If two candidates score equally in the JEE or NEET which are national-level exams for engineering and medical entrances, respectively, the candidates' age will no longer be a consideration in determining who is the topper.
In the rank lists of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main 2021 for engineering and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2021 for medical admissions, the National Testing Agency (NTA) has eliminated the policy of giving older students priority.
The age factor was utilised to determine the all-India topper in NEET 2020, as two students, Soyeb Aftab from Odisha and Akanksha Singh from Uttar Pradesh, both got 720 out of 720. Because Soyeb is older than Akansha, he was given all-India rank 1, but this provision will no longer be followed from this year on. This could make a significant difference in JEE and NEET results.
Candidates' age is not mentioned as a consideration for the tie-breaking policy in this year's JEE and NEET information booklets.
For the JEE Main Engineering exam in 2020, the tie-breaking policy was to give preference to students with higher NTA scores in Mathematics, followed by their scores in Chemistry and Physics. If there is a tie between two candidates, the student with the lowest percentage of negative responses will be chosen first, followed by the candidate who is older. The age factor for tie-breaking in the JEE Main exam has been dropped this year.
Ties amongst students will be decided in the following sequence in the NEET exam this year: Candidates with higher marks/percentile scores in Biology will be given priority, followed by candidates with higher marks in Chemistry, and if the tie still exists, candidates with a lower proportion of attempted incorrect answers in all subjects will be given preference.
As a result of this significant change, many applicants are expected to appear on the same rank on the final merit lists of both national tests.