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The IIT JEE Exam is just a few months away, and I am still at home with no coaching!
Those of you aspiring to pursue engineering through the IITs need to clear the two most important exams – JEE Main & JEE Advanced. Approximately 13 lacs people appear in the JEE exam every year for admission to prestigious colleges such as IITs, NITs, Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and other 19 Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs).
JEE is certainly one of the toughest entrance examinations, and thus requires the right preparation strategies. If you are someone who has not yet begun preparing for the exam, and have had little or no formal coaching for it, you can still get through the exam by preparing at home.
Coaching, while important, is not necessary to crack the JEE. In this article, I will take you through some tips and tricks to help you prepare for the IIT – JEE exam at home.
Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) – Some Important Facts
Joint Entrance Examination, commonly termed as JEE, is a national level engineering exam. It was first conducted in 2002 and all IITs, NITS, etc. accept the JEE Score to admit students to their undergraduate courses. The JEE has 2 papers, JEE Main and JEE Advanced. JEE Main is an entry-level exam with a lower level of difficulty. Its score is accepted by NITs, IIITs and other prestigious institutions. Once you clear the JEE Main, you are required to sit for the JEE Advanced, which is compulsory if you want a seat in the IITs.
Before you move on to the preparation, it is important to understand the structure of the exam.
- The JEE Main Paper 1 is an objective type test conducted in both online and offline modes and assesses students on Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.
- There are 90 questions in total with each section consisting of 30 questions each.
- Each question is for 3 marks, and hence each section carries 120 Marks. The whole exam is for 360 marks.
- The JEE Advanced has two papers, and the pattern for the exam changes from year to year.
- JEE questions are based on the NCERT syllabus with an advanced level of difficulty. The trick to solve the exam is comprehensive knowledge and speed. You are required to solve a question within one to two minutes.
- In JEE 2018, no weightage will be given to class 12th marks. However, you require at least 75% in your class 12th in order to be eligible.
Strategies and Tips to Crack IIT JEE without Coaching
Taking small steps and following the right strategies can make a huge difference. From your study pattern and reference books to the way you solve the paper, all can go a long way in helping you achieve your IIT dream. Here are a few tips you should follow in your preparation, which if done properly, can be game changers.
1. Start with the NCERT
NCERT books form the base for the JEE entrance exams, especially for the JEE Main. A common mistake made by many students is to start with reference books directly while their concepts and theoretical knowledge are not very strong. NCERT books will give you a firm grounding of concepts and, thus, are the best books to start your preparation. It is also worth noting that 60-70% of the JEE Main paper is based on NCERT books. However, they are not enough for practical questions.
2. Have a Curious Mind
You should have a curious mind and ask questions whenever you are reading a particular theory. You should be able to question every concept you are reading to gain a better understanding of each concept. Questioning concepts will help you widen your understanding and will, thus, help you solve various twisted questions based on the same theory. You can never solve problems if you are simply mugging concepts.
3. Solve with the Multiple Solution Technique
Whenever you are solving questions of a particular chapter, don’t try to solve 100 questions for each topic, rather try solving a particular question in multiple ways. For example: In Mathematics, calculus problems can be solved using co-ordinate geometry and any complex number problem can be solved using vector calculus. This will help you in learning alternative methods of approaching a problem. In the actual paper, there will be times when you won’t be able to solve a question using your preferred method. Knowing multiple methods of solving a question will help you arrive at result even if another approach is required.
4. Revise Wisely
Students generally either revise too much or they don’t revise at all. Once you are through with a chapter, revise it thoroughly but don’t spend more than 2-3 hours on the revision. Amplify your revision by solving practice questions on the topic from reference books instead. This will help you immediately understand the concepts you have just studied.
5. Manage your Time Efficiently
No matter how many efforts you put in or how many papers you solve, if you do not utilize your time effectively, you will never be able to complete and practice in time. To keep a better track of the time you allot to various chapters, revision, and practice, you can make use of time management apps. Even a simple tool like Google Calendar can be used to allot time or days to chapters/sections. It can be more effective than a printed calendar since it will give you reminders for different events.
6. Solve Multiple Mock Tests
Practice at home is the most effective when you test yourself at regular intervals. Now, the question is how to maximize your benefit from these mock papers. The common mistake made by most students is they never review what they have solved. You should spend at least 6-7 hours to review the process.
Whenever you are solving a paper, try to analyze the questions or chapters you are facing a problem with and the areas you are quick to solve. After the first mock test, you will have a list of your strong areas as well as the topics that require more attention. Utilise these insights to work on the areas you lack and with each mock test you would find yourself getting better.
Also, develop a smart strategy while solving the paper. 50% of the questions in the paper have a low difficulty level, so solve them first. Never attempt the paper in a sequence and avoid the questions you face difficulty in while solving your mock papers.
7. Choose the Right Reference Books
Once you are thorough with your NCERT books, move on to reference books. These books cover topics from the basic to advanced level application-based questions. Reference books will help you greatly in building knowledge about concepts through practice. These are specifically designed for JEE preparation by the top experts in the market.
Some recommended reference books for JEE preparation:
• NCERT Physics – Class 11 and 12
• Concepts of Physics (Vol 1 & 2) – H.C. Verma (Highly Recommended)
• Understanding Physics Series (5 books) – D.C. Pandey
• Problems in General Physics – I.E. Irodov (Arihant Publications) (Only for JEE Advanced)
• NCERT Chemistry –Class 11 and 12
• Organic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry – O.P. Tandon
• Organic Chemistry –Jagdamba Singh
• Course in Mathematics for IIT-JEE – Tata McGraw Hill
• Mathematics for Class 11 and 12 – R.D. Sharma
• Coordinate Geometry for IIT-JEE – S.K. Goyal
• Differential Calculus for IIT-JEE – Amit Agarwal
When to Call it off?
No one is a better judge than you. Now as your class 12th is ending, you can easily take a call on your chances of cracking the exam in a few months. The qualifying marks for the JEE Main are generally around 85-90. Even after spending hours on revision and solving multiple mock tests you are scoring around 80 on the mocks, it is not a very high score.
You would need at least a score of 170 to get into a centrally funded college. If you are getting 35%, you should take a call if you can manage a 60% or not. If you cannot, you should explore other career options beyond engineering too to keep your options open.
It is not too late! Just pull up your socks and start working in the right direction. Knowing the basics and concentrating on the right plan is the key to cracking the JEE Main and JEE Advanced. Follow the tips above, and make your own customized plans based on them. With the right efforts, you will be able to get through. All the best!