Can you explain Opening and Closing Ranks?

Opening and Closing Ranks (OR and CR) are important indicators used in the context of admissions to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other engineering institutions in India. OR represents the rank of the first candidate who received admission to a specific branch in a particular academic year, while CR represents the rank of the last candidate admitted to that branch.

The trends observed in OR and CR can provide insights into the popularity and competitiveness of different branches across IITs. To obtain accurate and up-to-date information on the year-wise trends in OR and CR for the IITs, we recommend referring to the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) website, which is responsible for the centralized counseling process for admissions to IITs and other participating institutions.

By analyzing the year-wise trends, you can get an idea of how the cutoff ranks have changed over time and the relative competitiveness of different branches. This information can help you make informed decisions while choosing your preferred branches and setting realistic expectations for admission.

Here are some factors to consider when planning your choices based on OR and CR:

Branch Popularity

OR and CR can indicate the popularity of different engineering branches among students. Generally, branches such as Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering tend to have lower CRs and higher demand. On the other hand, branches like Metallurgical Engineering or Ocean Engineering may have higher CRs and comparatively lower demand. Considering the popularity of a branch can help you gauge the competition you may face for admission.

Backup Options

While aiming for your preferred branch, it’s essential to have backup options. Identify branches that you find interesting and are slightly below your target range of OR and CR. This approach ensures that you have alternative choices if you do not secure admission to your top preference.


It’s advisable to keep an open mind and be flexible with your choices. Admissions are influenced by multiple factors, and sometimes unexpected changes can occur. Having a few alternate branch preferences can provide flexibility and increase your chances of securing admission to a branch of your liking.

Personal Interest:

While OR and CR provide valuable data, it’s crucial to consider your own interests, strengths, and aptitude when making choices. It’s important to choose a branch that aligns with your passion and future career goals. Consider your academic strengths, subjects you enjoy, and the potential career prospects in each branch.