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JEE Main Eligibility Criteria 2021: Minimum Qualification, Number of Attempts, Age Limit, Subjects

Last updated on August 24th, 2021

NTA has officially released the JEE Main Eligibility Criteria 2021 in its information brochure. Candidates must meet the basic JEE Main Eligibility Criteria before planning to apply for JEE Main 2021. JEE Main Eligibility Criteria consist of various conditions such as-

  • Educational qualification
  • Age limit,
  • Nationality,
  • Mandatory subjects in Class 12th or equivalent

Latest Update on JEE Main Eligibility Criteria 2021-

NTA has finally released the JEE Main Exam Dates for April and May sessions, which were postponed earlier. Session 3 (April) is scheduled from 20 to 25 July, while Session 4 (May) is scheduled from 26 August to 2 September 2021. Candidates can apply for both the sessions or either of them through JEE Main Application Form.

  • JEE Main 2021 will be conducted in 4 sessions – February, March, April and May. Candidates can apply for all four sessions.
  • Now, candidates with only Class XII passing certificates will be able to apply for JEE Main.
  • Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal, Education Minister of India, has announced that 75% eligibility criteria (top 20 percentile rule) is scrapped for JEE Main 2021.

JEE Main Counselling JEE Main Application Forms
Top GFTIs JEE Main Cut Off JEE Main Result

Detailed JEE Main 2021 Eligibility Criteria (Updated)

The main criteria for JEE Main Eligibility 2021 are mentioned in the graphic below. Each criteria is also detailed in various heading below. Do note that JEE Advanced Eligibility Criteria is different from JEE Main Eligibility Criteria 2021.

JEE Main 2021 Eligibility Criteria
JEE Main 2021 Eligibility Criteria

Year of Qualifying Exam

  • JEE Main 2021 aspirants must have passed 12th or equivalent exam in 2019 or 2020
  • Candidates appearing for 12th boards (or equivalent) in 2021 are also eligible to apply for JEE Main.

Age Limit Criteria

  • JEE Main does not have any criteria for upper age limit
  • IITs have separate age limit criteria for admissions, which might affect overall JEE Advanced 2021 eligibility criteria.

Number of Attempts

  • JEE Main aspirants can attempt entrance exam for 3 consecutive years
  • NTA conducts JEE Main exam twice a year since 2019 and a candidate can appear for both exams.
  • Both attempts of JEE Main exam for a single academic year are considered as a single attempt for that year

Aggregate Marks in Qualifying Examination

This particular JEE Main Eligibility criterion is not considered for JEE Main 2021 exam due to COVID-19. The details below are applicable under regular circumstances:

  • General Category – 75% marks in aggregate
  • SC/ST/PWD Category – 65% marks in aggregate

Also Check Top NITs Accepting JEE Main Score

Combination of Subject(s) for JEE Main 2021 Eligibility

JEE Main 2021 eligibility criteria require all candidates to opt for 5 main subjects in the qualifying examination. Students with less than 5 subjects will be considered ineligible.

Compulsory subjects for the candidates taking JEE Main exam includes:

  • Paper 1 – B.Tech/B.E.
      • Physics
      • Mathematics
      • Chemistry/Biology/Biotechnology/Technical Vocational Subject
  • Paper 2 – B.Arch.
      • Physics
      • Chemistry
      • Mathematics
  • Paper 3 – B.Planning
      • Mathematics

Major Changes in the JEE Main Eligibility Criteria 2021

JEE Main 2021 Eligibility Criteria changes as per the new guidelines include the following::

  • Valid ID Proof – All Indian JEE Main aspirants need to produce an Aadhar Card or any other valid ID to appear for the exam. NRI candidates must present a valid passport
  • Guidelines for Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya, and Assam Applicants
    • Candidates from these states need to enter details like Passport Number, Ration Card, Bank Account Number or any other equivalent Govt. issued documents while filling JEE Main 2021 Application Form
    • Also, such candidates can select centres from these states only
  • Exemption of Class 12th marks – For JEE Main 2021, the percentage of 12th will not be included while calculating AIR
  • Admission to IITs/ NITs/ IIITs and CFTIs
    • One need to obtain a minimum of 75% marks in class 12th or rank under top 20 percentile by the respective board for admissions to these institutes
    • For SC/ST category, the minimum aggregate required is 65%

Note: Due to the current pandemic situation, the rule of minimum aggregate marks in 12th boards has been scrapped by CSAB. Read More

Eligibility for Admission to Participating NITs, IIITs, GFTIs via CSAB

  • CSAB is the regulatory body conducting admission counselling for NITs, IIITs, CFTIs
  • Admission via CSAB depends on All India Ranks of candidates
  • Candidates need to secure either minimum 75% marks in 10+2 exams or a place in Top 20 Percentile at 10+2 level
  • For the SC/ST category, the minimum aggregate required in 10+2 is 65%.

Note: CSAB has relaxed this rule for admission to NITs and other CFTIs. Please check the latest update.


Admission to NITs, IITs, CFTIs, SFIs or State Engineering Colleges

Authority Institute Program Eligibility Criteria
Central Seat Allocation Authority B.E/B.Tech/ B.Plan NITS, IIITs, CFTIs B.E/B.Tech/ B.Plan
  • 75% marks in 12th or Top 20% percentile in 12th
  • For SC/ST, 65% in 12th
Council of Architecture Institutes other than NITs, IIITs, CFTIs B.Arch 50% marks in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics along with 50% aggregate in the qualifying exam


JEE Main 2021 Reservation

Of the total seats, few are reserved for candidates belonging to OBC, SC, ST, and PwD category as detailed below:

JEE Main 2021 Reservation
JEE Main 2021 Reservation

The allocation of seats is done as follows:

Category Percentage
Scheduled Caste (SC) 15%
Scheduled Tribe (ST) 7.5%
Non-Creamy Layer – Other Backward Classes (OBC-NCL) 27%
People with Disability (PwD) 5%
  • As per the verdict of Lok Sabha Bill in 2019, the constitution allows 10% reservation for EWS category.
  • Hence, now JEE Main 2021 reservation criteria also provide 10% EWS Reservation
  • The remaining seats after all other reservations will be considered as unreserved for the general category.

Check JEE Main Cut Off for Top NITs

State Code of Eligibility

For JEE Main exam, the state from which a candidate has passed the qualifying examination is considered as the state code of eligibility.

  • A candidate is given the quota under that particular state as a first preference during the allocation of seats in JEE Main Counselling.
  • State quota is only applicable for NITs and a few other state colleges.
  • State, where the candidate passed the qualifying examination, is the state code of eligibility and not the state of residence
  • If a candidate is appearing for improvement examinations, then the state code of eligibility will be the state from where the candidate has passed Class XII examination
  • In cases where Indian Nationals have passed 12th from Nepal/Bhutan, the state code of eligibility will be determined by the permanent address on the passport
  • For candidates who have passed/appeared in Class XII exams of NIOS, can select a state code of eligibility where the study centre is located

Qualifying Exams for JEE Main 2021

Aspirants appearing for JEE Main must have cleared the following in order to meet JEE Main eligibility criteria:

  • Class 12 or equivalent from a recognized Central or State board like ICSE, CBSE, CISCE, etc.
  • Intermediate or Pre-Degree Course exam or Pre-University Course under any recognized Board/University
  • H.S.C or any vocational examination
  • The final exam of the 2-year course of the Joint Services Wing of the NDA
  • Diploma of a minimum of 3 years recognized by AICTE or SBTE
  • Senior Secondary School Examination conducted by the National Institute of Open Schooling with a minimum of 5 subjects
  • For admission to IITs, a candidate must complete the General Certificate Education (GCE) exam (London/ Cambridge/ Sri Lanka) at Advanced level
  • Association of Indian Universities examination in India or any foreign country

Read IITs vs NITs

JEE Main 2021 – Eligibility Criteria For Improvement Exam

  • Improvement in one/two subjects – Candidate’s previous year’s top 20 percentile is taken into account and the aggregate will be calculated based on compulsory subjects
  • Improvement in all subjects – Candidate’s highest aggregate of both years is considered
  • In case a candidate is unable to secure the minimum required aggregate, he/she will be deemed ineligible

Documents Required for JEE Main 2021

The candidates need to produce the following documents at the time of taking JEE Main 2021 Exam:

  • Identity Card: JEE Main participants need to produce a valid ID proof like PAN Card, Driver’s Licence, Voter ID, Aadhaar Card etc.
  • Photograph and Signature
    • JEE Main application form requires Scanned copies of Signature and Photograph
    • Size of the photograph should be between 10 kb–200 kb
    • Permissible size of the signature must be between 4 kb–30 kb
    • Preferred dimensions for signature and photograph are 3.5 cm X 4.5 cm
    • The format acceptable is JPEG/JPG only
  • Educational Documents: Candidates need to produce 10th and 12th mark sheet and certificate at the time of JEE Main 2021 Counselling along with JEE Main Application Form

Note – Supreme Court ruled out that Aadhar is not mandatory for admission in educational institutes. Candidates can apply for JEE Main with any valid ID proofs.


What is JEE Main Eligibility Criteria for Droppers?

  • JEE Main 2021 eligibility criteria apply to all candidates including droppers
  • To be eligible, dropouts need to fulfil the eligibility criteria for JEE Main exam
  • For admission to NITs, IIITs and CFTIs, candidates need to secure a minimum score of 75% (65% for reserved category) or need to be in the top 20 percentile of their respective boards
  • The droppers must have passed 12th examination in 2018 or 2019
  • JEE Main aspirants can take only three consecutive attempts
  • Candidates must have taken at least five subjects in their 12th class or qualifying exam, mandatory ones being Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics

JEE Main Eligibility Criteria-FAQs

Ques: Is there any sort of relaxation in eligibility for women candidates?

Last updated on August 21st, 2020

Ans: No, the eligibility criterias for JEE Main exam is same for both boys and girls. Only exemptions are given to reserved category candidates like SC/ST or PWD candidates.

Ques: What is the minimum percentage required to appear for JEE Main 2020?

Last updated on August 21st, 2020

Ans: Usually, JEE Main exam requires a minimum of 75% for general category and 65% for reserved category in 12th class examination. However, this year NTA has discarded the percentage criteria and only the 12th pass certificate is required for registration.

Ques: Is there any age limit requirement for JEE exam?

Last updated on August 21st, 2020

Ans: For 2020 JEE Main exam, candidates need to qualify 12th in either 2018 or 2019. But as of now there is no upper age limit prescribed by NTA to appear for the examination.

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    • Hi Krishna, In NITs there 233 seats reserved for NRI and CIWG candidates of this, there are 156 seats reserved under the NRI quota, 77 under the CIWG.

    • Hi Nitika, To be eligible for JEE Main, candidates must qualify all three subject i.e PCM with at least 75% marks to get into IITs, NITs and IIITs.

    • Hi Rasika, There is no Upper age criteria for JEE Main exam a candidate can appear consecutively 3 years in JEE Exam after passing class 12th i.e. in 2019,2020 or 2021.

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