NEW DELHI: Free coaching for key higher education entrance tests? This will actually be possible soon because the National Testing Agency, set up by the government to conduct exams for entrance to higher educational institutions, will convert its 2,697 test practice centres into teaching centres from next year.
According to a HRD ministry official, the practice centres will start functioning from September 8.
In what is probably bad news for the numerous private coaching centres preparing aspirants for these exams for a price, the ministry official added, “The plan is to take these centres beyond just practice tests and turn them into teaching centres. They will not charge any fees and so will be especially helpful for talented students from sections where aspirations are high but private coaching is impossible due to financial constraints.”
‘Coaching to benefit rural, semi-urban candidates’
Candidates from rural and semi-urban centres will also benefit,” the HRD ministry official said. The teaching component of the plan is expected to begin from May 2019.
In the first instance, NTA will allow aspirants to sit for a mock test for the forthcoming Joint Entrance Examination-Main (JEE-Main) 2019 in January.
Those who register with the testing agency through a mobile app and websitecan appear for mock tests for the National Eligibilitycum-Entrance Test-UG (NEETUG) and the University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET).
They can then analyse their results with NTA mentors, learn and rectify their mistakes at these centres. Aspirants will have to register for slots at test practice centres through the mobile app or NTA’s official website.
Registered candidates will get to sit for the tests. Once the result are out, the teachers at the centre will help them with their mistakes and with concepts.
However, this teaching component at the centres will be rolled out only after the first set of exams, the dates for which have recently been announced by NTA.
“For the time being, the practice centres will allow candidates to take mock tests for JEEMain only. As NEET-UG is not a computer-based test currently, there will be no mock test at the centres for the time being,” the HRD ministry official said. NTA will launch the mobile application and websites for registration on September 1.
The same day, at noon, the agency will also open the online registration process for UGC-NET 2018 and JEE-Main. Registrations will continue till September 30.
The testing agency will launch a mobile application to help an aspirant identify the centre closest to his or her location.