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Prepare for IIT - JEE : Some useful suggestions

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There is no unique way of preparing for the IIT-JEE. What is good for one need not be so for another. Clearing the JEE is a project and as such needs to be planned for and managed properly. 

It is said that a battle is not as much won in the field as while planning and strategising for it. The same is true in the case of the JEE. One is not likely to make significant headway if one goes headlong without a coherent plan while preparing for it. One needs to make a sound strategy for clearing the JEE. While some of the elements of such a strategy are common and equally applicable to all aspirants, there are others entirely dependent on the individual.

Believe in yourself

The first step is to start with the right frame of mind. A positive attitude is needed to last through the long drawn process. It will require sustenance of tempo for months together. Many may feel like quitting, but what is going to finally win the race is the belief that one can do it!

Know your strengths and weaknesses

This point cannot be over-emphasised. While you must believe that you can do it, you must also have a very clear idea of where you stand, to begin with. You must know your strengths and weaknesses. These could be anything that has a bearing on your preparation. Some of you, for example, may cover a lot of ground in one sitting, while for some, sustained concentration for more than a specified period at a stretch might prove to be counterproductive.

Some of you may have a natural strength in mathematics, while some may have an aptitude for chemistry or physics. It is important to know these nuances of your strengths and weaknesses. The reason is really simple. To plan and work on a winning strategy, you must know which of your strengths need to be further honed, which of your weaknesses you can live with, and which of the weaknesses you need to work upon so they don’t become a handicap.

 Plan your schedule

Any successful implementation of a project is the culmination of successfully completing smaller projects and even smaller tasks. Remember that every journey takes its own time. If you wish to reach the destination in time, you need to start right away and plan out the details—which milestones do you need to cross, and when, before you finally succeed. Plans need to be worked out at different levels. And for this, you need to set specific time bound targets.

Whatever be the schedule one decides on, it may help to remember the following:

a) Formalise the schedule. Set it in the form of a chart you can see easily anytime.

b) One ought to set realistic targets, without getting influenced by how much one’s friends or classmates have covered. There is no point in setting a schedule that needs to be frequently changed.

c) Although it is not advisable to change our schedule every now and then, our schedule has to have some element of flexibility. There is no need to feel unnecessarily guilty if we have not been able to follow the schedule due to some genuine problem. We should remember to cover up the lost ground in the near future.

d) All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Nothing could be truer than this. Please remember that JEE is more about thinking and application than anything else. And to think productively one needs to keep one’s mind fresh.

Familiarise yourself with the JEE pattern


Many of us, while preparing for the JEE, tend to lay high emphasis on problem solving and not so much on understanding the subject. Since JEE itself largely consists of numerical problems, this approach leads to a false belief among the students—that the more number of problems one solves or goes through, the better are the chances of success at the JEE. While this might be true to a certain extent, solving problems prematurely without adequate grounding of fundamentals is unlikely to meet the final objective. Sometimes we also tend to entangle ourselves with unnecessarily complex problems that have very little relevance to the JEE. Students must study the kinds of questions that have been appearing in the JEE, and convince themselves about the kinds that they need to practice with.

Be rigorous and persistent

It is important to realise that there is no alternative to rigour. This means that we must be thorough with our understanding of concepts. Sometimes while trying to solve a problem, we give up quickly and look at the solution. Many a times we read a topic or see a problem or a solution and think that we have understood it. The words rigour and persistence go hand in hand. Looking at its absolute importance in the context of our preparation, we must try to do the following.

  • Persist with a problem till you have either found the solution or have come to a dead end. This may take hours, but the learning could be significant.

  • It may not be wise to skip solving a problem because you think you know how to do it. It may not be quite the same as a known problem.

  • Even if you have got a solution, you can always try to think up alternative solutions. This process itself could lead to insights on the concerned topic

  • It might be a better idea to avoid looking at the solution, and, instead, discuss the problem with one’s friends. One may learn a thing or two that were hitherto not known.

    Quality is more important than quantity

    Very often you may find your friends discussing how many hours they spend every day on their preparation. You should not let any of that bother you. You may be spending less time but getting a higher or more productive output. In this context, some of the related things to note are:  
  • It is better to confine yourself to a limited number of good books and other study material; do not consult too many books.
  • Spend a lot of time reading these books and work out the important derivations independently
  • Work out limited number of problems, but good ones. Solving too many problems does not necessarily help us in understanding concepts.




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