Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What it takes to be an IITian- By: Alap Kshirsagar

Published in The Hitavada "FUTURE"
(By: Alap Kshirsagar, JEE AIR-289, Ex-ICADian, Second Year Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering, IIT Bombay)

“IIT JEE” when we hear these 2 words, certain thing pop-up into our mind- ‘Extremely difficult examination’, ‘Selection is near impossible’, ‘Only born geniuses can crack it’ etc. etc.

Now, being an IITian I can surely (and safely!!) say that these statements are not entirely correct. It’s true that JEE is one of the toughest entrance exams, with selection rate of around 0.02% (pretty low), all one needs to crack it is sheer determination and flawless efforts.

First of all ask yourself, “Whether I’m ready to sacrifice all the ‘time pass’ activities for atleast 2 years?”. If the answer is ‘Yes’, then you are on the right track. Now ‘when to begin?’ Some students start studying for JEE right from 5th standard or so… Though early start helps, it is not necessary. One can begin preparation even after 10th class.

I personally feel that proper guidance reduces the workload and efforts considerably, though some may opt for self-preparation which gives flexibility. Ultimately what will matter is your understanding of concepts and practice. It is said that ‘One can only bring the horse near the pond, the horse has to drink water itself.’

Success in JEE depends on 2 factors- preparation before exam and performance in actual exam. Both are strongly related and equally important. The preparation part is a ‘Tour-de-France’, which is full of hurdles, obstacles and ‘dangerous situations’… Endurance, confidence and consistent smart work (don’t confuse it with ‘hard work’) is required to successfully complete it. It takes some time to change the mindset from ‘Board pattern’ to ‘JEE pattern’. So don’t give up in the beginning itself. The course is vast but proper planning can ensure complete preparation. Identify your strong and weak topics, and distribute time accordingly. Set small targets for each day, week and month. These small steps will take you up to the zenith. (Sorry but there is no shortcut).

To simplify things, preparation can be divided into 2 parts-learning and practice. Learning involves understanding concepts thoroughly and grasping problem solving techniques. Practice is basically simulation of exam environment. Solving questions accurately and in least amount of time should be the aim while practicing. Solving sample papers or previous years’ papers in exam like schedule will help to tune the body clock.

After the preparation, here comes the ‘JEE- day’ (10th April this year. Did your heartbeats suddenly rise?). Well, take the exam like a T20 match. Enjoy it!! Whatever may be the level of questions don’t fall back. Remember ‘Attack is the best way of defence’ (donno who said that…) because ‘Yeh 360 minutes tumhare… (Courtesy: chak de.)’

In the end, I would like to add a dialogue which is quite popular here @ IIT,
“You enter IIT through JEE for graduation; if it’s not possible, come for masters through GATE; even if that’s not possible, do a Ph. D. here; again if this doesn’t happen become a professor. If fortune forbids this too, ultimately get appointed as the Director from Delhi. But never miss the bus to IIT!!!” 

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