How to prepare for IIT JAM Biotechnology?

The healthcare and pharmaceutical industry is growing rapidly and a career in biotechnology can prove to be very rewarding. Students who are interested in pursuing biotechnology as a discipline at master’s level can do so by appearing for IIT JAM 2023


In order to know how to prepare for the IIT JAM exam in the discipline of biotechnology, it is important to be familiar with the syllabus of Biotechnology for JAM 2023. This helps in preparation as you will be able to identify and priorities important and scoring topics. Below is a table containing subject-wise weightage along with important topics from the subject. The level of the questions i.e. what the standard of questions is also mentioned to help you.

Subject Name Weightage(in percent) Level of questions Important topic from the subject Weightage of the important topic(in marks)
Biology  44 (10+2+3) Level Biochemistry
Molecular Biology
Chemistry 20 (10+2+3) Level Organic Chemistry 6
Physics  18   (10+2) Level Mechanics 5
Mathematics 18   (10+2) Level Coordinate Geometry 3

Detailed Syllabus for each subject 

Syllabus for Biology

Topic Sub Topics
Cell Biology Structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; Membrane structure and function; Organelles and internal organization of the eukaryotic cell Protein trafficking in a eukaryotic cell; Cell communication – signalling pathways: endocrine and paracrine signalling; Extracellular matrix and apoptosis; Cell cycle – stages of mitosis and meiosis, and control of cell division cycle. 
Biochemistry Structure and function of biological macromolecules; Allostery; Enzymes – basic mechanisms of enzyme catalysis, Michaelis-Menten kinetics, enzyme inhibition, vitamins as coenzymes, and regulation; Bioenergetics – free-energy change, high-energy compounds, biological oxidation-reduction reactions and reduction potential; Metabolism – glycolysis, TCA cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, urea cycle, and regulation of glycolysis and TCA cycle. 
Genetics Mendel’s laws; Inheritance patterns of polygenic traits; Mendelian inheritance patterns of human disorders; Pedigree analysis; Chromosomal basis of inheritance; Genetic recombination; Mapping genes on chromosomes based on linkage analysis; Plant breeding. 
Molecular Biology Landmark experiments that established DNA is the genetic material; DNA replication; Proofreading and repair of DNA; DNA recombination; Transcription; RNA processing; Translation; Regulation of gene expression including operons bacteria and differential gene expression in multicellular eukaryotes.
Evolution Darwinian view – natural selection, fossil record and descent with modification; Population genetics – sources of genetic variation, gene pools and allele frequencies, Hardy-Weinberg equation, genetic drift, gene flow and adaptive evolution; Different types of speciation; Phylogenetic classification; Origin of life – abiotic synthesis of biological macromolecules, protocell, dating fossils and origin of multicellularity.
Microbiology Isolation; Cultivation; Structural features of viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa; Pathogenic microorganisms; Nutrition-based classification of microbes; Microbial metabolism; Growth kinetics; Submerged fermentation techniques; Microbial genetics.
Plant Biology Types of tissues and organs; Primary and secondary growth; Morphogenesis; Transport in vascular plants; Plant nutrition; Development of flowering plants – gametophytic and sporophytic generations, different developmental phases, genetic control of flowering, gametogenesis, incompatibility, embryogenesis, dormancy, germination and environmental influence; Plant hormones; Photobiology; Plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses 
Animal Biology Digestive, circulatory, respiratory, excretory, nervous, reproductive and endocrine systems; Basics of immunology – Innate and adaptive immunity, Immune cells and Immunoglobulins; Animal development – Fertilization, embryonic pattern formation, cleavage, gastrulation, cellular differentiation and morphogenesis.
Ecology Climate patterns; Terrestrial and aquatic biomes; Environmental constraints on species distribution; Factors affecting population density; Interactions among communities; Ecosystems; Ecological remediation.
Biotechnology Plant tissue culture; Cloning of animals through somatic cell nuclear transfer; Applications of recombinant DNA technology in medicine, agriculture and forensic science.
Methods in Biology Cell Biology: Microscopy (light microscopy and electron microscopy); Staining proteins with antibodies; Visualizations using the GFP reporter. 
Biochemical techniques: UV spectrophotometry; Biomolecular chromatography; cell fractionation by centrifugation; Electrophoresis; and Western blotting. 
Molecular biology techniques: DNA cloning – plasmid vectors, and restriction enzymes; Polymerase Chain Reaction; Expression of cloned eukaryotic genes in bacteria; Hybridization techniques; DNA sequencing. 

Syllabus for Chemistry

Topic Sub Topics
Structure and properties of Atoms Bohr’s theory; Periodicity in properties. 
Bonding in molecules Chemical bonding; Complex formation; Physical and chemical basis of molecular interactions.
Chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium Chemical equilibrium; Chemical thermodynamics (first and second law); and Chemical kinetics (zero and first order reactions).
Physical and chemical properties of compounds Chemical catalysis; Acid-base concepts; Concepts of pH and buffer; Conjugative effects and resonance; Inductive effects; Electromeric effects; Photochemistry; and Electrochemistry. 
Chemistry of organic compounds Hydrocarbons; Alkyl halides; Alcohols; Aldehydes; Ketones; Carboxylic acids; Amines and their derivatives; Aromatic hydrocarbons, halides, nitro and amino compounds, phenols, diazonium salts, carboxylic and sulphonic acids; Soaps and detergents; Stereochemistry of carbon compounds. 
Instrumental techniques Spectroscopy: fundamentals of molecular spectroscopy, emission and absorption spectroscopy, UV-Vis, IR and 1-D proton NMR spectroscopy, basics of mass spectrometry; Basics of calorimetry; Basic concepts of crystallography. 

Syllabus for MATHEMATICS

Topic Sub Topics
  Sets; Relations and Functions; Mathematical Induction; Logarithms; Complex numbers; Linear and Quadratic equations; Sequences and Series; Trigonometry; Cartesian System of Rectangular Coordinates; Straight lines and Family; Three Dimensional Geometry; Permutations and Combinations; Binomial Theorem; Vectors; Matrices and Determinants; Boolean Algebra; Functions; Limits and Continuity; Differentiation; Ordinary Differential Equations; Application of Derivatives; Integration as inverse process of differentiation; Definite and indefinite integrals; Methods of Integration; Integration by parts. 
Statistics Measures of dispersion; Mean Deviation for grouped and ungrouped data; Variance and Standard Deviation; and Analysis of Frequency Distribution. 
Probability Random Experiments; Event; Axiomatic Approach to Probability; Conditional Probability and its properties; Multiplication Theorem on Probability; Independent Events; Bayes’ Theorem; Random Variables and its Probability Distributions; Bernoulli Trails and Binomial Distributions. 

Syllabus for Physics

Units and measurements; Motion in one and two dimensions; Laws of motion; Work and kinetic energy; Conservation of energy; System of particles and rotational motion; Mechanical properties of solids and fluids; Thermal properties of matter; Heat and laws of thermodynamics; Kinetic theory of gases; Electric charge and field; Electric potential and capacitance; Current, resistance and simple circuits; Moving charges and magnetic field; Magnetism and matter; Electromagnetic induction; Electromagnetic waves; Alternating currents; Optics: Geometrical Optics – Reflection by spherical mirrors, Refraction at spherical surfaces and lenses, Total internal reflection and Optical instruments; Wave optics – Reflection and refraction of plane waves, Interference, Diffraction, Polarization, and Young’s experiment: Dual nature of radiation and matter; Atoms, nuclei and nuclear physics; Semiconductor materials, devices and simple circuits. 

Effective know hows for IIT JAM Biotechnology

To learn in an easy to understand manner, it is required to refer to a good IIT JAM bio study material. Students must refer to some good biotechnology books as well as online materials. Apart from this students should solve previous year papers and give mock tests. Before starting with the preparation for IIT JAM in the discipline of biotechnology, one should decide if he/she wants to go with self-study only or join iit jam bio online classes. You can also take offline coaching if it is nearby. If it is far from your place, then it is advised to take online classes to save travelling time.

Here are a few preparation tips to ace the IIT JAM biotechnology exam:

  • You must start your preparation by prioritising the topics in the syllabus as per their difficulty. Prepare as per your convenience. You can either prepare by taking up the easier topics first or by taking the difficult topics first.
  • It is crucial to prioritise topics having higher weightage first. This is because you cover a big chunk from the syllabus from which questions are guaranteed and this makes your preparation more smooth and quick. 
  • Keep making notes with short tricks to save time during revision.
  • Stay away from social media channels during your preparation phase as they can be pretty distracting. 
  • First ensure that you are thorough with the theory section, then solve numericals. This would help you solve numericals faster.
  • If you face problems in learning the theory portion, you can rely on flashcards. Make flashcards and read them during your breaks. You will observe faster memory retention of those topics in no time.
  • Do not ignore the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Take a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Prepare a timetable to make a judicious use of time. Allot sufficient time for sleeping and breaks. 

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