The National Test Agency (NTA) has removed the benefit of giving priority to a candidate older in age in the rank list of the JEE Mains 2021 and NEET 2021. Last year, the rank list of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2020 and Joint Entrance Test (JEE) Main 2020 followed the age criteria to determine the all-India topper. To prepare a rank list, the NTA used a tie-breaking policy so that two candidates did not get the same rank.

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Following the change, information brochures of the two exams do not mention candidate’s age a criterion for breaking ties.

Last year, NTA used the tie-breaking method for JEE Main Engineering exam. For the candidate whose NTA marks were higher in Mathematics was given preference, followed marks in Physics, and Chemistry. If the score remained tie, then the candidate with less proportion of negative responses was given priority followed by candidate older in age. Same, methods were used for BArch and BPlanning paper as well.

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However, by 2021, the age as a condition for breaking a tie has been removed.

In NEET 2020, Soyeb Aftab of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh Akanksha Singh scored 720 out of 720, but Aftab was awarded the All-India Rank 1 due to his age.

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Uttar Pradesh Prime Minister Yogi Adityanath has reportedly said he would write to the National Testing Agency to announce Akanksha Singh as a joint topper.

Tummala Snikitha, Vineet Sharma, and Amrisha Khaitan had obtained 715 marks in NEET 2020 but for the same reason, the candidates were allocated different positions despite having the same marks.

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With this change, it is likely that the NEET 2021 and JEE Main 2021 levels will have more toppers in the same range.