It is a common perception among students and parents that the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MHCET) is easier than the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Mains and Advanced. This is often due to the belief that MHCET has no negative marking and is based on the Maharashtra board syllabus with less focus on the chapters of Class 11th. On the other hand, JEE Mains has negative marking and is based on NCERT syllabus with both Class 11th and 12th syllabus.
However, this perception is required to be given second thought. The combined syllabus of Classes 11th and 12th across all three major boards in Maharashtra - CBSE/ICSE and State Board - is the same. Furthermore, the syllabus of Class 12th in the state board is more comprehensive and includes the advanced chapters of Class 11th of the other two boards, making it heavier than Class 12th in CBSE and ICSE.
Additionally, the pattern of the exam cannot be a valid point to judge its difficulty, as it is the same for all aspirants, neutralizing the advantage of no negative marking for everyone.
This is reflected in the results of the two exams. For example, to secure a seat in COEP Pune for computer science and engineering in 2022 in the general category, a student was required to have a 99.98 percentile, which translates to around 170 marks out of 200. On the other hand, to secure a seat in computer science and engineering at NIT Nagpur, a score of around 220 marks out of 300 was required, which roughly translates to a 99.5 percentile. JEE Mains, allows for 275% more buffer in terms of marks in comparison to MHCET for similar options, also JEE consists exactly half the number of questions as MHCET, which requires solving 150 questions in 3 hours.
Additionally, 60-70% of JEE Mains questions are based on Class 12th CBSE syllabus, making it a door opener for colleges across India and not just in Maharashtra. On a larger scale, there are around 3000 seats in all government colleges across all streams that take admissions through MHCET in Maharashtra and 100000 students compete for these seats, which translates to 3 seats per 100 students.
On the other hand, there are around 35000 seats in all government engineering colleges across India for which 1000000 students compete, translating to 3.5 seats per 100 students. So seat per aspirant is almost the same in both the exams.
Note that this does not include the additional 13500 seats across IITs.
In conclusion, it is crucial for students to make an informed decision and plan their crucial 2 years of 11th and 12th accordingly. While MHCET may seem easier on the surface, it is important to take a closer look at the details before drawing conclusions. Also, we can't stop an aspirant from Maharashtra seriously preparing for JEE Mains to write MHCET, so by only focusing on MHCET we are just reducing our chances not the competition.