Frequently Asked Questions : JEST

Question:What is JEST?
The  Joint Entrance Screening Test in Theoretical Computer Science is a test conducted across the country each year, usually on one day in the month of February. For JEST 2011 TCS on 20 February 2011 there were approximately  2000 applicants.
Question:Who is eligible?
M.Sc./ M.E. / M.Tech. / M.C.A. in Computer Science and related disciplines, interested in the mathematical aspects of computer science, will be considered for the Ph.D. programme. Students who expect to complete their final examination by the following July are also eligible to apply.
Talented graduates with Bachelor's degree in science/ mathematics/ statistics/ computer science/ information technology/ Engineering will be considered for the Integrated M.Sc.-Ph.D. programme. This means that they pick up a Masters' degree and a PhD degree on completion of the integrated programme.
Question:Where can I write the JEST exam?
JEST will be conducted at major cities across the country.  JEST 2010 was conducted at Ahmedabad, Aligarh, Allahabad, Bangalore, Bardhaman, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Madurai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nainital, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Roorkee, Sambalpur, Silchar, Siliguri, Thiruvananthapuram, Udaipur and Visakhapatnam.

Question: What are the examination disciplines ?
Ansewer: You can appear for the JEST exam in Physics or Theoretical Computer Science, but not both.
Question: What is the level of questions in the examination ?
Ansewer: The questions are based on the general syllabus of graduation and post-graduation level courses offered by various Indian universities and institutions. JEST question papers are normally not made available. However, some questions from previous year's examinations are available below.
Question: Which institutes offer a Ph.D. Degree in Theoretical Computer Science ?
Ansewer: The Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai is the only institution which currently offers a Ph.D. in Theoretical Computer Science. Please visit their webpage for more information.
Question: Where can I get more information about JEST?
Ansewer:  For more information on the Jest examination in Theoretical Computer Science, click here
Please mail at the contact address for any specific information that you may need about JEST-2012 in Physics.
Question: Where can I get sample question papers?

Can I do a PhD part-time with my job?
No, we only admit full-time students at IMSc. However, if you register for PhD with some university, there are possibilities of research collaboration with IMSc. Please see our page on the Graduate Visitor Programme.
Question:Can I use a GATE score instead of writing JEST in Theoretical Computer Science?
No. We use the GATE score as additional information.
Question:What is the structure of the JEST examination for TCS?
It is a three-hour written test. The question paper consists of two parts:
Part A is multiple-choice to be marked on the answer card provided.
Part B requires short answers to be written on the space provided in the paper.
Question: How is the evaluation done?
Part A is evaluated mechanically. Part A scores will be available at the JEST website. IMSc decides a first cutoff. Only for students who meet this first cutoff, Part B of the answerbook will be evaluated.
The Part B scores are not declared. IMSc decides a second cutoff based on the performance in both parts.
Students meeting this second cutoff are called for an interview to Chennai.
Interview dates are usually during the last week of April and the first week of May.

Question: What should I do to increase my chances of getting selected?
Here are some criteria which were followed by the TCS JEST examiners in recent years.
The first cutoff selects the top students among the Part A scores. IMSc chooses the cutoff depending on the number of students taking the examination and the number of answerbooks for which Part B is to be evaluated (manually). In 2010 we chose this cutoff to get the top 250 in Part A.
Among the top students with Part A scores,  those who get low Part B scores are rejected.
The top few among the Part B scores are selected. IMSc chooses this second cutoff depending on the number of students to be called to the interviews (to be done in a limited amount of time).
Apart from this, we look at answers of candidates who top-score on individual questions in Part B (if very few candidates overall do well on a question they have an advantage), or if the answers are ingenious or meticulous enough to deserve extra credit. In 2010 we were able to call around 30 students for TCS interviews.