Tips for IIT JEE mentioned here are applicable to any competitive exam.
To do your best, you need to embrace your mind. So, it’s also about training your mind. Let’s understand it in detail – one by one.
1. Understand the Exam
Understanding the exam means analyzing its pattern, no. of test-takers, no. of seats, different streams, eligibility criteria, admission process, and more. This understanding will help you to make yourself familiar with the reality of that particular exam. In this case, let’s take the example of IIT JEE. You can apply these steps to any other test too.
IIT JEE (IIT Joint Entrance Exam) –
IIT JEE is an entrance exam for getting admission in IITs and various other colleges in India. IIT JEE is considered to be one of the toughest entrance exams for Engineering in the world. IIT JEE is a multi-level entrance exam.
Joint Entrance Examination – Main (JEE-Main), formerly All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), is an all-India standardized computer-based test for admission to various undergraduate engineering, technical and architecture courses.
The exam is conducted by the National Testing Agency(NTA). JEE Main is for admission to undergraduate engineering and architecture courses in 31 NITs, 23 IIITs, and other colleges and Also serves as a prelim selection for JEE Advanced.
IIT JEE Main has two papers again. Paper 1 is for aspiring engineering students and paper 2 is for aspiring architecture students. IIT JEE Main test-takers peaked in 2014 with around 13+ Lakh test takers. In 2019 NTA (National Testing Agency) decided to let students take the test two times a year and the best of two would be considered. Since 2020 was a pandemic year, NTA announced that It would offer 4 attempts to the students appearing in 2021.
|Computer-based test mode
|3 hours (4 hours for persons with benchmark disabilities)
|Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics
|Total number of questions
|90 (need to answer 75 questions) (Each subject will have 20 MCQs and 10 numerical questions out of which 5 is a must)
|Type of Questions
|20 Objective questions having 4 options each with only 1 correct option 10 Numerical questions out of which 5 needs to be answered
|JEE Main 2022 Marking Scheme
|JEE Main Marking Scheme for Paper 1 is- For MCQs – 4 Marks will be awarded for every correct answer and 1 Mark will be deducted for every incorrect answer. For an answer with a numeric value – 4 Marks will be awarded for every correct answer and 0 Mark will be deducted for every incorrect answer
Now around 2+ Lakh students clear the JEE Main and will be eligible for JEE Advanced. Out of these around 16000+ students get admissions in IITs and the rest in NITs, IIITs, and other prestigious colleges.
Other than IIT JEE, students also take other entrance exams for colleges like BITS, VIT, SRM, Sastra, Amrita, etc. We’ll cover all other entrance exams, their patterns, and details in another blog post or you can find them easily on Google.
2. Understand the Subject
Most of the best coaching institutes focus on shortcuts, techniques, and solving previous years’ question papers. This style of preparation will make the student feel more confident during the prep time and then give false promises which shatter in the final real test.
As a student, it’s important for you to understand the subject starting from the background, and concept to the application. For this, you might need to refer to other books that are just not your worksheets or the institute’s study material.
You need to search online, read articles, watch videos, or read some encyclopedias. This kind of approach can be picked up by students who are curious about the subject. Inquisitiveness is very important and hence a genuine interest in the subject is a must before you decide to start your preparation. You can talk to professional career counselors if required.
3. Time Management (not what you think)
This is an important point among all the tips for IIT JEE.
You might have heard this before but were never explained. Let’s say you’ve understood the subject clearly and can answer questions or numerical given to you. If you are given a problem/ numerical and asked to solve, you might take 3-4 minutes to read and comprehend the question, and then take another 3-5 minutes to solve the problem. So an average student might take around 8 minutes to read, comprehend and solve the problem. Do you agree?
Now in these entrance tests, there would be 75 to 200 questions that need to be answered in 180 minutes (3 hours) mostly. This means you should be able to answer any question in around 2 minutes that is 4 times faster than 8 minutes. Solving at this speed needs one important thing and that is practice. Speed and Accuracy at the same time is not an easy task. As humans, we commit mistakes when we’re in a hurry, and take time when we want to do anything correctly. So being fast and accurate at the same time needs focus, calmness, and confidence.
So when you’re practicing at home, you need to use a watch and keep a track of time. It’s okay if you’re even taking 10 minutes now, but this practice will help you to be conscious of where you’re missing out. This practice will make you understand your blind spots. You will improve your speed and accuracy gradually.
Another point in Time Management is the duration of your practice. Generally, when students sit for practice, after an hour or hour and a half of practice they feel they have worked enough and take a break. Parents also feel the same looking at their daughter/ son having worked for 90 min. This is okay, but it can’t be the only way that a student practices every time. With this style of practice, students end up getting tired after 90 min of the exam and feeling exhausted before completing the 180 min of the exam; efficiency reduces dramatically after that 90 min.
Hence, it’s very important to include 3 hours of practice sessions along with general practice. At least twice a week these 3 hours practice sessions have to be included in the schedule. This prepares the brain to get used to it.
4. Normalizing Fatigue
Fatigue here refers to exertion caused by repetitive variations of stress caused during the exam. This is a very important point to understand. When you’re practicing then you might be practicing one chapter from one subject at a time, but in the exam, that’s not the case.
You would solve and answer different problems and questions from different subjects in the same 3 hours of the exam. If you’re not trained your mind to this fatigue during your practice then you’re heading towards burnout. Normalizing this fatigue (which means getting used to this fatigue) during practice sessions is the key. Solve questions from a mix of topics when you’re practicing.
When you’re taking an exam that has negative marking, depending on the qualifying marks from previous years you need to calculate the risk that you can take. Let’s say in JEE Main if you can answer 10 questions correctly from each subject without even a single question wrong then you would qualify for the JEE Advanced. 10 questions from each subject will give you a decent score of 120. If you want to take risks, then you should have more questions that you’re 100% confident about. Now let’s take a look at EAMCET (Telangana State CET) that doesn’t have any negative marking.
You get the freedom to attempt all questions without any fear or hesitation. So, a student is not recommended to attempt in JEE Main if he/she is even 70% confident, whereas in EAMCET he/she can attempt even with 0% confidence.
The next thing in strategy is to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Some students might find inorganic chemistry tough and some students calculus. Building on strong topics and letting go of a couple of weak topics might be beneficial during the final preparation. However, this needs to be done in consultation with your teachers who know you enough.
6. Setting up a Study Environment
This is a very neglected topic when it comes to tips for IIT JEE, be it at home or at an institution. This is about a Psychological concept called Conditioning’.
Our brain gets conditioned to different things in life. When you reach your kitchen, your brain might start searching for food or the mother in the kitchen; on your sofa or your bed your brain might have been conditioned to relax; in the balcony, you might notice yourself taking deep breaths and relaxing; a school bell might remind you to get ready to the next class. Understanding this phenomenon of conditioning, one can take advantage of it for having a focus time. This phenomenon is also be used in Responsive classrooms in schools and junior colleges.
Deciding on a place to study is crucial. It’s important that you don’t do anything else at that place. It could be as simple as deciding on which chair on the dining table you want to study. You can use the same dining table to eat or to play on your mobile phone, but on a different chair.
Some students study near the door because it has good ventilation; some have their study table; some use a particular chair; and so on. The point is to not do other things there. It conditions your brain. Some students also use this technique by wearing the same shirt on the day of the exam; using the same perfume; eating the same food and more. However, these environmental advantages should be preferences only and not constraints. Be flexible and adaptable if something changes in between.
7. Stress Management
If you’re thinking that stress management is only for people who get stressed then you are not correct. Stress management is also about being mentally and physically healthy. A few minutes every day can help you for a very long time in life. These all are scientifically proven.
- Meditate for at least 10 minutes every day. There are plenty of guided meditations online or you can also learn meditation from teachers of different organizations like Art of Living, Isha, Vipassana, etc.
- Workout – Physical exercise for at least 10 minutes every day. Shed at least a drop of sweat every day.
- Pranayama – Breathing exercises like Kapalbathi, Bhastrika, Nadi-Shodhana, Sudarshan Kriya help you physically and emotionally.
Doing these activities releases a lot of negative energy and produces a chemical called endorphins in the body. Endorphins make you feel more energetic and positive.
8. Day Planning
Last but not the least, plan your day. It’s another important tip among other tips for IIT JEE here This involves writing down all the work that you want to do on a daily basis. Having a professional planner is highly recommended. The planner would have date-wise tasks that you plan to do and you keep track of pending tasks too. It’s recommended that you don’t plan too much for one day and end up disappointed.
Plan to not do more than 4 important things in one day. And don’t be hard on yourself. If you couldn’t complete everything then you can plan to do them the next day. Even after a few days, if you’re not able to complete a few tasks then you need to ask yourself what’s stopping you. It could be a lack of clarity on what to do or how to do it; could be a lack of interest or lack of ability, or it could be because of some dependency. These planners will help you a lot to organize your preparation schedule, family time, playtime, and time with yourself.
This is a discipline that one needs to develop and stick to it even if you feel like not doing it. If it gets boring then you can try different things like doodling your tasks and try bullet journaling. This sense of achievement and motivation in checking off your tasks generates another chemical called dopamine. Dopamine also helps you feel positive and emotionally healthy.