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KEAM 2018 Topper Interview: Denin Jose (Rank 3) - Think of a scenario where you have appeared in an exam but downplay your chances, as you are too modest and believe there are more qualified candidates than you. But then the unexpected happens and you find yourself sitting on the podium on result day. It is exactly what happened with Denin Jose, who has clinched the 3rd rank in KEAM 2018. When contacted, he said that he could hardly believe his good fortune as he was not among the star contenders in his coaching institute, which according to his own admission had many. Quick to thank his coaching institute, who he believes was instrumental in his success, he urged candidates to stay motivated and work hard if they wished to achieve success in KEAM.
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Denin informed Careers360 that he plans to take up Engineering Physics, even though it is his second choice, at IIT Madras (the reason is given below). He also shared a great deal about his preparation strategy, why according to him coaching is becoming an integral part, and more in this KEAM 2018 Toppers Interview with Denin Jose. Keep reading.
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Careers360: Congratulations for your outstanding performance in KEAM 2018! What was your reaction upon knowing your rank?
Denin Jose: I was not expecting such a good rank and it came as a sweet surprise. I owe a great deal to my coaching institute Brilliant Pala. My parents were also equally delighted because they too didn’t think I would be ranked this high. The reason being I was not one of the top performers in my coaching institutes; it naturally kept expectations low.
My aspiration from the beginning has been to become an IITian. So, I have appeared in JEE Advanced 2018 as well. My rank in the exam is AIR 1944.
Careers360: Tell us something about yourself. Which board have you studied under? Which school have you studied in?
Denin Jose: I did my schooling at Kuriakose Elias English Medium School, Mannanam, which is affiliated to Kerala State Board.
Careers360: What is your score in KEAM 2018? What is your all state rank and category rank?
Denin Jose: My score in KEAM 2018 is 844.94. I belong to open category and my State Rank is 3.
Careers360: Why do you want to study engineering? When did you decided to study engineering? Which branch would you be interested in? Which college do you wish to apply for?
Denin Jose: I haven’t given much thought about it. But my brother is studying to become a doctor and I thought it best to study engineering because I liked Mathematics whereas I was not very fond of Biology.
I am interested in pursuing Mechanical Engineering in IIT Madras, but I don’t think I will have my wish fulfilled because my rank is a bit on the lower side. My second option is Engineering Physics at IIT Madras.
Reasons for my preference of IIT Madras are its proximity to my native place and also because a number of my seniors are already studying there. So, I will not be alone as I will have somebody to look up to.
Careers360: When did you start your KEAM preparation? Tell us something about your preparation strategy and daily routine for KEAM?
Denin Jose: I started my preparations from the 11th standard onwards. Our coaching programme was mainly for JEE Main, JEE Advanced as well as KEAM.
I didn’t stick to any particular preparation technique and depended on my mood. Starting off, I used to study for about 5-6 hours but I started enjoying the preparation process as the exam approached. And with it my study hours also went up a bit.
Initially there was some tension and stress, but I realized that it can only do harm to my preparation and began to relax and chill out. I started blocking negative thoughts and tried to enjoy the whole process.
The coaching institute conducted model exams every week. These tests gave the impression like I was giving the real exam which helped me to get into the exam mode and also understand the finer points of test giving.
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?
Denin Jose: I was focused on the entrance exams from the start, so the board exams were not a distraction. Handling the two was not easy, but neither was it so difficult that it couldn’t be managed.
Once board exams ended in March, I fully dived into entrance preparations.
Careers360: Did you take coaching for KEAM and if yes from where? What are the benefits of coaching according to you?
Denin Jose: Yes, I took coaching at Brilliant Pala. A great deal of credit for my success goes to the institute as I was an average student whom they moulded into a topper Some of the questions asked in exams like JEE Advanced are so tricky that without coaching it is challenging to understand them in one go, leave alone finding a solution to all of them. Brilliant Pala came to my rescue as they taught me how to manage these types of questions and maximize my scoring opportunities. After all time management is a big part of these exams.
Also, the exam patterns of boards and entrance exams are very different. So unless the candidate becomes familiar with the exam patterns of these entrance exams and the types of questions asked, success can be elusive. For example, in board exams the candidate has to answer descriptive questions whereas most entrance exams include objective-type questions with confusing options. Coaching can help bridge this gap.
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?
Denin Jose: Yes every week we had two to three model exams at the coaching institute. Solving previous years’ question papers can prepare the candidate for exam situations; learn about question types, difficulty levels. In fact, candidates can expect more or less the same type of questions like those included in previous years’ papers, though the values may be changed or little tweaking may be done to confound the candidate.
Careers360: Did you face any problem during the KEAM examination? Which subject was the easiest and which was the toughest in KEAM?
Denin Jose: The exam was conducted offline and I faced no problems. Mathematics was the easiest, Chemistry was moderate while Physics was comparatively difficult as questions were lengthy. So in Physics I skipped some questions to attempt them later.
Careers360: What do you think are the key factors behind your stupendous success in KEAM?
Denin Jose: As I already told you my coaching institute Brilliant Pala is a big reason for my success. Apart from tha,t the self-motivation I had that I could do it carried me on. Also, I worked hard, stayed in the present, and tried to enjoy the process.
Careers360: How did you de-stress yourself during the preparation? What are your hobbies? How often could you pursue them?
Denin Jose: Yes I used to watch movies every now and then and also listened to music at times. I also exercised for couple of hours whenever I could find time. There are no short-cuts to success, just hard work.
Careers360: Who is your ideal or biggest inspiration in life and why?
Denin Jose: I don’t have any idea as such. I used to read books by Richard Hyman. I also find A.P.A. Kalam’s words highly motivating.
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?
Denin Jose: Getting coaching is necessary for success in top entrance exams like JEE Main, JEE Advanced and even KEAM. Candidates must follow the instructions of the mentors diligently. Also, keep motivating yourself and work hard.
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Yamuna, the application form for KEAM 2020 is scheduled to release in the first week of February 2020 in online mode and can be filled till the first week of March tentatively. The admit card would be released by the second week of April and the pen paper based test would be conducted on 20 and 21 April 2020.
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