Preparation Tips for IIT JEE aspirants at Each Level – by IIT Kanpur studentI am a fourth year student of Computer Science Engineering at IIT Kanpur. Thousands of IIT JEE aspirants have approached me to know my take on JEE preparation. Hence, I have decided to write down about my IIT JEE preparation tips that are based on my own experiences.

Disclaimer: These study tips for IIT aspirants may not be universal. They worked for me and might not work for everyone. Besides, I wrote JEE about four years ago and my memories might fail me in capturing the actual undercurrent thoughts I might have had at the time.

1.     Prioritize and Strategize

IIT JEE is fiercely competitive. Lakhs of students compete for about 7,000 seats at the Top 6 or 7 IITs. JEE preparation is not only the launch pad for you to land into these highly ranked engineering colleges of India but also prepares you for the study experience at IITs.Prioritize and Strategize for IIT-JEE

IIT JEE is fiercely competitive. Lakhs of students compete for about 7,000 seats at the Top 6 or 7 IITs. JEE preparation is not only the launch pad for you to land into these highly ranked engineering colleges of India but also prepares you for the study experience at IITs.

The syllabus is vast and the competition is tough. Hence, it is important to set your priorities right. Here is the step-by-step plan to decide what’s right for you:

  • Ponder on whether you really have a passion for engineering, technology, research work and the equations. If you don’t, may be you want to re-consider your career options.
  • If you really want to be an engineer, consider your options. Can you go abroad for studies? Will you take other engineering entrance exams besides JEE?
  • Now, make a goal for yourself. How many marks are you targeting in board exams? What is your target JEE rank? You may want to write your goals on a small poster and put it up on your desk.
  • Make a study plan. Make sure you allot time for all the activities that will consume your time and energy throughout the say. Keep minimum six hours for sleep and some time for exercise too.
  • Will you join a coaching institute? This might include considering the affordability and accessibility of a coaching institute, whether you really need help with your studies, and whether the coaching institute near you is good enough? Will you re-locate for coaching or opt for a correspondence course or just a test series?
  • Make a list of all the important books and textbooks you will need for your IIT JEE preparation.

2.     The Master Plan

Make a concrete study plan for yourself.

  • Write down your aim at the top and arrange for the syllabus.
  • Discuss with your mentors, preferably IITians, how to best cover the JEE Main and JEE Advanced syllabus. They are slightly different and hence, you need to make sure that you cover topics from both the syllabus.
  • Create a timeline for the two-year period. Keep the last three months for revision for JEE exam and one month exclusively for board exams. Allot time for topics and sub-topics of all the subjects and follow a balanced approach.
  • Make sure that your plan is reasonable and systematic. You might to tweak your plan as your preparation progresses, depending on how much time you actually need to study a topic well.

If you are going to appear for other competitive exams, create a study plan for them too. Find common topics and make sure that all your plans are in sync with each other.

3.     Important Books for IIT JEE

Markets are full of JEE books that claim to assimilate latest exam trends. However, I believe that JEE has only one trend – that student understands concepts well and is able to apply them to new types of problems. Rote learning cannot do the trick alone.

Important Books For IIT-JEE 2014It is best to stay with the classic textbooks that have been ruling the market for decades and are recommended by several generations of students.

Here is my experience with some of the recommended books:

Physics

  1. HC Verma is good I guess but I soon got bored and hardly ever referred to it after Mechanics. But I did solve its Optics problems for practice.
  2. Resnick-Hallida is again a good book, especially the second volume. However, I didn’t read it after Mechanics too.
  3. University Physics by Young, Sears and Zemansky is quite famous too but I didn’t use it at all.
  4. I used Irodov’s books on Mechanics and Electromagnetism. They are very small but are quite useful. They have pretty good examples too.
  5. I owe my intuition and understanding for Physics, as well as my medal and AIR to Feynman’s Lectures on Physics 1&2. It is highly recommended for those who are really interested in the subject and curious to learn it well.
  6. Common books with best Physics problems are Irodov (relevant to this day, helps students develop analytical skills), Krotov (offers good collection of practice problems), and Bukhotsev (offers a good set of practice problems, especially for Optics and Thermodynamics chapters).
  7. Some other books recommended for Physics problems are 200 Puzzling Problems in Physics by P Gnadig (it has some very interesting problems), Physics Olympiad Problems by MTG and interesting Fermi problems that you can find easily on net.
  8. I do not recommend FITJEE, BRILLIANT or other coaching class study material for Physics as most of the problems they include are mostly from Irodov.

Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

  1. Some of the good books I recommend for Organic Chemistry are Paula Bruice, Solomons’ revised version that includes current trends, small and handy and P Sykes book.
  2. Though Finar textbook is highly recommended, I found it quite long and incomprehensible. However, Finar problem book is very useful and quite good. But it includes many topics that are not covered in JEE syllabus. So, one should use it with discretion.
  3. I found Atkins advanced modern book really modern and advanced and might not be necessary for students at JEE preparation level.

Inorganic Chemistry

  1. JD Lee book is quite good. Vogel is good for Qualitative Analysis. Atkins book is modern and advanced just as it claims to be, and interesting too.
  2. One of the books I used (I do not remember whether it was Atkinson or Wilkinson) would have been good for those who want to be know-it-all in Inorganic Chemistry, which will probably ruin your balanced approach.
  3. I used Greenwood for revision but one may not need it at all.

Physical Chemistry

  1. I cannot really make an honest recommendation for Physical Chemistry at JEE level. Some of the books my friends suggest are NCERT, O P Tandon, Disha and Shishir Mittal, and P Bahadur.
  2. Atkins book here is too advanced and unnecessary. It is taught to second and third year students at IITs!
  3. I haven’t seen the book by VKJ and NA but I have learnt from them and I believe that their book on Physical and Inorganic Chemistry should be quite good.
  4. I think the best strategy is to use study material of a reliable coaching class for problem solving and revision.

Mathematics

Here is my low-down on books for some of the most important topics in Maths:

  1. For Algebra, I used Hall and Knight, and Bertnard and Child.
  2. For Trigonometry and Coordinate Geometry, I highly recommend Loney.
    1. There are many books that cover Calculus quite well, including books by Thomas Finney, Shanti Narayan, GN Berman, Das Mukerjee, I A Maron, DasGupta, Tata McGraw Hill and ML Khanna.

4.     Should you go for Coaching Classes?

Most serious JEE aspirants go for popular coaching institutes like FIITJEE, Vidya Mandir and Resonance. I joined Bansal Classes and my experience with them was quite good. However, the institute has split up since then and I have heard that Vibrant Classes is doing quite good these days.

Academic coaching for IIT

Make sure that you join a coaching class with good, qualified and experienced faculty members. The advantage of joining a good coaching institute is that you can interact with teachers and students and keep your motivation level up, fine-tune your study plan with their help, and undergo performance evaluation from time to time.

That said, there are many IITians who did quite well in the exam without resorting to any specialized coaching. I recommend that students who do not want to join a regular classroom program should join a correspondence course or at least test series of a good coaching class.

5.     Clear Concepts and Problem Solving Techniques

I am sure you already know this. Make sure you really understand your concepts – clearly and succinctly. It goes against the rote learning method we have been trained for in school but it is necessary to develop a scientific approach and inquisitive attitude to get to the IITs ad excel there.

Many students waste time on solving too many problems on a topic they have already learnt well. Once you are confident about a topic, you can move on to the next one. If you read a question and know exactly how it can be solved in reasonable time, you can skip directly to the next question.

You may also try solving a problem using different methods. This can help you delve deeper into concepts and develop an intuition for them.

6.     Learning is Fun with Friends

Boost yourself up by discussing your ideas and problems with your friends. A circle of great friends in the same boat keeps you motivated.

All my friends secured good JEE ranks and three of us won medals at the International Physics Olympiad too.

7.     Revision and Practice

Ideally, one should cover the entire JEE syllabus (Main and Advanced) by December, so that you have enough time for revision and honing your problem solving skills.

In the last three or four months before the exam, go through the difficult and interesting problems you have solved in the last two years to recall how you solved them. Note where you made mistakes and make sure you do not repeat them.

Solve new and challenging problems and undergo an online test series to evaluate where you might need help and how to improve your performance.

As you practice and prepare for the actual exam day, be focused, confident and relaxed.

In the last week before the exam, do not try to learn anything new. Just revise and practice problems. Also, it is important to sleep well. Make sure that you fall into a routine where your body clock works best during the examination hours. I used to solve mock tests during examination hours to train my mind to be at its best during that time.

On the day of the exam, wake up early and talk to your parents. Be relaxed and composed during the exam. Try and solve all the easy problems first and then, take on the difficult ones. In the online exam,

you might not be able to return to a section once you complete and submit it. So, read the instructions carefully and strategize accordingly.

If you are stuck on a problem, try solving it from a different perspective.

8.     Choosing an IIT

After IIT JEE, you get about two months before counseling and another month before the session starts at IITs.

Use this time wisely to collect relevant info about life at the IITs and the different branches they offer that seem most interesting to you. You will have to tell your choice of the IIT and engineering stream at the time of counseling.

Choosing best IITs is a Tough Task

Try and narrow down you interest areas and decide which IIT has the best department for the engineering discipline you want to go for.

This is also the time to decide whether you want to be an engineer, researcher (or scientist) or be an entrepreneur later in life. This will help you decide how you can best use your time at the IITs to achieve your career goals.

Celebrate your success but remember that IITs are not the end of your journey but only a beginning. This is only your first step to success. So, work hard and study sincerely.

Talk to your seniors and learn about the life and culture at IITs from them and what to expect in the first year.

Find out about the clubs you might be interested in joining. Indulge in at least one activity besides your coursework – be it sports, music, programming, dance, electronics, photography, robotics, or anything that you want to explore.

Those who want to become researchers may have a look at the different areas of research going on at the IIT and find what seems most exciting to them.

Use these four years to pursue your interests and hobbies, make great friends and have an amazing overall experience.

9.     What if you fail?

If you fail to make it to the IIT of your choice or any IIT at all, it is not the end of life. It is the time to re-evaluate your priorities.

Do you want to change your career goals and choose another vocation?

If not, look at the other good science and technology institutions in India and abroad where you can pursue education. Do not get caught up with the problem, find a solution.

We received this long letter with excellent tips at our email address blog@askiitians.com.

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This post was published by Aditya Singhal, co-founder of askIITians

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