10 Things to Keep in Mind When Starting IIT JEE Preparation
Here are some of the key things to keep in mind when starting JEE preparation.
- Speed wins you 100m sprints, not marathons. Marathons are won by sheer grit and stamina. Remember, IIT JEE is a marathon, not a sprint. Academic excellence will certainly help you, but it won’t win you the battle. Hard work, determination and an undying spirit is what is required.
- There will always be a countless number of people better than you. Don’t be afraid, this will be true throughout your life. Your goal is not to be better than everyone, but to be better than what you were yesterday. That is the only competition.
- It’s okay to make mistakes, in fact it is good to make mistakes. Trust me, you’ll be making a LOT of mistakes during your preparation. Don’t let it dishearten you. Use your mistakes to your advantage. Learn from them. If you have made a large number of mistakes during your preparation, then you have in fact eliminated a large number of mistakes you could have made during your final exam.
- Do not hesitate to clear your doubts with your teachers. I cannot stress how important this is. Don’t think, “what would the teacher think of me if I ask him/her such a silly question”. It’s not your job to think so. Yes, your question might be silly, but it is still important. What would be sillier is keeping this ‘silly’ question to yourself and faltering in the exam because you hadn’t asked your teacher for the explanation, no matter how simple. That would really hurt.
- Use technology to your advantage. During my preparation, our coaching class had a WhatsApp group of 40–50 top students from all around the country. We would discuss various problems and come up with innovative methods to solve them. Try being part of such a group, it really helps. Apart from this, the Internet is a wonderful place to ask questions. The stack exchange websites really helped me to quickly and easily clear some of my doubts.
- Fight till the end. There will be times when you start an exam and realise that you’re not getting the first 2–3 questions. There are two paths you can take from here. You can tell yourself that you don’t know anything and that you are a failure. Or, you can tell yourself that if it’s difficult for you, it must be difficult for everyone. Tell yourself that you’re still in the game. Your temperament decides how difficult the rest of the paper is. If you think you cannot do it, even the easiest of questions will seem difficult. If you think you can do it, even the hardest of questions will seem doable.
- Keep yourself motivated. It is perhaps the most herculean task to keep yourself motivated and focused towards a single goal for 2 (sometimes 3) years. Motivation doesn’t last long. That is why it is recommended daily. Just like bathing. There will be times when you are wounded, when you want to give up. Your motivation heals these wounds, drives you forward. Eventually, only the most motivated people make it to the top.
- Believe in yourself. Your self-belief is an ocean, accumulated drop by drop through each success. It is vital to your preparation. Self-belief is the differentiating quality between two people of equal caliber. One who believes in oneself soars to the top. One who constantly doubts oneself, will always have a reservoir of unused potential.
- Work in the right spirit. If you are trying for an IIT because you’ve been told that your life is set after you join IIT, then you are highly mistaken. Your life is nowhere close to being ‘set’ after joining IIT. In fact, your life begins from here. IIT shouldn’t be your goal so that you can live there comfortably and expect a huge package at the end of it. Please don’t do this. IIT should be your goal so that you can receive good-quality education from one of the premium institutes of India, enhance your personality, interact with the brightest minds of the country and learn.
- Be humble. A common quality in most successful people is their humility and down-to-earth attitude. It may not be evident how being humble helps you in your preparation. But it does. A humble attitude allows you to learn from everyone around you, even if they’ve been getting lower marks than you. Arrogance is devastating.
IIT JEE preparation is a long and arduous journey. Even attempting to complete it is worth an applause. But it is a journey which teaches you more than academics. It teaches you about life, in a way that nothing else does. After completing your journey, you would’ve evolved into a more mature person. A tough and confident person who is willing to take up any challenge and who has the hunger to succeed.
All the best!
(AIR 228, JEE Advanced 2019)
This is a guest post from Ishan Kapnadak (IIT-Bombay), published here with his permission.