same master’s courses, then how will they be different from each other?

In this blog, we have provided the complete details that differentiate both exams from each other in terms of exam pattern, eligibility criteria, syllabus, career opportunities.

About JEST and JAM

What is IIT JAM?

What is the JEST Exam?

Differences between IIT JAM and JEST

JEST & JAM Eligibility

IIT JAM vs JEST Exam Pattern

Subjects under JAM vs JEST?

Validity of Score Card

Career scope  After JEST & JAM Exam

Preparation Strategy for JAM and JEST

Similarities Between IIT JAM vs JEST



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About IIT JAM and JEST Exam


Joint Admission Test for Masters and JEST entrance exam are conducted at the national and state levels by authorities to select the most eligible candidates for master degrees in renowned IITs, IISER, NITs, and IISc.

Before heading towards their differences, you should know what these exams are?

Below, you can check the detailed information about these exams.



What is the IIT JAM Exam?


IIT JAM (Joint Admission Test) is an entrance exam conducted by one of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) for candidates who want to pursue their master's degree from these renowned institutions.

As per the latest update, IIT Guwahati will conduct the JAM 2023 Exam.



What is JEST?


JEST (Joint Entrance Screening Test) is considered as a National Eligibility Test (NET) by SERB (Science and Engineering Research Board) in their office Memo.

It is conducted for the candidates who want to pursue M.Sc., Integrated Ph.D., and Ph.D. courses from premier institutes like IISc, IISERs, NISER, etc.

The JEST 2023 was conducted by Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal (IISER Bhopal) on 26, March 2023.

JEST Exam is conducted for the following subjects:


Theoretical Computer Science

Neuroscience and Computational Biology

As per the official, the JEST 2023 Exam is to be held on 26th March 2023 on any Sunday.



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Differences Between IIT JAM and JEST


Both the exam conducted for master level but there are some differences in terms of paper pattern, syllabus, validity of scorecard, and subjects.

Below we have mentioned the detailed differences between IIT JAM and JEST:



Who is Eligible for the IIT JAM  and JEST Exam?


If you want to pursue an MSc through Joint Admission Test for the masters and JEST exam, then you need to fulfill the eligibility criteria. 

Eligibility includes the rules regarding the educational qualification and age limit.

Below, you can check the differences between the eligibility of both exams:



IIT JAM Eligibility Criteria


You must have a Bachelor's degree in science (Physics/ Chemistry/ Biology/ Mathematics) from a recognized university.

Both Indian, as well as Foreign candidates, are eligible.

There is no age limit.

If you are appearing for your final year exam or your result is awaited, then you are also eligible.

You need to submit a physical fitness certificate at the time of admission. If you are not fit to pursue them, you will not be able to get admission to these institutes.

Note: Due to the current covid situation, officials have released the notification in which they have decided to provide some relaxation in eligibility requirement to pass in the qualifying degree for all categories. Check the latest IIT JAM notification.



IIT JAM YuTube Channel



JEST Eligibility


Check the eligibility per the qualifying degree below:


Courses Offered

Eligibility Criteria

Ph.D. Program Physics

M.Sc. in Physics, however some institutions also accept B.E. / B.Tech. / M.Sc. / M.E. / M.Tech. for Applied Physics and Mathematics.

Ph.D. in Theoretical Computer Science at IMSc

M.Sc./ M.E./ M.Tech. in Computer Science and related disciplines.

Ph.D. in Neuroscience at NBRC

M.Sc (Physics/Mathematics), B.E./ B.Tech/ M.C.A in Computer Science.

Ph.D. in Computational Biology at IMSc

M.Sc./ M.E./M.Tech. /MCA in any engineering or science discipline.

Integrated M.Sc./ M.Tech – Ph.D Programme (Physics)

M.Sc. (Physics / Mathematics) for SNBNCBS.

At NISER, B.Sc (Physics) or B.E./B.Tech in Engineering Physics, with a minimum of first-class marks, will be the minimum qualification.

For admission to IIA,  B.Sc. (Physics/Mathematics) B.E./B.Tech. in Electrical/Instrumentation/Engineering Physics/Electronics and Communications/ Computer Science and Engineering/Optics and Photonics.

B.Sc. (Physics) will be considered at IISER-Pune, ICTS-TIFR, NCRA-TIFR, and TIFR-TCIS.

In Bose Institute courses offered for Integrated M.Sc - PhD are B. Sc. (Physics / Mathematics) / B.E. / B.Tec.

Integrated Ph.D. Program in Theoretical Computer Science at IMSc

B.Sc./B.E./B.Tech. /M.C.A. in Computer Science or related disciplines.

Integrated M.Tech – Ph.D. Program at IIA

M.Sc. (Physics/Applied Physics)/Post-B.Sc. (Hons) in Optics and Optoelectronics/Radio Physics and Electronics.

Integrated Ph.D. Program at IISER. Thiruvananthapuram.

M.Sc. (Physics) or B.E./B. Tech. in any discipline.



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IIT JAM vs JEST Exam Pattern


Paper Pattern always plays an important role in your preparation and it helps you to make strategies for the exam.

If you are appearing for IIT JAM or Joint Entrance Screening Test, then you must know the paper pattern for both exams.

The Joint Admission Test and JEST are different in terms of the number of sections, questions, and types of questions.

Check the complete details of the exam pattern for both exams below: -



Exam Pattern for IIT JAM



Total Number of Questions

Types of Question

Negative Marking

Section A


Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)

For 1 mark ques - 1/3 marks will be deducted.

For 2 marks ques - 2/3 marks will be deducted.

Section B


Multiple Select Questions (MSQ)

No negative marking

Section C


Numerical Answer Type (NAT) (No options will be displayed)

No negative marking

Mode of Exam

Online (CBT)

Total Questions


Total Marks


Language of Exam




Download IIT JAM Model Test Papers Free PDF



JEST Exam Pattern  


Total Question


Total Marks


Mode Of Exam

Offline Exam through OMR Sheet

Duration of Exam

3 hours (180 min)

Sections & marking Scheme

Part A consists of 15 questions which will carry 3 marks each.

Part B consists of 10 questions which will carry 3 marks each.

Part C consists of 25 questions which will carry 1 mark each

Type of questions

Theoretical Computer Science - Short Answers Type and Detailed Problem-Solving Questions

Physics and Mathematics - multiple Choice Questions

Negative Marking

Part A - 1 mark will be deducted for every wrong answer.

Part B - There is no negative marking in this Part.

Part C - 1/3 mark will be deducted for every wrong answer.



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What are the Subjects Under IIT JAM & JEST?


Joint Entrance Screening Test is conducted into 3 subjects whereas the IIT JAM exam is conducted for 7 subjects. You can choose the subject in which you have completed the bachelor's degree.

Below, you can check the difference between both the exam in terms of subjects:



Subjects under IIT JAM






Mathematical Statistics





JEST Exam Subjects



Theoretical Computer Science

Neuroscience and Computational Biology.

Note: candidates can appear for only one subject either Physics or Theoretical Computer Science.



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Validity of IIT JAM and JEST Scores


JEST Exam scorecard is valid for one year and accepted by 33 public research institutes for admission in postgraduate courses. While the validity for JAM Exam scores is 3 year from date of declaration of result.



Career Opportunity After IIT JAM and JEST Exam


There are many career options available after pursuing an MSc and Ph.D. degree through IIT JAM or Joint Entrance Screening Test. Completion of your master's from these reputed colleges and universities provides a chance to make a career in the top profiles of India and outside of India.


Following are the career options you can have after completing your master through these exams:



Career Options in JAM Exam


Teaching Jobs.

Jobs in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agriculture, food, dairy-like industries.

Scientist Post in Research Institute.

Study abroad.



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JEST Exam Benefits


Universities' jobs as faculty or research associates in the physics department.

Work as a technology expert in a reputed organization.

Become a writer and publish your scientific journals

Teaching jobs.

Research and development jobs.

If you are appearing for the IIT JAM Exam,  then you’ll need to prepare with more focus & dedication. For this, you need the best study material and expert advice which you can get from Educnle.

You can get the free study kit for the Joint Admission Test from the table given below: -





Preparation Strategy for IIT JAM and JEST


The IIT JAM & Joint Entrance Screening Test is mainly for the candidates who have knowledge in the science field. So, it is quite obvious that the way you prepare for both the exams will be similar.


We have come up with some common tips you should follow to get good marks in the exam.

Complete knowledge of the syllabus helps you to prepare the timetable.

If you’ve not joined any coaching classes & you are relying on self-study, then it is important to stay motivated & on time with your preparation.

Online video lectures can help you to substantiate your preparation material.

Study online from the best resources.

Buying a lot of books for each topic will make your studies clumsy. Purchasing good study material for the IIT JAM & JEST Entrance Exam can help you to cover all important topics.

Revision is the key to success. It is important to revise whatever you’ve learned.



Similarities of IIT JAM vs JEST


As we have seen, the difference between IIT JAM and JEST is dependent on many factors. But, there are some factors that are quite similar between both.

Both are entrance tests for M.Sc., Integrated Ph.D., and Ph.D. courses.

IIT JAM and JEST scores are valid for one year.

The duration of both the exams is the same i.e. 3 hours.


Here, we have discussed every single difference between the Joint Admission Test and JEST exam so that you can choose the one to fulfill your dream of pursuing a master's degree from the best institutes.

We hope that this blog will clear all your doubts regarding the IIT JAM and JEST Exams. Still, if you have any doubts or queries, you can mention them in the comment section given below.

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


Thank You!!



Showing 2 comments out of 4
  • Surbhi Jain

    Jest exam is valid for MSC in maths........ After jest qualifing can I do MSC in maths




    jest exam is valid for Msc physics only and iit jam is Msc any science stream


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