The Central Board of Secondary Education – CBSE will introduce an online version of its All India Engineering/Architecture Entrance Examination (AIEEE) in 22 cities from 2012, reports The Times of India (also see the Press Release). The examination is conducted for admission to various NITs, IIITs, deemed Universities, for admission to Bachelors of Engineering/Technology and Bachelors of Architecture/Planning.

According to the news report, the board has taken this decision after carrying out successful pilot tests, last year. It is also incentivising candidates who choose to take the test online, by offering a discount ranging between Rs 150 and Rs 300, in examination fee, and is also offering a flexible schedule of examination. Candidates will be able to choose an exam date starting from 7th May 2012 to 25th May 2012. To make them acquainted with the online test, CBSE will offer a mock test on its website in December.

CBSE has also decided to make the application process for AIEEE completely online, and intends to stop the sale of physical application forms, starting this year. It will accept fee through Credit and Debit Cards and Demand Drafts, and facilitation centers would be opened to guide candidates about filling online forms.

Not the First

The Common Admission Test or CAT, the entrance test conducted by Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for admission to its premier business schools throughout India, also started online tests in 2009. Although candidates experienced some problems due to technical glitches in the first year, things seems to have improved in 2010.

Our take is that online tests since they allow students more flexibility, giving them a set of dates to choose from, have a wider geographical reach and reduce the chances of human/OCR errors.

Why The CAT Exams Should Be Held Online, Despite A Patchy Debut