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Is IIT JEE worth it?

IIT Mains are around the corner and I thought it might be an apt time to talk about the pressure IIT exams cause on engineering aspirants. It is like the be-all of all exams and the holy grail for academically good students. But why are we so blind about it? Lets look at the bigger picture. And then, I’m going to share an insightful post with you from someone who succeeded without caring for IITs.

Lets consider why is it so highly regarded-

  1. IITs are the highest and internationally reputed engineering colleges we have in India
  2. IITians seem to have bright careers later on
  3. An IIT brand is the best you can get in India due to its competitive entrance procedure

Now, lets look at it in a global context.

  1. None of the IITs feature in World’s TOP 200 engineering programs according to US News rankings. In the latest Quacquarelli Symonds(QS) world university rankings, IITs have come as the only saving grace for Indian universities, which have taken a massive beating in the rankings released on Wednesday. Not a single university or department has made it to the top 200 altogether in 12 of the 30 disciplines covered in the rankings. But the point of interest is that the highest entry from India across all categories was IIT Delhi’s electrical engineering department that was ranked the 37th best globally.
  2. IITians are the cream of Indians but not being an IITian does NOT mean you are not in the cream. It is only likely that a student who could crack such a competitive exam will produce better results in later career. However, don’t correlate bright careers to only IITs.
  3. While competitive exams are meant to measure your ability, they are not the true reflection of you and your capability. With <2% selection rate, many brilliant students still don’t make it to IITs but many of them have succeed immensely later on. Further, the QUOTAS that we run have been hampering our recognition of talent. Many deserving students have been left out of the merit list unfairly due to quotas.

So, a glaring reality emerges up – we, as a society, are making our students take critical pressures to qualify for IITs that don’t even compete at fore in global scenario. The same point is made excellently by a Quora poster and I recommend you read the full response of someone who did not make it to IIT but flourished by studying abroad and developing a well-rounded profile.


To summarize:

Cracking IITs is not the only testament to your capability. If you get into it, great and congratulations! Not getting into it is definitely not the end of the world. There are BETTER and EASIER options out there. If I had to choose a TOP 20 school in US or UK vs IIT, I would, without hesitation, pick the top 20 school. Open you eyes, follow your passions and live a quality and happy life.

Don’t be recognized by the school you attended – excel so that your school is recognized by YOU (tweet this)

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