In today’s age of social media, sometimes even a ripple in a river catches on and becomes a trend. But on June 10 it was something more substantial which caught the imagination of the nation and became a top trend across different platforms. The trend was about JEE Advanced 2018 results, which was declared that day. It is a good thing to have happened, as young achievers are getting recognized. And speaking of achievers, Basavaraju Jishnu who has clinched the AIR 15 can definitely be counted as one. The Hyderabad-lad is the son of educators and began dreaming of becoming an engineer when he was in class 10, urged on by his parents. Basavaraju realized early on in his JEE Advanced preparation that there is no alternative to hard work and perseverance. So, he went on slogging, sometimes more than 12 hours a day, without slacking. And it all paid off.
When we got in touch with Basavaraju to conduct a JEE Advanced 2018 Topper Interview, we found out many interesting details about him, like he has been selected to represent India in the International Olympiad for Chemistry. The event is slated to take place from July 9-29. In the interview, he also shared how he tackled pressure, his JEE Advanced 2018 preparation strategy, and also had a word of wisdom for future aspirants.
Here are the excerpts of the JEE Advanced 2018 topper interview:
Careers360: Congratulations on your outstanding performance in JEE Advanced 2018! What was your reaction upon knowing your rank?
Basavaraju Jishnu: Thanks. I was confident that I would do well, so I felt very happy when I came to know that I have secured AIR 15. My parents were also elated at the results.
Careers360: Tell us something about yourself. Which board have you studied under? Which school have you studied in?
Basavaraju Jishnu: I did my schooling at Chaitanya Narayana Junior College, Hyderabad, which is affiliated to Telangana State Board.
Both of my parents are teachers.
Careers360: What is your score in JEE Advanced 2018? What is your all India rank and category rank?
Basavaraju Jishnu:I have scored 306 marks out of 360 in JEE Advanced 2018. I belong to general category, and my AIR is 15. In Paper I, my scores are 60 in Physics, 51 in Chemistry, and 46 in Mathematics. In Paper 2, it is 54 in Physics, 51 in Chemistry, and 41 in Mathematics.
My score in JEE Main 2018 was 320 and I secured the 79 rank.
Careers360: Why do you want to study engineering? When did you decide to study engineering? Which branch would you be interested in? Any reason?
Basavaraju Jishnu: I was encouraged to take up engineering by my parents. By the time I reached class 10, I already knew it was where my destiny lies. I started my preparation from then and have never looked back.
Careers360: JEE Advanced went online this year. What is your opinion about it? Did it change your preparation strategy for the exam?
Basavaraju Jishnu: I didn’t find much difference in the two formats, except that the rough space provided in the online format is a less compared to what was available in offline mode. Apart from that I didn’t much difference.
I enjoyed the online exam and have no complaints. Not really, except that to get familiar with the functionalities of the online exam I took online practice tests. It helped in curbing the surprise element as I was prepared.
Careers360:. When did you start your JEE Advanced preparation? Tell us something about your preparation strategy and daily routine for JEE Advanced?
Basavaraju Jishnu: I started my preparation from class 11 onwards. I used to study 10-12 hours a day. Meticulous planning and execution was the hallmark of my preparation. Also, I didn’t slack in my preparation and kept up the momentum till the end, which is so important to do well in exam of the nature of JEE Advanced.
It helped that I was staying in a boarding school – there were fewer distractions to cope with and I could simply immerse myself completely in my preparations. Boarding school also instils a sense of discipline which has a positive effect on your preparation.
Careers360: How was the preparation for JEE Advanced different from JEE Main?
Basavaraju Jishnu: The two are very different exams. For example, questions in JEE Main are more straight forward and thus can be attempted if one remembers the basic concepts and points, and practices well. However, JEE Advanced requires the candidate to dig deep into one’s knowledge pool and be creative. As such it is more elegant and thought provoking. To do well in JEE Advanced then the candidates have to move beyond their comfort zones and understand the underlying concepts in each topic.
Another difference is being concept-oriented, JEE Advanced includes fewer number of questions than JEE Main. But despite that the questions are such that the candidate get stuck in the complexities of the problems and find it difficult to complete the paper. On the other hand, speed and accuracy are twin assets to do well in JEE Main.
Careers360: Did you take coaching for JEE and if yes from where? What are the benefits of coaching according to you?’
Basavaraju Jishnu: The college I studied in used to give us coaching classes. The benefits of coaching are manifold, the first being the candidate gets introduced to similar types of questions to the ones that are asked in the exam. So, it effectively bridges the gap that exists between preparing for board exams and for JEE Advanced.
Another advantage of coaching is it makes the candidate part of an often motivated and qualified peer group. At many times there is group discussions and preparation, which can help the candidate clear doubts and imbibe new ideas.
Further, the institute comes out with periodic analysis of the candidate’s progress. So, the candidate is always on his toes and never thinks of letting his guard down. The analysis of course can be used for strengthening weak areas while making strong areas even more stronger.
Careers360: Mock tests and sample papers – how extensively did you practise with the help of these? Do you think practising from previous years’ papers help and how?
Basavaraju Jishnu: I took over 50 mock tests and solved a dozen JEE Advanced sample papers. Mock tests can help the candidate improve time management skills and give final touches to the preparation. As for solving previous years’ question papers, it allows the candidate to get into the JEE Advanced mindset.
Also, the more sample papers the candidate solves the more confidence the candidate gets.
Careers360: Are there any special books that you feel have helped with your JEE Advanced preparation?
Basavaraju Jishnu: I didn’t study from any coaching material, and instead relied on text books. Some books I followed are H.C.Verma for Physics, S.L.Loney for Mathematics, and Atkins and J.D.JEE for Chemistry.
The teachers in my institute helped me in selecting the text books.
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?
Basavaraju Jishnu: No, the exam went smoothly and I was pleased how the exam was conducted. Time management is the most difficult part of the exam, because the candidate inadvertently gets tied up with questions, most of which are concept-based and require much pondering.
I found Chemistry to be the easiest, while Physics and Mathematics are interchangeable.
Careers360: What is the main difference between both the two papers in JEE Advanced?
Basavaraju Jishnu: There is no difference as similar questions are asked in both the papers. One reason why I think they have two identical papers is to ensure that no candidate gets a good score by fluke. It is because to get good scores in both the papers, you will need a lot more than lady luck.
Careers360: What do you think are the key factors behind your stupendous success in JEE Advanced?
Basavaraju Jishnu: Staying calm and confident is important, so is not to take undue pressure. In my case I was not tense even when exam day approached as I had done my homework. The dozens of mock tests, piling up of study hours, and the guidance of teachers all helped me march steadily towards the finish line.
Careers360: How did you de-stress yourself during the preparation? What are your hobbies? How often could you pursue them?
Basavaraju Jishnu: Surprisingly I didn’t feel stressed or was never under any pressure. It might be because I started my preparation early and never had to play catch up. Also, the teachers at my college helped me whenever I needed them, so I was never short of encouragement.
I used to go to the movies and spend time with my friends in my downtime. It recharged my mind and prepared me for the next battle.
Careers360: Who is your ideal or biggest inspiration in life and why?
Basavaraju Jishnu: A. P. J. Abdul Kalam is my idol. The grace with which he conducted himself and devotion he had for the country always inspired me.
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?
Basavaraju Jishnu: My suggestion to aspirants is “Put in the hard work, and the rest will follow.”