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JEE Main, KCET: Compare First And Score Well

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By Safeer PP
7 Mar'22  10 min read
JEE Main, KCET: Compare First And Score Well

 If you are an engineering aspirant looking for admission in a top college, your first stop will be JEE Main. Don’t forget that appearing in KCET can get you admission in one of the top engineering colleges in Karnataka. All you need to do is prepare majorly for JEE Main while tweaking your prep plan to ace KCET as well. Careers360 compares the syllabus and pattern of these exams to help you plan your prep strategy to crack both the exams in one go.

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JEE Main, KCET: Compare First And Score Well

 If you are an engineering aspirant looking for admission in a top college, your first stop will be JEE Main. Don’t forget that appearing in KCET can get you admission in one of the top engineering colleges in Karnataka. All you need to do is prepare majorly for JEE Main while tweaking your prep plan to ace KCET as well. Careers360 compares the syllabus and pattern of these exams to help you plan your prep strategy to crack both the exams in one go.

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Do you know that admissions to 252 engineering colleges are through the Karnataka Common Entrance Test (KCET)? And, 15 of these institutions are among India’s top 200 engineering colleges? So, if you are an engineering aspirant preparing for the Joint Entrance Examination Main (JEE Main), taking KCET, conducted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), can help you secure admission in a really good college. In this article, we examine the similarities and differences in the syllabus and preparation strategies for both the exams.

JEE Main: An introduction

Joint Entrance Examination Main, or JEE Main is one of the most sought after entrance examinations for engineering admissions in India. Candidates qualifying JEE Main can get admissions to National Institutes of Technology (NITs) Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and government-funded technical institutions (GFTIs) on the basis of the cut-off requirements of the participating colleges. Students who wish to do a basic science course from the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) also appear for JEE Main. It also serves as the preliminary stage for JEE Advanced which serves as a gateway for admissions to undergraduate programs and integrated postgraduate programs at the Indian Institutes of technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research.

JEE Main is conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA), a government body that conducts various other entrance examinations such as NEET as well.

KCET: An introduction

KCET is a state-level entrance examination conducted by Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) for admission to the undergraduate programs such as BE, B.Pharma, BSc, B.Arch and BTech. The KCET entrance exam is also known as Karnataka CET, KEA CET or Kar CET. Besides government engineering colleges, private engineering institutes also use KECET scores for admissions to undergraduate courses.

KCET, JEE Main Exam Pattern

KCET consists of four separate examinations. It is a group of tests that judge the knowledge of candidates in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. The papers are conducted offline in pen and paper mode. Each paper has a duration of 1 hour and 20 minutes and the number of questions in each paper is 60. The candidate can opt for one out of two languages: English or Kannada as a medium for the question paper. The paper consists of multiple choice questions (MCQs) where the candidate has to choose the correct option out of the four alternatives. Each question carries one mark each and there is no negative marking for incorrect answers.

JEE Main is a three-hour long examination that checks the knowledge of applicants in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. The entrance exam is conducted in computer-based mode. The exam pattern of JEE Main has changed recently. Now, there are two types of questions in the exam: multiple choice questions in which the applicant has to choose the most appropriate choice out of the four alternatives and numerical answer questions in which the candidates are required to give the numerical answer to the question. For each subject, there are 20 multiple choice questions (MCQs) and 10 numerical answer questions, out of which the candidate has to attempt all the MCQs and 5 numerical questions of his/her choice.

JEE Main, KCET: Differences and Similarities

The first and foremost difference is in the eligibility conditions for the two exams. KCET requires an applicant to have at least seven years of education from any government or government recognized educational institute in Karnataka in order to appear for the exam. Moreover, the candidates must have Physics and Maths as their main subjects and English as the language subject in 10+2 or Pre-University Certificate (PUC) II.

The modes in which both the entrance tests are taken are also different. The JEE Main is conducted in computer based mode whereas KCET is in offline pen and paper mode.

Also Read,

If we look at the statistics, the number of students appearing in JEE Main is much higher than that of KCET. The JEE Main’s difficulty level is higher than that of KCET since its questions are more conceptual based. However, the KCET examination has many more questions than the JEE Main. Also, the individual tests and time given for each subject adds pressure to the candidates.

The marking scheme for both the exams is also different. In JEE Main, each correct answer is awarded 4 marks and each wrong answer leads to one negative mark. For numerical type questions, there is no negative marking. On the other hand, in KCET, candidates get 1 mark for each correct answer and there is no negative marking for incorrect answers.

In both the entrance exams, the paper and solutions are published on the official website for students to view and examine their responses. Students can also ask for review of the answer key once it has been published on the official website.

JEE Main was held two times in 2020 and four times in 2021 out of which the best score was taken into consideration. KCET is organised only once a year.

KEA CET Vs JEE Main: Subject-Wise Preparation Strategy

Questions appearing in KCET are relatively easier and require you to recall the applications of the formulae. The questions asked in JEE Main are more conceptual and require in-depth knowledge of the concepts and techniques as compared to KCET.

So, a student preparing for JEE Main can easily crack the KCET exam as well. The subject and weightage-wise comparison of both the exams are given below.


Syllabus Compared

In both JEE Main and KCET, most of the syllabus is common except for Communication Systems. Communication Systems is not included in the syllabus of KCET, whereas in JEE Main it is there. NCERT books form the basis of the preparation and impart the essential knowledge required to crack both the exams.

Weightage Compared

Electrostatics and Magnetism have more weightage among the topics in KCET. Topics such as Ray optics, Mechanics and Wave optics also appear in high proportions in the paper. On the other hand, the weightage for Mechanics is very high in JEE Main. Students should have practised as many problems as possible from various study materials to get familiar with each type of question. Following is the chapter-wise comparison of the syllabus of both the exams.

JEE Main, KCET Syllabus Comparison: Physics

Class 11 Physics NCERT

JEE Main


Physical World

Units And Measurements

Motion In A Straight Line

Motion In A Plane

Laws Of Motion

Work, Energy And Power

System Of Particles And Rotational Motion


Mechanical Properties Of Solids

Mechanical Properties Of Fluids

Thermal Properties Of Matter


Kinetic Theory



Class 12 Physics NCERT

JEE Main


Electric Charges And Fields

Electrostatic Potential And Capacitance

Current Electricity

Moving Charges And Magnetism

Magnetism And Matter

Electromagnetic Induction

Alternating Current

Electromagnetic Waves

Ray Optics And Optical Instruments

Wave Optics

Dual Nature Of Radiation And Matter



Semiconductor Electronics

Communication Systems


Syllabus Compared

The syllabus for Chemistry in both the exams is very similar except for a few chapters. Environmental Chemistry from Class 11 NCERT textbook and General Principle and Processes of Isolation of Elements; Polymers and Chemistry In Everyday Life from Class 12 NCERT textbook are not included in KCET but are there in JEE Main, in addition to all the other chapters of Chemistry. Learning NCERT books thoroughly is essential to tackle the questions in both the examinations.

Weightage Compared

The weightage of Inorganic Chemistry in KCET is higher in comparison to JEE Main. Hence, Inorganic Chemistry topics such as Chemical Bonding, p Block Elements, d and f Block Elements, and Coordination Compounds must be studied in depth. Below mentioned table consists of chapter-wise comparison of the syllabus of both the exams of Chemistry.

JEE Main, KCET Syllabus Comparison: Chemistry

Class 11 Chemistry NCERT

JEE Main


Some Basic Concepts Of Chemistry

Structure Of Atom

Classification Of Elements And Periodicity In Properties

Chemical Bonding And Molecular Structure

States Of Matter



Redox Reactions


The S - Block Elements

The P - Block Elements

Organic Chemistry Some Basic Principles And Techniques


Environmental Chemistry

Class 12 Chemistry NCERT

JEE Main


Solid States



Chemical Kinetics

Surface Chemistry

General Principle and Processes of Isolation of Elements

The p-block Elements

The d-and f-Block Elements

Coordination Compounds

Haloalkanes and Haloarenes

Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers

Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids




Chemistry In Everyday Life


Syllabus Compared

From Class 11 Maths NCERT textbook, a few chapters like Binomial Theorem, Conic Sections and Mathematical Reasoning are not covered in KCET syllabus but are asked in JEE Main syllabus. Questions appear from Linear Programming in KCET but not in JEE Main. Questions from the rest of the chapters in NCERT books are asked in both the examinations.

Weightage Compared

Weightage of Calculus and Matrices and Determinants is higher in KCET than in JEE Main. Hence, students focusing on the KCET examination should concentrate more on these topics and prepare thoroughly. The weightage of Permutations and Combinations and Probability is higher in JEE Main as compared to KCET.

JEE Main, KCET Syllabus comparison: Maths

NCERT Class 11 Maths

JEE Main



Relations And Functions

Trigonometric Functions

Principle Of Mathematical Induction

Complex Numbers And Quadratic Equations

Linear Inequalities

Permutations And Combinations

Binomial Theorem

Sequence And Series

Straight Lines

Conic Sections

Introduction To Three Dimensional Geometry

Limits And Derivatives

Mathematical Reasoning



NCERT Class 12 Maths

JEE Main


Relations And Functions

Inverse Trigonometric Functions



Continuity And Differentiability

Application Of Derivatives


Application Of Integrals

Differential Equations

Vector Algebra

Three Dimensional Geometry

Linear Programming


Is KCET Easier Than JEE Main?

The questions appearing in both the examinations are from the same chapters and topics of Class 11 and 12. But the level of questions appearing in JEE Main is on the tougher side as compared to KCET. The KCET exam has individual papers for all the subjects which makes it difficult for the student to focus on only one subject at a given time. Hence, both exams are challenging in their own ways.

How Should One Prepare?

KCET consists of separate question papers for each subject. So, the candidates have to inculcate the habit of sitting for long hours to attempt all the individual question papers in a single day. Candidates should also attempt a number of mock tests and sample papers to get an idea of the difficulty level and time management of the paper. Some suggestions that can be implemented are as follows:

a) Inculcate the habit of sitting for long hours

b) Prepare an exam strategy that suits you the best

c) Make concise notes so that it will be easier to revise the concepts

d) Give sample papers and mock tests to improve speed

e) Develop time management strategy. Allocate a specific time to all subjects

f) Study all the subjects. Focus more on your strengths.

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