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Joint Entrance Exam or popularly called as JEE is one of the most prestigious exams for students who are looking forward to pursuing a career in the field of engineering. JEE which consists of two exams, namely, JEE Main and JEE Advanced are the gateway to some of the premier technical and engineering institutes in India. Besides, students who succeed in these exams with a top rank, get a huge opportunity to join the country’s top IITs and NITs. In essence, once students who land a seat in these top institutes are already one-step ahead in achieving a solid engineering career.

While JEE exams are very popular, there are some key differences between JEE-Main and JEE-Advanced that students need to understand. Yes, they are both national level engineering entrance examinations and are inter-related but there are several disparities between the two exams. They are different in terms of the level of difficulty, syllabus, exam pattern, etc. This article has specifically been written to highlight these dis-similarities and help you understand clearly what the exams are all about. Let’s get started.

The Difficulty Level

In general, IIT JEE has a reputation for being one of the toughest and challenging exams in the world and India. However, when we break it down to the two exams, JEE-Advanced is said to be more difficult than the JEE-Main. While the difficulty may depend on the preparation of the candidates but JEE Main questions are mainly based on the 11th and 12 standard curricula whereas for JEE Advanced it is beyond that. The questions asked in the exam are designed to test the problem-solving or analytical skills of the candidates.


The main difference considering the syllabus is that JEE-Main is based on the CBSE syllabus of class 11 and 12 for subjects like maths, physics and chemistry. Meanwhile, JEE Advanced contains topics that are not covered in the JEE Main syllabus.

Eligibility Criteria

For JEE Main, the basic criteria for candidates to appear for the exam is that they should have passed/appearing in class 12th examination or equivalent level of education. In order to appear for JEE Advanced, candidates have to clear JEE Main exam and be among the top 2,24,000 candidates.

Number of Attempts

In the case of JEE Main, students can register and give the exam for three consecutive years whereas, for JEE Advanced, candidates can write the exam consecutively for two years only.

Examination Mode

As of 2019, JEE Main which basically consists of two papers – Paper I and Paper II is conducted in both online and offline (pen and paper) mode. On the other hand, JEE Advanced 2019 is being conducted only through online “Computer Based Examination” mode. JEE Main is held in two sessions mostly in the month of January and April whereas JEE Advanced is held in one session usually in the month of May.

These are some of the major differences between the two exams. Alternatively, from this, we can also figure out that JEE-Advanced is slightly on a higher level than JEE Main and that it requires better preparation than JEE-Main.

If you are interested to know more about JEE as well as other competitive exams, you can head over to BYJU’S YouTube channel and access various information which is quite insightful.