Can I Join IISc Through JEST?

Can I Join IISc Through JEST?

Are you an undergraduate or graduate aspiring to pursue Ph.D. in Physics, Theoretical Computer Science or Neuroscience? If yes, you must be preparing for JEST. Indian Institute of Science is one of the best places for Ph.D. Many people do not know that IISc also acecpts JEST scores for admission into its JEST program. In this article, we will explain the details about JEST and how you can join IISc through JEST.

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What is JEST?

JEST stands for Joint Entrance Screening Test. It’s a nationally recognized exam in India for aspiring researchers in Physics, Theoretical Computer Science (TCS), and Neuroscience. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Who can take it?: Students with a Master’s degree (MSc) in Physics, TCS, or Neuroscience, or equivalent qualifications.
  • What it tests?: Fundamental concepts and problem-solving skills in your chosen field.
  • Exam format?: Pen-and-paper test held annually, typically in March. 3 hours with multiple-choice and short answer questions.
  • Benefits?: Improves chances of admission to top PhD programs and potentially secures fellowships.

What is the Exam Pattern for JEST?

JEST does not mention any specific exam pattern on their website. But the SciAstra team has analyzed the sample papers to guess the exam pattern. Please note that the exam pattern might be slightly different from what we have mentioned here and it is advisable to go through the sample paper listed on official website of JEST.

JEST Physics Predicted Exam Pattern:

  • Type of Exam: Objective type
  • Mode of Exam: Offline
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Sections:
  1. Part A: 15 questions carrying 3 marks each for correct answers and -1 for incorrect answer
  2. Part B: 10 questions carrying 3 marks each and no negative marking
  3. Part C: 25 questions, each carrying 1 marks for correct answer and -⅓ for incorrect answer
  • Medium of Exam: English
  • Use of Basic Scientific Calculators: Permitted
  • Rough Work: Candidates can use the blank pages provided in the question paper for rough work

JEST Theoretical Computer Science Predicted Exam Pattern:

The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai is the only institute offering a Ph.D. program in Theoretical Computer Science (TCS). The JEST screening test for admission to the Ph.D. program in TCS  focuses on evaluating candidates in the following areas:

  • Analytical Reasoning and Deduction
  • Combinatorics
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Graph Theory
  • Principles of Programming

Exam Pattern-

Question Types:

  • Questions will cover both short-answer and detailed problem-solving formats.

Assumed Familiarity:

  • Candidates are expected to be familiar with the basics in each area, including necessary simple mathematics

Sample Questionnaire:

  • A sample questionnaire is provided to give candidates an idea of the types of questions they can expect. This sample paper is available on the official website of JEST

Eligibility Criteria:

Program Eligibility Criteria
Ph.D. Programme in Physics
– M.Sc. in Physics from all participating Institutes
– B.E. / B.Tech. / M.Sc. / M.E. / M.Tech. in disciplines of Applied Physics and Mathematics, as listed below:
– M.Sc. in Mathematics / Applied Physics / Applied Mathematics / Optics and Photonics / Instrumentation / Electronics (accepted at IIA)
– B.E. or B.Tech. (accepted at IISc, IMSc, ICTS-TIFR, IUCAA, JNCASR, NCRA-TIFR, TIFR-TCIS, RRI, IISER Mohali, IISER Pune, IISER Thiruvananthapuram)
– M.Sc. in Physics / Electronics / Astronomy / Applied Mathematics (accepted at IUCAA and NCRA-TIFR)
– MSc in Physics, Engineering Physics or Applied Physics (accepted at IPR)
– M.Sc. in Physics, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics, Biophysics or Biochemistry (accepted at SNBNCBS)
– B.Tech Eng. Phys. (accepted at TIFR and NCRA-TIFR)
– M.E./ M.Tech in Applied Physics (accepted at NISER)
– M.Sc. in Physics/Astronomy/Optics/Photonics/Biophysics/Mathematics or ME/M.Tech in Engineering (accepted at RRI)
– MSc. in Physics, Chemistry and Bio Physics (accepted at SNBNCBS)
– Theoretical Computer Science at IMSc: M.Sc./ M.E. / M.Tech. in Computer Science and related disciplines, interested in the mathematical aspects of computer science
– Ph.D. in Neuroscience at NBRC: M.Sc (Physics/ Mathematics), B.E/ B.Tech/ M.C.A in Computer Science
– Ph.D. in Computational Biology at IMSc: M.Sc./ M.E. / M.Tech. ​/ MCA ​in any engineering or science discipline, with good mathematical skills and strong interest in biological problems
Integrated M.Sc. / M.Tech – Ph.D Programme (Physics)
– BSc in Physics (Major/Hons), or in Physics and Mathematics (Physics cannot be an allied/subsidiary/minor subject) (accepted at SNBNCBS)
– B. Sc. (Physics) (accepted at IMSc)
– B.Sc. (Physics / Mathematics) / B.E. / B.Tech. in Electrical / Instrumentation / Engineering Physics / Electronics and Communications / Computer Science and Engineering / Optics and Photonics (accepted at IIA)
– B.Sc (Physics) or B.E./B. Tech in Engineering Physics, with a minimum of first-class marks (accepted at NISER)
– B.Sc. (Physics) (accepted at IISER-Pune, ICTS-TIFR, NCRA-TIFR, and TIFR-TCIS)
– B. Sc. (Physics / Mathematics) / B.E. / B.Tec. (accepted for Integrated M.Sc – PhD at Bose Institute)
– B. Sc. (Physics / Mathematics/Computer Science/Electronics) / B.E. / B.Tech. (accepted for Integrated M.Sc – PhD at Bose Institute)
Integrated Ph.D Programme in Theoretical Computer Science at IMSc
– B.Sc./B.E./B.Tech./M.C.A. in Computer Science or related disciplines, interested in the mathematical aspects of computer science
Integrated M.Tech – Ph.D. Programme at IIA
– M.Sc. (Physics / Applied Physics) / Post-B.Sc. (Hons) in Optics and Optoelectronics / Radio Physics and Electronics
Integrated Ph.D. Programme at IISER Kolkata and IISER Thiruvananthapuram
– B. Sc. (Physics) or B.E. / B. Tech. in any discipline
M. Sc. Programme at HRI
– B. Sc. (Physics) or B.E./B.Tech. degree in any discipline
Joint SPPU-IUCAA MSc Physics (Astrophysics) programme
– B. Sc. (Physics and Mathematics) or B.E. / B. Tech. in any branch of engineering, with a minimum of 55% marks

Other Important Information About Exam:

  • Disciplines for JEST Examination-
      • Candidates can appear for the JEST examination in either Physics or Theoretical Computer Science, but not for both.
  • Number of Attempts-
      • There is no restriction on the number of times one can apply for the JEST examination.
  • Age Limit-
      • No age limit for JEST examination, but eligibility criteria may vary for participating institutes.
  • Question Level-
      • Questions are based on general syllabi of graduation and post-graduation level courses.
  • Ph.D. in Theoretical Computer Science-
      • Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai, is the only institution offering a Ph.D. in Theoretical Computer Sciences based on JEST Scores
  • Ph.D. in Neuroscience or Computational Biology-
      • National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), Gurgaon, offers Ph.D. in Neuroscience. IMSc Chennai offers Ph.D. in Computational Biology based on JEST scores
  • Validity Period of JEST Score-
    • JEST score is valid for one year.

So, How Can I Join IISc Through JEST?

IISc accepts JEST scores for admission into several of its post-graduate programme. These exams are listed below:

Research Programs:

Based on JEST scores, any candidate can start a Research Programme or M. Tech program in following departments:

Science Faculty Engineering Faculty Interdisciplinary Areas
Astronomy & Astrophysics Aerospace Engineering Bioengineering (offered by Department of Bioengineering)
Biochemistry Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences Energy (offered by Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Research)
Ecological Sciences Chemical Engineering Mathematical Sciences (offered by IISc Mathematics Initiative)
High Energy Physics Civil Engineering Water Research (offered by Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research)
Inorganic & Physical Chemistry Computer Science & Automation Cyber Physical Systems (offered by Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber Physical Systems)
Materials Research Earth Sciences Climate Change (offered by Divecha Centre for Climate Change)
Mathematics Electrical Communication Engineering Brain, Computation and Data Science (formerly known as “Brain and Artificial Intelligence”)
Microbiology & Cell Biology Electrical Engineering
Molecular Biophysics Electronic Systems Engineering
Developmental Biology and Genetics Management Studies (Ph.D only)
Neurosciences Materials Engineering
Organic Chemistry Mechanical Engineering
Physics Nano Science and Engineering (Ph.D only)
Solid State & Structural Chemistry Design & Manufacturing
Instrumentation and Applied Physics Sustainable Technologies
Computational & Data Sciences

Apart from this, IISc also accepts JEST score for admission into Integrated PhD program in Physical Science.

Note that the eligibilty criteria for each programs keep changing and candidates are advisable to check the official website of IISc for the same.

Click here to know in detail about other courses offered by IISc.


JEST is national level exam conducted for admission into PhD and integrated PhD programs. A single exam is conducted for both programs and the questions are from graduate level syllabus. There are two disciplines in which one can take exam: Physics and Theoretical Computer Science. IISc accepts the JEST score for admission into Research Program (PhD or M.Tech) and Integrated PhD program in Physics. More details on the same is mentioned in the article.


  • What is the JEST?

 JEST stands for Joint Entrance Screening Test, a nationally recognized exam in India for Physics, Theoretical Computer Science (TCS), and Neuroscience. It is for students with a Master’s degree in Physics, TCS, or Neuroscience.

  • What Is The Exam Pattern for JEST?

The exam pattern varies for Physics and TCS. For Physics, it is a 3-hour pen-and-paper test with objective-type questions. TCS focuses on analytical reasoning, deduction, and specific areas like combinatorics and algorithms.

  • What Is The Eligibility Criteria for JEST Programs?

Eligibility criteria differ for Ph.D. programs in Physics, Theoretical Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Integrated M.Sc./Ph.D. programs. They include various qualifications such as M.Sc., B.E./B.Tech., and others.

  • Can I Join IISc Through JEST?

JEST scores are accepted by IISc for admission into various post-graduate programs. The article lists departments in the Science Faculty, Engineering Faculty, and Interdisciplinary Areas that accept JEST scores.

  • What Are The Disciplines Covered in JEST Examination?

Candidates can appear for the JEST examination in either Physics or Theoretical Computer Science. There’s no restriction on the number of attempts, and there’s no age limit, but eligibility criteria may vary for participating institutes.

  • How Long Is JEST Score Valid?

JEST scores are valid for one year. Candidates are advised to check the official website for any changes in eligibility criteria.

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