KEAM 2018 Topper Interview: Jestin Varghese (Rank 13) - “Desire with a firm determination is all you need to succeed”
Surbhi Mehtani, 21 Jun 2018, #KEAM
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KEAM 2018 Topper Interview: Jestin Varghese (Rank 13) - Physics, passion towards life and intention to discover something new - these are the traits, Jestin looks upto in the greatest Physicist of all times - Stephen Hawking and is deeply inspired by him. As Hawkings said, “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at”, Jestin exactly did something similar by securing the seventh highest marks in KEAM 2018 entrance exam. The rank list of state level exam has been released on June 20, following which, Jestin Varghese, a resident of Pandalam came to know that he has actually made his performance count. Jestin holds deep gratitude for all those who stood by him in his KEAM preparation and success journey including his parents, teachers and friends. With an infatuation towards Maths and Science, Jestin wishes to study in one of the leading IITs. In an exclusive interview with Careers360, Jestin shares his preparation pattern, study mantra and success story. Read below to know more about KEAM 2018 topper, Jestin Varghese, Rank 13.

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Careers360: Congratulations for your outstanding performance in KEAM 2018! What was your reaction upon knowing your rank?

Jestin Varghese: Thank you. I am so excited and happy to know my KEAM rank. I hold deep gratitude for God, all my teachers in Placid Vidya Vihar, Changanachery and Brilliant Study Centre, Pala, my friends, my parents and all those who helped me achieve this victory.

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

Jestin Varghese: I belong to Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala.

My father, P.V. Jayan, was a former employee of Raidco Kerala Ltd., and at present doing projects under Government and my mother, Jency John have worked as a Staff Nurse. My younger brother, Juval Jayan is studying in class IX in St. Thomas English Medium High School, Pandalam.

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I have studied uptil class IV in Kadachira Government High School, Kannur from Kerala board. From class V to X, I moved to St. John’s School, Keerukuzhy, Thumpamon which is affiliated to CBSE board and have completed my 10+2 from Placid Vidya Vihar, Chethippuzha, Changanassery, Kottayam also affiliated to CBSE board.  


Careers360: What is your score in KEAM 2018? What is your all state rank and category rank?

Jestin Varghese: I have secured 809.68 in KEAM 2018 and my rank is 13. I am from General Category. I have secured 96.2% in my 10+2 with A1 in all the subjects.


Careers360: Why do you want to study engineering? When did you decide to study engineering? Which branch would you be interested in? Which college do you wish to apply for?

Jestin Varghese: I have a keen interest in both Science and Mathematics, Physics being the interesting of all. So, I believe engineering is the best option for me to study and to build my career. I decided to study engineering from my high school classes itself.        

With an All India Rank of 2397 in General Category, I dream to study in IITs.


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

Jestin Varghese:  I started my KEAM and JEE preparation from class X itself through the foundation course conducted by Brilliant Study Centre, Pala in their off campus in Changanachery. I happened to join Placid Vidya Vihar, Changanachery for my 10+2 and entrance coaching from Brilliant Study Centre, Pala.

For KEAM, I gave more importance in studying basic concepts of each topic and practiced as many previous year question papers as possible. Apart from school, I used to spend 6-7 hours daily for self study. I also practiced and solved problems from library books regarding the topic and cleared my doubts with the help of teachers.

Being a competitive exam, time management in KEAM is very important. So, I tried solving questions within the stipulated time. I focused more on my weaker areas during my studies.


Careers360: Was there a difference in the preparation strategy in the last months of KEAM considering that the board exams also are during this period? How did you manage preparation for both?

Jestin Varghese: During the last months, I gave more importance to board exams and modified study pattern according to my exam schedule so that I do not have to compromise with my boards and entrance exams. Fortunately, I got a chance to study at Placid Vidya Vihar, where they helped us complete the syllabus early and started with revision which is as important as preparation.


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

Jestin Varghese: Yes, I took coaching from Brilliant Study Centre, Pala. Since the entrance exams and board exams have different pattern, I believe, coaching is a must for a massive victory. For success in entrance exams, efficient guidance, training and support is required and coaching provides you with that.


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?

Jestin Varghese: My coaching institute, Brilliant, provided all the necessary books, mock tests and sample papers according to the varying pattern of KEAM and IIT Exams and that helped in preparation.


Careers360: Are there any special books that you feel have helped with your KEAM preparation? Are the school text books adequate for preparing for KEAM and Class XII? 

Jestin Varghese: I used to refer to some of the books by Cengage publications, Dinesh and Pradeep Physics and Chemistry books for KEAM.


Careers360: Did you face any problem during the KEAM examination?  Which subject was the easiest and which was the toughest in KEAM? What do you think is a tough thing to manage during the KEAM exam?

Jestin Varghese: During preparation, it was difficult to find efficient reference books for exam. However, while appearing in the exam, it was time management, that was difficult as completing 120 questions in 3 hours is a task in itself. To overcome this situation, my institute gave me adequate mock tests that helped me in the moment.


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

Jestin Varghese: For success in KEAM, one should have an adequate preparation strategy according to his ability.

a)      One should focus more on weaknesses without losing hold on strong fields.

b)      Give importance to board exams as it has equal importance for KEAM.

c)      Last but not least, one must be optimistic, calm and patient during the exam hours.


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

Jestin Varghese: My inspiration in life is late Physicist Stephen Hawking who converted each of his life adversities to big opportunities and paved an ideal way of life for future generations.


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 KEAM exam?

Jestin Varghese: My message to future aspirants will be that - Be yourself in whatever you do. Always think about the next step in life, focus on your strengths and try to overcome your weaknesses. Develop an adequate practical study pattern and plan to achieve your goal. Be happy in what you are and be proud of it.


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