Insights and Exam hacks from past JEE achievers

Every year as millions of engineering aspirants prepare for the JEE examination to get into the IITs, only 0.7% of students are successful. The IIT JEE examination is one of the most challenging engineering entrance tests, which requires a higher level of preparation compared to other engineering entrance exams as they wish to recruit the brightest and the sharpest minds in the country. Most students who have been successful in cracking the JEE exam have shared one common success mantra: ‘Undeterred focus and preparation for at least two years.’

Sarvesh Mehtani 2017 JEE AIR 1 says that the IIT dream began for him when he was in Class IX, which is when he started going to coaching classes since he needed focused preparation time to come out victorious. To complete the syllabus, he started with devoting 5-6 hours a day and when he proceeded to the revision stage, his study hours extended to the wee hours of the night. One of the most important aspects of his JEE preparation was taking mock tests extensively. This gave him an insight into what the IITs are really looking for in a candidate, which is ‘Is the candidate able to think like a problem solver?’

A resident of Panchkula, Pranav Goyal who secured AIR 1 in the 2018 JEE says that his love for Physics, Mathematics and Programming steered him into pursuing a career in engineering. Pranav says that he never focussed on the number of hours, but only on the quality of work that he put in every day. He said that for a competitive exam like JEE, coaching is essential since there are experts who can guide students in the right direction and give them the right advice. With regards to books, Pranav recommends Mathematics by SL Loney, Physics by HC Verma and Organic Chemistry by Solomon.

Delhi resident, Deepanshu Jindal, owes it all to his family for being a constant source of support and encouragement through the two years that he dedicated to preparing for the JEE. Due to his diligence and hard work, he was able to secure AIR 1 in the 2016 JEE. He confesses that in the first 12 months of his preparation, he didn’t have a fixed study schedule and since he was an avid cricket and football fan, he made sure he took time out to play. In the last 12 months leading up to the examination, he put in 8-9 hours of study without any distractions. During his preparation, he also decided to follow only one book throughout his preparation, instead of studying from several books. For Mathematics he studied from A Das Gupta; for Chemistry he followed J.D Lee and for Physics, H C Verma.

Another Delhi boy, Nikhil Chaturvedi who secured AIR 4 in the 2014 JEE said that he was thorough with the course given in his NCERT books and gave enough practice tests before he appeared for his exam. During the exam, Nikhil allocated 45 minutes to Chemistry, which he believes is his strong subject followed by an hour for Physics and the remaining time for Mathematics. He believes that students should be smart about creating a time management strategy for their exam and focus on completing the subject that they are most comfortable. This helps in setting the pace for the exam. Nikhil being a voracious reader and a debater in his school, St Columba’s said that he managed to find time for his passions along with his studies.

The story of Aanjaney Verma from Hrishikesh who scored a 99.91 percentile in the  JEE Mains 2019 is an inspiring one for all IIT aspirants. After failing to clear the exam the first time around, he decided to buckle down and give it another try. After reflecting on what went wrong the first time, he created a rigorous study schedule that he could follow and spend time getting his basic concepts strong. As he gears up for the 2019 JEE Advanced, he aims to continue the vigour and pace with which he studies to come out successful and join the college and programme of his choice.

Every engineering aspirant must do an analysis of their own strengths and weaknesses before preparing for the competitive exam. Along with building a strong base in the concepts that are important from the examination point of view, it is important to understand how they can utilize their time preparing and manage their time during the duration of the exam.