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All About BINC Exam: By All India Rank 1
Hello everyone,

This is Arvind J Shankar. I managed to secure an AIR 1 in BINC 2016 and happened to be a colleague of Sunil Nagpal who asked me to write my experience of BINC exam here on BiotechnologyForums. So, here it is, my experience of BINC exam coupled with some tips and suggestions. Hope this ends up being useful to some of you. All the best!

#BINC Exam     #BINC Tips    #Bioinformatics National Certification  #BINC AIR 1  

BINC, Bioinformatics National Certification is an exam conducted annually that is open to all graduates or final year students from any field of science and tests for proficiency in the field of bioinformatics. It is aimed at recognizing candidates theoretical and practical ability and fostering interdisciplinary research. Any candidate who qualifies in the BINC exam is entitled to a DBT fellowship for PhD studies anywhere in India and the top ten ranks are given cash awards.That said it is very underutilized in India compared to other postgraduate exams like GATE and CSIR. The number of aspirants taking the exam so far is less than a thousand annually through steadily increasing.

The BINC exam is a very comprehensive one and tests theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of bioinformatics in addition to basic math and science.It is conducted in three phases:
I.   Phase 1: Objective Q&A (100 questions ranging with sections for Math, Physics, Chemistry,Biology,Bioinformatics,Computer Science and Statistics):2 hrs
II.  Phase 2: Subjective Q&A(20 questions ranging with sections for Math, Physics, Chemistry,Biology,Bioinformatics,Computer Science and Statistics): 3hrs
III. Phase 3: Practical Programming (A programming problem to be solved in 3 hours in any preferred programming language of the candidate)

The exam aims for fostering interdisciplinary research and tests accordingly. It is ideal for final year Biotechnology, Computer Science and essential for Bioinformatics students interested in research or higher studies in India, though open for all final year students in Bachelor degree programs and above (studying in engineering or sciences).

It is my opinion that this exam offers the easiest path to an academic career in Bioinformatics in India, while also helping you benchmark your Bioinformatics skillset. So, if you are looking for making big in Bioinformatics in India, BINC is the exam for you.

The objective part or phase 1 is the most difficult and competitive in my opinion as you have 2 hours for a 100 questions that span all fields of science with computer science and bioinformatics included along with negative marking for wrong answers.
Since each obtaining a minimum of 40% in each phase is necessary for certification, any candidate who fails phase 1 will not attend future phases of the exam.

Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the exam happen immediately after one another and has extensive syllabus as prescribed in Phase 3 of the exam is a  timed programming assignment(3 hours) in an operating system and programming language of the candidate's choice. This requires sufficient programming experience in any scripting language and familiarity of common packages used as no external reference is prohibited, hence debugging any error will also have to be done offline. I would suggest bioinformatics oriented problems or programming courses on coursera with an emphasis on bioinformatics problems in addition to sample papers provided . This assuming of course that you come from a related but non-bioinformatics field as otherwise the entire syllabus of the exam is biased towards bioinformatics graduates.

Phase 2 of the exam is a subjective exam with 20 questions again with extensive syllabus. I would suggest cherry pick Bioinformatics topics that you can easily understand or likely to appear in exams and focus your attention on your field (Again assuming you come from a related but non-bioinformatics field). This exam should be very easy for bioinformatics graduates and and relatively easy for any biotechnology graduates as well. The syllabus for this phase is very vast and hence the suggestion that you concentrate on your strengths, and prepare enough that you score at least 40% in this exam.

I would suggest that you not be demotivated by the vast syllabus of the exam but instead, focus on enough to secure 40% in phase 1 and 2 and practice programming for phase 3.

This exam should be easier for bioinformatics graduates or final years as it will involve mostly what you should have learnt for your degree, so you should focus on basics and revising what you already have learnt at some point of time.

The below link contain official syllabi, guidelines, eligibility, and FAQs.

Following is my certificate for BINC (just to put things in a real perspective  Wink  )


All the best!

Feel free to post your queries here.


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