Thanks to the many glorious achievements in the past to its credit, IITs have earned themselves a huge reputation across the world in technical education. Millions of engineering aspirants toil through days and nights to crack JEE with a hope of making it to the hallowed engineering institutions of India. But the claims of supremacy by IITs have been recently put to rest by experts.

While cracking JEE may be the dream goal of engineering aspirants, statistics reveal that BITSAT is the most competitive engineering exam in India. An average of 100 students competed for a seat in this year’s BITSAT (Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test), the online test for admission into degree courses at one of the three Birla Institute of Technology and Science colleges. In comparison, only 47 students contested for a seat at the JEE 2016. 

Highlights of this article

  • BITSAT is more competitive than the JEE exam.
  • In BITSAT, students have to solve 150 questions in 180 minutes. In JEE, students have to solve 90 questions in 180 minutes.
  • Students with good English stand a better chance of cracking BITSAT.
  • Difficulty level of BITSAT & JEE papers

Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is the first step of getting into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). It is conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

BITSAT (BITS Admission Test), on the other hand, is conducted by the Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences, Pilani for admission to its campuses in Pilani, Goa, and Hyderabad.

It has often been argued that BITS has proved that it is at par with the hallowed IITs. Here is step-by-step comparison between the two engineering entrance exams and why BITSAT is the clear victor in terms of competitiveness.

  • An Overview of the Statistics

A total number of applications received for BITSAT-2016 was around 2 lakh per 2000 seats at the institute’s campuses in Pilani, Hyderabad, and Goa. This national-level engineering entrance exam was conducted across a total of around 50 exam cities in India and Dubai between May 14 and May 28, 2016.

On the other hand, 12.5 lakh students took the JEE 2016 on April 3, 2016 (offline mode) and April 9 and April 10, 2016 (online mode) to be eligible for 33,365 seats in for a total of 18 IITs, ISM Dhanbad, 32 NITs, 18 IITs and 19 other Government Funded Technical Institutes (GFTIs). From the JEE results, first 2,00,000 students could appear for JEE Advanced for 10,006 seats. It means only 20 students contesting per seat for 18 IITs, IIT Dhanbad.

Institutes under JEE Total Seats
All IITs + IIT Dhanbad 10,006
All NITs 17,390
All IITs 2,228
All other GFTIs 3,741

Over the last nine years, the number of students applying for the BITSAT has increased steadily from around 88,000 in 2007 to 1.36 lakh in 2012 and 2 lakh in 2016. In comparison to IITs, the number of seats at BITS have remained constant at 2000, making it more competitive.

If we see the record of the number of students applied for JEE for last three years, then it is clearly seen that the record is constantly decreasing.

Year Number of Student appeared in JEE-Main
2016                                                                  12,50,000
2015                                                                  13,00,000
2014                                                                   13,50,000
2013                                                                  14,00,000
  • Exam Pattern & Difficulty Level of Questions

In BITSAT exam, candidates have to solve 150 questions in 180 minutes or 3 hours while in the JEE exam, candidates have to solve just 90 questions in 180 minutes. Hence, speed matters more in the former along with accuracy.

The difficulty level of BITSAT questions is either of the same level as JEE questions or a bit harder. Since candidates have more time to think about each question in the JEE exam, students can solve more accurately, making BITSAT a tough nut to crack with little time per question.

If you know your formulae well and build up speed, you have high chances of cracking the BITSAT exam. In JEE Main, the focus is only on conceptual clarity.

  • English Proficiency

While JEE tests candidates on their knowledge and understanding of core subjects of Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics, BITSAT exam tests English Proficiency & Logical Reasoning skills of the candidates too. This may make BITSAT tougher for students who are from Hindi belt and/or are weak in English. If a candidate has already appeared for the JEE and is preparing for the BITSAT exam now, he or she should focus on these two sections.


BITSAT certainly pushes ahead of the game. What makes it more popular and competitive than JEE? It is the fact that it is based on the NCERT school syllabus followed by CBSE schools.

“The BITSAT has been growing in popularity among students since it was introduced in 2005. Over the last 2-3 years, a number of applicants has increased enough to make the exam more competitive than the JEE,” says S. Mohan, the associate dean of admissions at BITS.

For appearing in BITSAT, students should have obtained a minimum of aggregate 75% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics subjects in the board exam, which is the highest cut-off among all other engineering tests. So, it clearly emerges as a winner in terms of competitiveness.

Do you think IITs have to gear up to compete with BITS Pilani? Post your comments in the section below.

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