A JEE aspirant asked me a question few days back – “How do I get under 50 rank in IIT JEE? I have full 2 years.”
I’ll tackle this question by highlighting various important factors and try to address all the general confusion that JEE aspirants might be having.
The truth about JEE
The first thing you need to know about JEE is that it is NOT an impossible exam. It is easy to crack JEE if you’re focused, work hard and smart, with impeccable consistency.
The reason why JEE seems like such a huge hurdle is partly because of the real competition out there and partly because of all the “hulaabaloo” and the unnecessary hype surrounding the exam. It is a difficult exam, no doubt. But all the hype around it makes it appear ominous and impossibly tough to every aspirant, which is not the case.
The necessary problem solving skills and the speed you need for JEE can very easily be developed through consistent practice.
There are talented students and then there are the laborious ones. One does not have control over one’s innate talent, but one does have absolute control over one’s hard work. Even if you feel you’re not talented enough, no problem.
Sheer practice and determination can take you a long way in acquiring that talent and beating those aspirants who are talented but don’t do their share of hard work.
Choose a Good Coaching Institute
I would recommend you to join a good coaching institute in your locality. That is because a reputed coaching institute will help you in providing the right guidance, decent study material and a means to resolve all your doubts that you will inevitably stumble upon during problem solving. Choosing the right institute will make your task much more regulated and disciplined, and give you the right motivation to study. I was a student of FIITJEE. So there you go! Choose a good coaching class, that’s the first step 🙂
Books you’ll need for JEE Preparation
(The ones I studied from and recommend)
1) Understanding Physics by DC Pandey (Series of 5 books – Mechanics I and II, Waves and Thermodynamics, Electromagnetism, Optics and Modern Physics).
2) Arihant’s New Pattern Problems in Physics by DC Pandey.
1) Physical Chemistry: NCERT (more than sufficient with adequate coverage of theory and fantastic questions). Some people may recommend a lot many books for practice and theory but the truth is that you don’t need anything more than NCERT to ace Physical Chemistry.
2) Inorganic Chemistry: NCERT, and Pearson’s Inorganic Chemistry for IIT-JEE by Atul Singhal (for additional reference and qualitative analysis).
3) Organic Chemistry: Morrison and Boyd (NCERT is not good for organic at all), New Pattern Advanced Problems in Organic Chemistry for JEE by Himanshu Pandey (problem book).
1) Arihant’s series of Skills in Mathematics for JEE Mains and Advanced. (Algebra, Trigonometry, Coordinate Geometry, Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus) For Vectors and 3D geometry, the problems and concepts covered in NCERT for your boards are enough except for one topic, that is vector triple product.
2) Arihant’s New Pattern Problems in Mathematics by SK Goyal.
1) An Archive of all past year JEE questions assembled subject wise and chapter wise.
How to Study the Subjects
Understanding the concepts of physics is really a piece of cake. The concepts are never tough. There are a handful of mathematical equations that you need to learn how to manipulate.
DC Pandey’s books provide extensive coverage of all concepts and their applications to problems. Intuition and absolute clarity in physics comes from practice. I recommend you to thoroughly study every chapter from those books and solve ALL problems in the order they are given in the books. Even the JEE Main questions, though they will be easy. And do not ignore the subjective questions. After you are done with this, solve all problems from the New Pattern book and then that chapter from the Archive.
1) Physical Chemistry:
Read from NCERT and have your concepts clarified at your coaching institute. After you are done with the chapter, write down all equations from the chapter in a notebook for speedy reference while solving problems. Solve problems from NCERT and from other materials your coaching institute will provide. After this, solve previous year questions from Archive.
2) Organic Chemistry:
Organic chemistry is highly structured and logical, unlike most other topics of chemistry. Which is why all JEE aspirants love organic. You’ll need to study all reaction mechanisms and remember all named reactions. Study the chapter, and make notes while you study each chapter. Just write down the name of the reaction, mechanism (if required), and a few example reactions and exceptions (if any). After the end of two years, this will prove your most vital resource for blazing fast revision. After you’re conceptually clear with the chapter, solve problems from Himanshu Pandey. They’ll sharpen all your learning and you’ll assimilate a lot of exceptions and tricky questions. After this, solve previous year questions from Archive.
3) Inorganic Chemistry:
Inorganic chemistry is the most dreaded portion in chemistry. Because it involves a lot of rote learning with little or no logic. The biggest mistake aspirants do is that they refer a lot of books. That is not needed. Complete NCERT thoroughly and you’ll get your basic footing in inorganic. For additional reference, read from Atul Singhal’s book. Make precise notes for each chapter. You might think it is a waste of time right now to maintain so many notes but they’ll prove indispensable for your JEE revision. After this, solve all previous year questions from Archive.
Mathematics is an art and requires a LOT of practice. The concepts are always easy. You’ll assimilate the new formulae you encounter through practice. Arihant’s series of Skills in Mathematics for JEE covers all concepts and shortcuts, however small, and has a huge collection of tough problems as examples and exercises. The questions are of really good quality and will force you to work hard to solve them. After you’re clear with the concepts and application to problem solving, solve problems from that chapter from the New Pattern book and the Archive.
How to Revise
Revising Physics will be really easy. If you have clear concepts, the concepts will be ingrained into your intuition. You’ll only need to have a look at all the formulae and a few good examples to re-assimilate how to apply the formulae.
Revising chemistry requires time and patience. Your notes will be very helpful.
It will take very less time. Recall all formulae and glance at their application through good examples.
You’ll inevitably collect a lot of doubts while solving problems. Never be shy. Ask your teachers at coaching to resolve your doubts. Make a ‘doubt copy’. Collect all doubts in it along with their solutions. You can use this to revise before JEE. Never ever let your doubts be unresolved. All doubts must be solved within 7 days max.
Lifestyle during JEE Preparation
You have to be extremely disciplined and focused. Don’t overdose on entertainment. TV or video games for an hour daily should be the maximum limit. Eat healthy food. Get at least 8 hours of sleep daily. Study for at least 13 hours everyday (6 hours school + self study + coaching). Porn is a strict no-no. It wastes time. If you’re addicted to TV and/or games, let go of them. Never listen to music while studying. It won’t let you focus. And get some physical exercise regularly (maybe swimming or cycling twice or thrice a week).
Regular motivation for JEE
There will be times when you will feel low. There will be times when you’ll feel you did not perform according to your potential in exams. There will be times when you feel mentally exhausted from all the strain. Remember these are the times when you have to fight back hardest. Do not lose your hope or confidence. Have faith in yourself and your hard work and everything will work out.
The journey called JEE
JEE is not just any other exam. And it is not the destination. It is the journey itself that is so beautiful. The vital skills you’ll learn from this phase of JEE preparation like the value of hard work, perseverance, patience will serve you a lot in your future life.
JEE is just not an exam. It is the path to self exploration. It is a path to manifest your destiny.
All the very best for your preparation!!! May your swords stay sharp!!! 🙂
This article was originally posted as an answer to a question on Quora