Eduncle posted an Article
March 15, 2021 • 5:24 pm

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


If you go through the list of popular M.Sc. Entrance Exams, you'll find that the number of candidates appearing in the Joint Admission Test for Masters in IIT (JAM Exam) & Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST) are highest among these all.


Both the exams test the eligibility of a science graduate to get admission in science & research institutes of India for a Master’s degree & Ph.D.


There are some differences between JEST & IIT JAM in terms of exam pattern, eligibility criteria, syllabus, career opportunities, and preparation strategy to crack the Exam.


Below, you will find the details of: -

Difference Between IIT JAM and JEST

What is IIT JAM?

What is JEST?

Career Option After JAM Exam

JEST Exam Career Opportunities

Eligibility for Joint Admission Test

Joint Entrance Screening Test Eligibility

IIT JAM Exam Pattern

JEST Exam Pattern

IIT JAM vs JEST - Preparation Strategy



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



Difference Between IIT JAM and JEST


These two exams are very competitive in nature which teaches students to deal with the competitions they are about to face in their future. So, before you get to know the difference between IIT JAM and JEST, you must read these details about both exams.



What is IIT JAM Exam?


IIT JAM is a Joint Admission Test for MSc. It is an entrance exam for the candidates, who want to get admission in IITs, NITs, or IISc to pursue:


 M.Sc. (Four Semesters)

 Joint M.Sc.-Ph.D.


 M.Sc.-Ph.D. Dual Degree


IIT JAM Exam is conducted every year in the month of February. JAM 2022 Exam will be conducted on 13th February 2022 in the following seven subjects:






 Mathematical Statistics





What is JEST?


JEST is Joint Entrance Screening Test. It is a screening test conducted for the candidates who want to pursue M.Sc., Integrated PhD and PhD courses. JEST Exam is conducted for the following subjects:



 Theoretical Computer Science

 Neuroscience and Computational Biology.


Note: A candidate can appear in either Physics or Theoretical Computer Science subject, but not both.


There are 20 public research institutes that accept the JEST Exam scorecard for the admission of candidates in MSc, Integrated PhD, and PhD programmes.


JEST has been declared as a National Eligibility Test by Science and Engineering Research Board. Securing a rank in JEST does not confirm admission in any college accepting the exam scores for admission. After qualifying JEST Exam, candidates need to fulfill the qualification criteria mentioned by the participating institutes. JEST Exam Scorecard is valid for one year.



What are the Career Options After IIT JAM?


There are many IIT JAM career options available after pursuing MSc and PhD degree. Below are some of the options that you can opt for after doing your MSc/PhD degree:


 Teaching Jobs.

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

 Scientist Post in Research Institute.

 Study in abroad.



Download IIT JAM Last 5 Years Papers to Better Understand the Difficulty Level & Types of Questions. Get Free PDF with Official Answer Keys.



What are the Career Options After JEST?


Below are some of the career options that you can choose after pursuing MSc/PhD degree through JEST Exam:


 Universities jobs as faculty or research associate in 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.



Who is Eligible for IIT JAM Exam?


Below are the common IIT JAM eligibility criteria, that you must satisfy to appear in the examination:


 You must have a Bachelor’s degree from any stream from any recognized university.

 Both Indian as well as Foreign candidates are eligible.

 There is no age limit for IIT-JAM Exam.

 If you are appearing for your final year exams, then also you are eligible for JAM Exam.

 You must have a minimum of 55% marks for General & OBC and 50% marks for SC, ST categories in your Bachelor’s degree.

 You also need to submit a physical fitness certificate at the time of admissions. If you found unfit to pursue your chosen Science course then, you will not be admitted to the institutes.



Who is Eligible for JEST Exam?


Below are the eligibility criteria for JEST Exam that you must satisfy to appear in the examination.


Courses Offered Through JEST Exam Eligibility Criteria
Ph.D Programme 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.
PhD in Theoretical Computer Science at IMSc M.Sc./ M.E./ M.Tech. in Computer Science and related disciplines.
PhD in Neuroscience at NBRC M.Sc (Physics/Mathematics), B.E./ B.Tech/ M.C.A in Computer Science
PhD 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 SNBSCBS.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, the qualification required is B.Sc. (Physics/Mathematics) /B.E./B.Tech. in Electrical/Instrumentation/Engineering Physics/Electronics and Communications/ Computer Science and Engineering/Optics and Photonics will be considered.B.Sc. (Physics) will be considered at IISER-Pune, ICTS-TIFR, NCRA-TIFR, and TIFR-TCIS.
Integrated PhD Programme 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. Programme at IIA M.Sc. (Physics/Applied Physics)/Post-B.Sc. (Hons) in Optics and Optoelectronics/Radio Physics and Electronics.
Integrated Ph.D. Programme at IISER IISER. Thiruvananthapuram. M.Sc. (Physics) or B.E./B. Tech. in any discipline


Exam Pattern for IIT JAM


 Exam will be organized in online mode.

 The exam will be in English language only.

 There are total of 60 questions of 100 marks.

 The duration will be of 3 hours.

 The exam is divided into three sections:


Section A- 30 MCQs of 50 marks: Out of a total of 30 questions, 10 questions are of one mark each, and 20 questions are of two marks each. There is a negative marking of 1/3 mark for each question answered incorrectly out of the one-mark question and 2/3 marks are deducted for each incorrect question which is of two marks each. There is no negative marking for any question left unanswered.


Section B- 10 MCQs of 20 marks: Each correct answer in this section is awarded two marks. There is no negative marking in this section.


Section C- 20 NAT of 30 marks:  Out of the total 20 questions, first 10 questions are of one mark each, and other 10 questions are of two marks each. There is no negative marking in this section as well.



Exam Pattern for JEST Exam


 The exam will be conducted through offline mode in the OMR answer sheet.

 There are total of 50 questions of 100 marks. The exam duration is 3 hours.

 Exam will consist of 2 sections; the first section has 25 questions each of 1 mark and the second section has 25 questions of 3 marks each.

 The question paper of Theoretical Computer Science has questions of both types – some requiring short answers and some involving detailed problem solving. The physics question paper will be based on objective type questions.



IIT JAM Vs. JEST – Preparation Strategy


Preparation strategies to crack IIT JAM & JEST Exams are different owing to the difference in IIT JAM Syllabus & JEST Syllabus.


IIT JAM Preparation strategy is different for all 7 subjects. If you are appearing for two subjects then you’ll need to prepare with more focus & dedication. Read this blog for detailed study tips to crack IIT JAM Exam in the first attempt. Also, you can get the free study kit for IIT JAM Exam from the given table below: -




JEST Exam is mainly for Physics, Theoretical Computer Science, Neuroscience and Computational Biology subjects. Candidate’s good mathematical skills & strong interest in the research aspect is desirable. Hence candidates willing to crack the JEST Exam must focus on the following:


Cover all the important topics like mathematical physics, classical physics, quantum physics, statistical physics, solid-state physics, electrodynamics etc.

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. Once you start procrastinating, you’ll lose the pace of preparation.

Online video lectures can help you to substantiate your preparation material. Read online from the best resources.

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

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


Here we have provided the complete details on the difference between IIT JAM and JEST, if you find this information useful then do share this with your friends.


An entrance exam is your ticket to conquer your dreams and turn them into reality. So, you need to be well prepared for these exams.


Hope this blog will clear all your doubts regarding the difference between IIT JAM and JEST Exam. If you still have doubts, you can comment in the comment section given below.



Showing 2 comments out of 2
  • Jaya Krishna
    For pursuing phd jest exam is good or iit jam?
  • Surbhi Jain
    Jest exam is valid for MSC in maths........ After jest qualifing can I do MSC in maths
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