Preparing for class XII Boards exams and JEE is like a “sadhna” in the present scenario for an entire period of preparation. The current trend shows that in the past decade students mostly opt for a two-year period of preparation which means they start their preparation after the class 10th exams. Some even start joining professional coaching centres when they are in class IX or X. The number of participants in JEE mains last year was around 14.7 lakhs (as per sale of application forms) in 2015 and 1.5 lakh students qualified for JEE advanced. In 2016, the total number of applicants has come down slightly but the number of students called for JEE advanced has gone up to 2 Lakh. This situation tells us about the increasing competition. Till this year students have to perform well in their class 12th board exams to fulfill the eligibility criteria in admission in IIT or gain the weightage for admissions in NIT & CFTI. So the importance of marks in class 12th board exams cannot be exaggerated. From the next year (2017), its weightage for admissions in NIT & CFTI will be done away with but some other parameters may be introduced to retain the relative importance of the XII board exams.
For choosing a career in engineering, there are many other state level exams also which students write with an aim to getting into a top college. The period of preparation is long and it is somewhat like a marathon race. So the speed, consistency, and discipline are the most required attributes for this “sadhna”. The student preparing should devote at least 5 to 6 hours per day for the self-study because the self-study is the most important key to success and helps a student learn things irrespective of how good teachers one has. Second important aspect is that a student should clear their doubts as soon as possible after the self-study. As many of the students are shy in nature, asking small things which matter a lot become difficult and in the long run the preparation, at times, remains incomplete.
Now let's make the things a bit simple putting them in what to do and what not to do mode during the entire preparation.
- Study regularly 5 to 6 hrs per day irrespective of any difficulties.
- Clear your doubts on a regular basis.
- Do your school homework in the extra time in school itself.
- Refer to NCERT books and other relevant study material.
- Solve questions using pen and paper (instead of lying on a bed and reading questions).
- Choose a tutor (or a coaching centre) which is closer to your home to reduce stress and travelling time.
- Check the syllabus from official websites and study only relevant things for XII board exams and various entrance Tests.
- Divide the entire course into parts and complete that part in a fixed span of time.
- Complete your entire syllabus at least six months before the board exams so that you have ample time to revise and handle boards easily.
- Write mock tests regularly and check your speed and accuracy.
- Do detailed test analysis after each such test.
- Know your strength and weakness in subjects and topic in each subject.
- Never pile up your doubts. Clear them as early as possible.
- Do not refer to many books in a single subject.
- Do not study irrelevant things by getting fascinated from your peer group.
- Do not devote too much time on a single topic or a single subject.
- Never write a test without a time limit.
- Do not watch too much of TV or spend time on the internet.
- Do not skip your school test or exams.
Now remember these points for the entire period and see what to do when less time is left for the exam.
In the last phase of preparation, students are advised to look back upon the common mistakes they have made throughout their preparation and try to figure out their weakness in terms of subject or topic which will help them make their test taking strategy while writing their exams. The JEE Advanced is likely to be very stressful. The students will take two 3-hour papers one after the other. To prepare for such a situation, students must create an exam like conditions and take a few mock exams and make sure that they follow the same time of the day. Students are also advised to go through past years’ questions.
Students are advised against trying to solve a whole lot of problems at this stage. They must also avoid doing complicated problems at this moment. Relaxing, having a good sleep, eating healthy, etc. are also very important. Students are also advised to develop a good time management which will help them deciding their test taking strategy. They should improve upon the question selection and prioritization. Again writing a few mock tests would be a very efficient practice.
Writer: Prof Saurabh Kumar
Prof Saurabh Kumar is a well-known name in the IIT-JEE testprep industry. Currently, he is the Program Director Academics & Operations – Vidya Mandir Classes, New Delhi.