IIT-JEE: When should you join coaching!
Photo: Rohit Gautam
IT IS boom time for book-sellers as entrance exams near.Many students end up buyin books for which they don't have time to devote or confuse themselves by trying to read too many books in a short span
IIT-JEE, the most desired entrance exam in the country has been in the news for quite some time now because of the changes in its pattern. There will be two exams - JEE Mains followed by JEE Advanced. The time gap between the two will be three to four weeks.
JEE Main, which is equivalent to AIEEE will be conducted by CBSE. JEE Advanced, equivalent to IIT-JEE will be conducted by IITs with the same composition as at present. The IITs and the Joint Admission Board (JAB) have clarified that the format of the JEE-Advanced paper will be the same as that of IIT-JEE.
How to prepare for the exam
Students seriously aspiring for success with a good rank in the IITs understand the importance of starting early in their preparation for IIT-JEE. As the JEE becomes more competitive now, it is necessary to build a strong base in fundamentals, as early as possible. Coaching institutes’ early edge programmes are designed to give students that extra advantage that can help them get a top rank in IIT-JEE.
Why Preparation for 2, 3 or 4 years is always advisable
Gives you more time to adapt to the quantum jump in the level of difficulty with better ease as there is more time for understanding and consolidation, which is spread over a longer academic plan.
Optimum utilisation of time available.
Early starters will always have more time before the actual Board and engineering entrance/other competitive exams as their course curriculum will finish much before the batches that start later.
More time to consolidate one’s performance and for self-revision, development of examination temperament and removal of last-moment doubts. This is vital to help students achieve a quantum jump in rank.
As serious aspirants would never like to wait, the competence of the batch starting early would be very high as the brightest/serious of the lot will join at this stage, thus giving you better competition.
Earlier tests and joining any programme give you more time for academics, extra inputs for school and Board studies.
2, 3 or 4-year coaching programme?
Many students have an inner feeling that they do not stand to succeed in IIT-JEE if they have not been doing extremely well in studies so far. IIT-JEE requires an analytical approach and it is quite different from normal studies. We have seen that students, who do extremely well in the admission tests of coaching centres, thereby demonstrating potential for IIT-JEE and have the ability to take on the rigours of IIT-JEE preparation, come out with top ranks in the entrance examination. This is a phenomenon which gets repeated year after year. But there are others, who do not fall into this category of students, and yet have also won laurels by working their way up. There have been quite a few students who barely managed to get admission to coaching programmes but finally got extremely good ranks in the IIT-JEE. But what they did was to follow coaching patterns quite sincerely and religiously.
What a JEE aspirant experiences after Boards
Class 11 students feel a big difference in the level of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics from Class 10. Required effort to get good percentage in Class 11 exams is far greater than what is needed to get a similar percentage in Class 10 Board examination. IIT-JEE preparation calls for not only a different approach but higher level of analytical skills and even greater effort. If you are not mentally prepared for the grill and if you join an institute just because your parents want you to appear in IIT-JEE, please don’t join.
Remember Class 11 and 12 Board examination syllabi for Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are more or less same as that for IIT-JEE. The difference lies only in the approach. If you have thoroughly prepared for IIT-JEE, with a little extra effort, you are bound to do extremely well in Class 11 final and Class 12 Board examination too. However, vice-versa is not necessarilty true. Even if you have prepared very well for a topic from Class 11 and 12 examination point of view, you will still need an intense effort to make sure that your preparation is adequate to make a winning attempt in IIT-JEE.
Advice for IIT-JEE aspirants
Unlike school and Board exams you cannot score in IIT-JEE without reaching a certain level of proficiency. Mere learning of a concept is not adequate. You have to apply these concepts in solving tricky problems. Problems in IIT-JEE are not direct application of a concept. Many IIT-JEE problems involve more than one basic concept. Develop your analytical skills. Do not give up solving a problem after just one or two attempts. It is only by doing and trying to solve difficult problems that you can improve your analytical skills. You have to make optimum use of time available up to IIT-JEE.
This would also mean realignment of your extra-curricular and sports activities etc. Remember the time available in a day cannot be stretched further. There is no dearth of books and problems available. One has to draw boundaries and concentrate on quality rather than quantity. It is possible that you can prepare a topic by doing 30-40 problems only, if you try to solve them completely by yourself. This may even involve devoting half-an-hour or one hour or may be even more on an occasional problem. On the other hand your preparation can be very weak and hollow even if you have attempted more than 200 problems on the same topic in the same time, thereby devoting much less time on difficult problems and leaving them as doubts to be cleared from your teachers.
A serious aspirant has separate strategies for Boards, IIT-JEE and AIEEE. However, what is common is the Board exam syllabus. Hence it is advisable to make sure that all chapters relevant for Board exams are covered first.
Know your calibre
Students also join extended programmes where the learning is distributed over three years, as the learning ability varies from person to person. The more the years devoted the better. Students are advised to judge themselves, how much time they need for a hassle-free preparation. The Boards must not suffer.
The author, Ramesh Batlish is an expert from FIITJEE.