JEE Advanced 2017 Topper Interview – Onkar Deshpande (AIR 8)  “Maintain balance between speed & Accuracy”
Richa Kapoor, 11 Jun 2017, #JEE Advanced
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The declaration of the JEE Advanced 2017 result has brought to an end some anxious moments for those who were waiting for the result. Two years of dedicated hardwork has finally yielded the desired result for Onkar Deshpande who has got an AIR 8 in JEE Advanced 2017. Narrating his success journey, Onkar urges all the future aspirants to firstly figure out what exactly they want to do and accordingly plan their strategy. He also feels regular breaks are good during preparation to avoid reducing one’s efficiency. The Aurangabad boy’s inspiration is A P J Abdul Kalam whom he wishes to emulate. He wishes to pursue research after graduation and is fond of playing basketball during his spare time. Check Onkar’s success mantras for the JEE Advanced exam below and know what he did, what he avoided, books he referred to and other preparation strategies.


Careers360: Congratulations for your outstanding performance in JEE Advanced 2017! What was your reaction upon knowing your rank?

Onkar Deshpande: Thank you so much. I was really happy and excited to know my rank. I was expecting a good rank but did not expect that I would be among the toppers.


Careers360: Tell us something about yourself. Which board have you studied under? Which school have you studied in?

Onkar Deshpande: I did my class X from Tender Care Home, Aurangabad under the CBSE board. I pursued my class 11 and 12 from Deogiri College, Aurangabad under the Maharashtra State Board. For JEE, I studied at the Gurukul coaching institute in Aurangabad.


Careers360: What is your score in JEE Advanced 2017? What is your all India rank and category rank? What were the marks that you scored in each subject?

Onkar Deshpande: The total marks scored by me in JEE Advanced 2017 is 327. My all India rank is 8. I belong to the general category. The marks scored by me in the subjects are given below:

  • Mathematics -122

  • Physics- 110

  • Chemistry- 95 

Careers360: Why do you want to study engineering? When did you decided to study engineering? Which branch would you be interested in? Any reason?

Onkar Deshpande: I was always interested in science especially in mathematical and physical science. I was never inclined towards medicine or taking up biology. My inclination was towards research and I believe IITs are the best place not only for engineering but also to pursue research. I think of all the branches, Computer Sciences is the best.


Careers360: When did you start your JEE Advanced preparation? Tell us something about your preparation strategy and daily routine for JEE Advanced?

Onkar Deshpande: I joined a foundation course when I was in class 9. At that time I was not sure if I wanted to pursue engineering. When I started enjoying my classes there, I decided to take up engineering. After my tenth standard, I made up my mind to take up the JEE exam. I therefore started serious preparation for the JEE exam during my Class 11 & 12. I used to make sure that I completed the lesson that I had started studying. Initially i used to focus on the concepts and made sure that I was thorough with them.


Careers360: How was the preparation for JEE Advanced different from JEE Main?

Onkar Deshpande: The preparation for JEE Main is different from JEE Advanced. The JEE Main questions were more conceptual and based on NCERT books. However, as far as JEE Advanced is concerned, it requires analytical thinking and the questions are based on multiple of concepts.


Careers360: Since there was just a month after the JEE Main, elaborate on your preparation strategy?

Onkar Deshpande: I was able to study for JEE advanced for almost two months which is the gap between the two exams. Since I had prepared well, I did not focus on studying anything new during these last two months. I revised whatever I had studied. It is crucial not to falter or lose focus at this time. The JEE Main exam was in between the board exams and I therefore gave very little time for it. My main focus was the JEE Advanced exam.


Careers360: Did you take coaching for JEE and if yes from where? What are the benefits of coaching according to you?

Onkar Deshpande: I took coaching at Gurukul Classes. The coaching institute helped me a lot as they devised a strategy that needed to be followed for the preparation of JEE Advanced. Whatever, they used to teach me at the coaching institute, I used to study thoroughly and made it a point not to forget anything.


Careers360: Mock tests and sample papers – how extensively did you practise with the help of these? Do you think practising from the previous year papers help and how?

Onkar Deshpande: One should practise the mock test papers and previous years question papers towards the end. During the initial stage of the preparation, one should focus on fully understanding the concepts. In the last stages of the preparation, I would recommend that one should give priority in solving the question papers of JEE Advanced of previous years. Candidates must take up difficult mock tests as it will help them to fully prepare themselves for the exam day.


Careers360: Are there any special books that you feel have helped with your JEE Advanced preparation?

Onkar Deshpande: The books and other study material which I referred to are as below.

  • For Physics- H. C. Verma and Problems in General Physics by I. E. Irovov

  • For Chemistry- Coaching notes

  • For Mathematics – Coaching notes 

Careers360: Did you face any problem during the JEE Advanced examination? Which subject was the easiest and which was the toughest in JEE Advanced? What do you think is a tough thing to manage during the JEE Advanced exam? What is the difference between Paper 1and Paper 2 of JEE Advanced 2017?

Onkar Deshpande: One thing while writing the exam which an individual must keep in mind is that you should move forward in case you are stuck with the difficult question. Solve those questions first you are confident of. The most important thing while writing the JEE Advanced exam is to maintain speed and accuracy. While solving the questions keep the small points in mind. Do not ignore them. Solve the questions rigorously and remember that you cannot fall back merely on derived results. At least this year, Paper 1 of JEE Advanced was easy as compared to Paper 2.


Careers360: The answer keys revealed bonus marks for 5 questions. Did you answer those questions? What was your reaction while answering them and after the answer key announced the bonus marks?

Onkar Deshpande: I had attempted those questions for which the bonus marks were awarded. In those questions, which had more than one correct answer, I picked the option about which I was certain. In the Physics section, I believed that there was some ambiguity in the questions. Since bonus marks were awarded, I do not have any problem.


Careers360: What do you think are the key factors behind your stupendous success in JEE Advanced?

Onkar Deshpande: The coaching institute helped me a lot in my preparation. The other reason is my genuine interest in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. My family was extremely supportive and they did not put any kind of pressure on me. They were extremely supportive and whenever I wanted to take a break, they used to take me out for dinner and they rarely discussed about studies.


Careers360: How did you de-stress yourself during the preparation? What are your hobbies? How often could you pursue them? 

Onkar Deshpande: My hobbies included playing basketball. In order to de-stress myself I used to watch television, especially fun and comedy shows. When my efficiency was low, then I used to take break and serve the internet for some time.


Careers360: Who is your biggest inspiration in life and why?

Onkar Deshpande: My biggest inspiration is the former President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam. I have admired him since my childhood. Like him, I also want to do research.


Careers360: You know you are an inspiration to thousands of students across the country. Do you have any message for future aspirants on tackling the JEE Advanced exam?

Onkar Deshpande: My advice for the future aspirants is to prepare for the JEE exam if you are genuinely interested in it. Do not take unnecessary stress and do what is best for you. The other important thing to remember is not to be addicted to the social media.


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