Reference Books for IIT JAM Exam - Biotechnology, Exam Pattern

Reference Books for IIT JAM Exam

IIT – Indian Institute of Technology is the frontier national institute of higher education in engineering and technology, basic and applied research. IITs offer higher education and research for a wide variety of disciplines such as energy, engineering, nanotechnology, medicine, computational sciences, and biotechnology. It has been the major force behind catering the high- end research and technological advancement in India.

With the aim of providing advanced technological and scientific know-how to the desirable candidates in the level of post-graduation, from 2005 onwards the system of conduction national level competitive exam was initiated by the institute. The exam thus conducted is better known as the IIT JAM Exam – Joint Admission Test for M.Sc -JAM, which has proven as a benchmark for the undergraduate level science education.

IIT JAM is conducted for admissions in M.Sc., Joint M.Sc.-Ph.D., M.Sc.-Ph.D. Dual Degree, and other Post-Graduate programs in Biological Sciences & other subjects. This can also be considered for admission in Integrated Ph.D. Degree Programmes at the IISc as well. The idea of having integrated Ph.D. is to provide brilliant students the opportunity to directly join research after completion of graduation.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria For IIT JAM Exam

Any national both Indian and foreign can appear for JAM. The exam has no age limit for appearing the exam. But the only criteria for appearing the exam is the fulfillment of minimum educational qualification fixed for a specific academic program. The minimum educational qualification is usually having a Bachelor’s degree in the concerned field with minimum CGPA of 5.5 out of 10 for General /NCL-OBC and 5 out of 10 for SC/ST/PWD candidates. Qualifying the exam is a must for the candidates seeking admission in IIT and IISc along with the fulfillment of minimum educational qualification. Admission is purely based on the Rank received in the merit list which generally is separate for General, NCL-OBC, SC, ST and PwD categories.

IIT JAM Exam Pattern

IIT JAM is an ONLINE Computer Based Test conducted at the respective exam centers for a duration of 3 hours. The questions are either multiple choice question or numerical answer type questions. Each candidate will be allocated a computer and question will be displayed on the computer screen. The medium for all the test papers in English only. Electronic devices like mobile phone, calculators are strictly prohibited inside the examination hall.

Similarly, any kind of paper like Charts, graph sheets, and tables are also not allowed. For doing rough work a scribble pad will be provided during the exam which has to be returned on completion of the exam. The computer will automatically end the exam at the end of 3 hours.

The total number of question and marks is 60 and 100 respectively. And the paper is divided into three parts, Section A, Section B, and Section C. Answering all the sections is mandatory.

The pattern of the questions in each section of IIT JAM Exam are as follows:

Section–A: comprises of 30 multiple choice questions. Out of 30, 10 questions are of one mark each and remaining 20 are of two marks each. Each question will have four options as answer out of which only one will be correct. The answer can be marked by clicking on the option of choice.

Section–B: comprises of 10 multiple choice questions carrying two marks each. The difference between this section from section A is in the answer options. Out of four options given the correct one can be more than one. Full credit can be obtained only when all the correct options are marked, and no wrong answer is given. In this section again the answer can be marked by clicking on the option of choice.

Section–C: comprises of 20 Numerical Answer Type questions. Out of 20, 10 questions are of one mark each and remaining 10 are of two marks each. For Numerical Answer Type questions there are no choices. Calculations are needed to be done and the answer mostly a real number needs to be entered using the virtual numeric keypad. Candidates can use online virtual calculator for the calculation purpose.

There is a specific marking system for each section. For all sections, questions not attempted will result in zero marks. There is a provision of negative marking in Section A but not in B and C. Neither there is a provision of partial marking. In section A, for each 1mark question negative marking is 1/3 mark if the marked answer is wrong. In the same manner for each wrong answer of 2 marks questions, 2/3 mark will be deducted.

Syllabus for IIT JAM Exam

JAM is conducted for many disciplines. Among them the syllabus for Biological Science and Biotechnology is specific.

Biological Science – mainly includes:

1. General Biology: Taxonomy, General physiology, Plant system, Mendelian genetics, and heredity; basics of developmental biology; biology of populations and communities; evolution and ecology

2. Basics of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biophysics: Buffers; chemical bonds, thermodynamics, biomolecule structure, function and metabolism, enzyme kinetics, analytical and biochemical techniques

3. Microbiology, Cell Biology, and Immunology: Microbial classification, growth, genetics and techniques, Cell theory, architecture; cell division and organelles, Innate and adaptive immunity and antigen antibodies

4. Mathematical Sciences: Mathematical functions (algebraic, exponential, trigonometric) and their derivatives (derivatives and integrals of simple functions); permutations and combinations; basic probability and volumetric calculations.

Biotechnology– mainly includes Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics.
Under Biology, same topics under general biology for Biological Science is included along with Biochemistry, Physiology, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Molecular biology, and basic biotechnology.

Chemistry is of 10+2+3 level covering organic, inorganic and physical chemistry.
Mathematics is of 10+2 level featuring Sets theory, Relations and Functions, Complex numbers, Linear and Quadratic Equations, Sequences and Series, Trigonometry, Cartesian System, Binomial Theorem, Exponential and Logarithmic Series, Three Dimensional Geometry, Vectors, Matrices and Determinants, Probability, Functions, limits and Continuity, Differentiation, Application of Derivatives, Definite and Indefinite Integrals, Differential Equations.

Physics is of 10+2 level covering Laws of Motion, Work, Energy and Power, Electrostatics, Current electricity, Magnetic Effects of Current and Magnetism, Electromagnetic Induction and Alternating Current, Electromagnetic waves, Optics, Dual Nature of Matter and Radiations, Atomic Nucleus, Solids and Semiconductor Devices, Gravitation, Mechanics of Solids and Fluids, Heat and Thermodynamics, Oscillations, Waves.

Top 10 Reference Books for IIT JAM Exam

Looking at the syllabi for both biological science and biotechnology, the major topics are biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, microbiology, biotechnology, physiology, botany, genetics, immunology, ecology, and evolution apart from chemistry, maths, and physics.

1. Biochemistry:

Book Name: Biochemistry
Edition: 4
Author Name: Donald Voet & Judith G. Voet
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., USA
ISBN 13 978-0470-57095-1
ISBN 13 978-0470-91745-9

About the Book: This is the gold standard book for Biochemistry. The topics under this subject have been divided into 35 chapters and the major themes are classified as Introduction and Background, Biomolecules, Mechanisms of Enzyme Action, Metabolism and Expression and Transmission of Genetic Information. Additional information is provided in the form of case studies and animations. Further to facilitate in better understanding each chapter ends with questions and exercises, which can be solved by a student for enhanced understanding.

2. Cell Biology:

Book Name: Cell and Molecular Biology -Concepts and Experiments
Edition: 7
Author Name: Gerald Karp
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., USA
ISBN 13 978-1118-20673-7
ISBN 13 978-1118-30179-1

About the Book: This book gives an insight into concepts of both cell biology and molecular biology. Mainly designed for graduate students which takes up an experimental approach in explaining things. Book provides elaboration on fundamental concepts, such as the relationship between molecular structure and function, the dynamic character of cellular organelles, the use of chemical energy in running cellular activities and ensuring accurate macromolecular biosynthesis, and the mechanisms that regulate cellular activities. Illustrations are of high-quality that can help students visualize complex cellular and molecular processes. Additionally, each chapter ends with a summary and exercise questions.

3. Molecular Biology:

Book Name: Molecular Biology of the Gene
Edition: 7
Author Name: James D. Watson, Tania A. Baker, Stephen P. Bell, Alexander Gann, Michael Levine & Richard Losick
Publisher: Pearson Education.Inc., USA
ISBN 10: 0321762436
ISBN 13 978-0321762436

About the Book: The current edition is completely up-to-date with the latest research advances making it a gold standard book in the field. The book comprises of 22 concise chapters focusing on mechanisms, experiments, and concepts in the fast-changing discipline of molecular biology. It provides a detailed view of how molecules work right from DNA to protein level and what way this flow of information is regulated in a cell. Illustrations and descriptions of experiments are simple for understanding. The Book provides focused information on molecular biology without being cumbersome like an encyclopedia.

4. Microbiology:

Book Name: Microbiology
Author Name: Lansing M. Prescott, John P. Harley & Donald A. Klein
Publisher: McGraw Hill Education, USA

ISBN 10: 0077350138
ISBN 13 978-0077350130

About the Book: The book provides a balanced, comprehensive introduction to all major areas of microbiology which makes it suitable for graduate students of any stream. The organization of the book is based on seven themes which is distributed in several chapters. The themes focus on microbial techniques like isolation, culture, and identify microorganisms, control of microorganisms and reduction of their detrimental effects, molecular biology of microbes, medical microbiology and microbial interactions along with applications in everyday life.

5. Biotechnology:

Book Name: Biotechnology
Author Name: U Satyanarayana
Publisher: Books & Allied Ltd, India

ISBN 10: 8187134909
ISBN 13 978-8187134909

About the Book: It a comprehensive book of biotechnology covering all the topics required for the subject, thus making it an ideal Reference Books for IIT JAM & other entrance exams. Detailed explanation for every topic is given in simple language with illustrations. For better understanding come with exercise questions after every chapter. Suitable for revision and competitive exam preparation.

6. Physiology:

Book Name: Principles of anatomy physiology
Edition: 14
Author Name: Gerard J. Tortora & Bryan Derrickson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., USA

ISBN 978-1-118-34500-9

About the Book: The book gives an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology brings together deep experience and modern innovation to provide solutions for students’ greatest challenges. Most of the illustrations are very clear and self-explanatory with supportive animations. The entire topic is divided into 29 chapters comprising of cellular organization, skeletal system, muscular system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and endocrine system.

7. Botany:

Book Name: A Text Book of Botany
Author Name: Annie Ragland, V Kumaresan & N Arumugam
Publisher: Saras Publication, India

ISBN 10: 9384826588
ISBN-13: 978-9384826581

About the Book: The book is in simple language with good illustrations and an ideal Reference Book for IIT JAM Exam. Topics covered are – Plant Physiology, Environmental Biology, Algae, Fungi, Bryophytes, Microbiology, Plant Pathology, Histology, Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Taxonomy, Embryology, and Horticulture. Suitable for graduate-level students and competitive exams.

8. Genetics:

Book Name: Principles of Genetics
Author Name: Gardner, Simmons & Snustad
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., India

ISBN 10: 8126510439
ISBN 13: 978-8126510436

About the Book: This Reference Books for IIT JAM is primarily written for students offers a clear, comprehensive view of genetics, with an emphasis on applications. The total number of chapters is 24. Most modern techniques are also given in details such as gene cloning and Southern, Western and Northern blot analyses of genes and gene products, with special emphasis on agriculture and medicine. Among the specific topics covered are chromosome mapping; gene expression; mutation; gene cloning; genetic regulation and more. Many genetics problems and their solution have been provided for each chapter for better understanding.

9. Immunology:

Book Name: Immunology
Edition: 5
Author Name: Richard A. Golds, Thomas J. Kindt, Barbara A. Osborne & Janis Kuby
Publisher: W. H. Freeman

ISBN 10: 0716749475
ISBN 13: 978-0716749479

About the Book: Purely written for undergraduate students introducing them to the concepts of immunology. Divided into 23 chapters provides information on the history, classification, immune organs and cells, antibody, MHC, humoral and cell-mediated immunity, regulation and diseases of the immune system. For all topics, self-explanatory illustration, experimental concepts, and summarizing points are provided. Each chapter is followed by problems which can help students to strengthen their concepts.

10. General Biology, Ecology and Evolution:

Book Name: Campbell Biology
Edition: 11
Author Name: Lisa A. Urry, Michael L. Cain, Steven A. Wasserman, Peter V. Minorsky & Jane B. Reece
Publisher: Pearson Education.Inc., USA

ISBN 10: 0134093410
ISBN 13: 978-0134093413

About the Book: This book provides a detailed view of general biology, botany, ecology, and evolution. Unique feature exercises in every chapter use real data to build key skills needed for biology, including data analysis, graphing, experimental design, and math skills.

These Reference Books for IIT JAM Exam mentioned above provide in-depth and thorough knowledge for each topic, so the JAM aspirants need to check the syllabus, previous year paper and based on that prepare for the exam taking the reference of these books.

About the Author
Dr. Sunita Adak, a pro-active faculty member of Biotecnika. She has specialized in Microbial Biotechnology from IIT Kharagpur and is experienced in subjects like Cell Biology and Immunology. Being a passionate educator, Dr. Sunita keeps herself up-to-date with current research and shares the same with her students through after lecture activities like Pictionary, discussions, etc. She encourages each one to reach their full potential and has been an influential role model.

Keywords: IIT JAM Reference Books, IIT JAM Exam 2020, IIT JAM Exam, IIT Jam Biotech exam, IIT JAM Biology Exam, IIT JAM Books, IIT JAM syllabus, IIT JAM Exam pattern.

Perfection is her hobby, Reliability is a synonym, Editing is her passion, Excellence is her Goal, Tactfulness is in her genes, Yellow is her Fav color. Preety is the name of the Professional on whom entire BioTecNika relies when it comes to its website. A Gold Medalist in Biotech from SRM University, Chennai with a 9.9 CGPA ( was awarded the Gold Medal by Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi , as seen in the pic ), She decided to join forces with BioTecNika to ensure India's largest BioSciences Portal expands its reach to every city in India. She has redesigned the new avatar of BioTecNika from scratch and heads the most dynamic, vibrant and well informed Online Team at Biotecnika Info Labs Pvt Ltd


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