How to start preparing for JEE Main exam

The Indian Institute of Technology has been India’s finest school for students interested in an engineering major since the early ’70s. More than 7 lakh students across India participate in this competition every summer. With less than 20,000 seats available admission, it is safe to conclude that IITJEE is still one of the toughest exams to crack. Even though the examination pattern has changed since the last decade, the syllabus content and questions types remain consistent.

JEE syllabus is based on 11th and 12th standard courses. Ideally, JEE preparation starts right after the CBSE 10th standard board examinations. But do not worry, in case you are late, here are some tips for preparation:

Assess your Strength and Weakness

Self-Awareness is a critical step in your preparation for JEE exams. Every student has a unique learning curve, possesses multiple types of intelligence, and has a combination of learning skills. You can do a self-assessment by creating two lists, one for ‘problems’ and another for ‘comfort zone’ to understand yourself better. Thus, a student can identify areas of strengths and improvement. There are many free online tests as well that you could check out. From your habits to studying patterns to subjects and topics, understand yourself better to top the JEE!

Know your resources before start preparing for JEE Main

Students are often driven by peer pressure. If your friends are joining a coaching institute, it feels like the right move to follow them. The same applies while choosing major or books. While there is feeling of safety in following the trend, follow your curiosity to identify alternative resources. Create your study plan keeping resource constraints in mind. Finance and time constraints must be kept in mind while making such decisions. Leverage technology in your study, revision and exam plans.

The following books are highly recommended for JEE preparation:

PHYSICS: H.C. Verma Vol 1 and 2, DC Pandey, NCERT course book

CHEMISTRY: DC Pandey, RC Mukherjee, NCERT

MATHEMATICS: Arihant mathematics bundle, RD Sharma for 11th and 12th standard, NCERT

Online and Offline Coaching for JEE Main Exam

The advantage of joining a coaching course like Motion IIT JEE is access to a pre-defined timeline. Many students from such elite institutes have followed their coursework and achieve top ranks in the JEE finals. Online test series are excellent choices for an independent candidate who wants to prepare on his own. Most of the times, students end up taking multiple tuitions or coaching classes. This creates a problem of time management where bright students end up falling behind preparations, as the course load increases daily. Thus, I strongly recommend students to stick a few tuition classes or a single coaching institute.

Timeline

It doesn't matter if you are a high school student or a major corporate CEO. Time management and precise planning are key to success. A student who wants to crack the JEE mains must dedicate time towards creating a proper study plan. After all, it's not the hours that count but the quality of work. My favourite method for work and study is the Pomodoro technique. Invented in the late 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, this method involves a twenty-five-minute work schedule followed by a five-minute break. The idea is to keep the mind refreshed by taking short intervals. This method is ingenious, as it requires short spans of focus on the predetermined subject for study. Not only this increases productivity, but it also helps in honing memory retention since all the task has been timed.

Prepare to learn

Attitude is the most important ingredient in any measure of success. Admissions for IIT is a rigorous process, right from the preparation phase to the counselling stages. The first step is preparing your mind for the course of the next couple of years filled with study, revision & testing. Planning and executing your own personal learning plan is essential. Many students unwillingly prep for JEE because various reasons like family pressure etc. and they end up without qualifying. Such situations can crumble anyone’s morale.

Hence, if you have decided to get admission in IIT after 12th, you must be prepared to do whatever it takes to be there. This means you need to cultivate a culture where you ask questions, you are proactive and prefer to solve your own questions. Since JEE preparation is a two-year marathon, there will be times when a student loses focus. Balance your life with meditation, sports, entertainment and fun to refocus your priorities. As critical it is to focus on learning, remember to have fun and create a supportive environment for yourself.

CBSE Finals are Important

I have always noticed students ignoring the CBSE courses for science as they are preparing for the JEE exams. This should not be a case if a student wants to crack the JEE. JEE exams are built around the concepts of 11th and 12th standard science and mathematics basics. It must be a student’s priority to be familiar with the NCERT concepts and questions in order to understand difficult topics. If a student does not have proper grades in high school, it can create implications in long term processes like scholarship application or even admissions. Thus, my advice to all the inspiring JEE candidates is to focus on both your school and the JEE curriculum.

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