Preparing for the Last Leg- JEE Mains

Gauri Chhabra
Every year the XII Board exam come with a whirlwind- and with them comes their cousin- the competitive exams to various colleges. Students are caught in the wedge- between the XII Public examination and the Competitive exams. The one that tops the list of competitive exams is the JEE Mains earlier known as the AIEEE, for admissions to IIT’s,NITs, IIITs and GFTI’s and other Engineering Colleges.
Being an exam of a mammoth magnitude, JEE Mains brings with it a lot of euphoria and edginess as the number of applicants keeps on increasing year after year- this year, however it has come down to 12.07 lakh applicants.
JEE Main
JEE Main 2016, conducted by CBSE, is the first stage examination for admissions to prestigious IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and ISM (Indian School of Mines) Dhanbad. It will be held both in the offline(on April 3, 2016) and online mode. (on April 9 and 10, 2016). The top 2 lakh candidates of JEE Main would be eligible to appear for JEE Advanced, which is the second stage of entrance test for admissions to IITs and ISM.Admissions would be granted  on the basis of All India Ranks calculated with JEE Main 2016 scores and normalized marks of Class XII in the ratio 60:40.
The syllabus provides engineering and architecture aspirants a topic-wise breakup of each section- Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Conducting body for JEE Main 2016, CBSE, has published the detailed syllabus for JEE Main along with the notification for JEE Main 2016. Candidates appearing in this entrance exam can check JEE Main 2016 syllabus of all subjects to get an idea about this year’s curriculum.
The Examination at present includes two papers. Paper 1 is for candidates of BE/B.Tech andPaper 2 is for candidates of B.Arch/ B. Planning course.Paper 1 comprises 30 questions each from Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics, and all questions will have equal weightage( 4 marks). You have to mark only one response for each question out of four responses given. One-fourth mark will be deducted for indicating incorrect response of each question. If no response is indicated for a question, there is no deduction from the total score. Paper 2 is for the B.Arch/B. Planning and comprises Maths, Aptitude test and Drawing test.
JEE Advanced
The top two lakh rank holders from JEE Mains graduate to JEE Advanced that is the second stage of JEE and would be held on May 22nd, 2016 for which online registration and filling of application form will commence from April 29, 2016.A candidate can attempt this exam a maximum of two times and that too in consecutive years. The syllabus will cover topics from Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics with which question paper will be prepared. Candidates appearing for JEE Advanced shall prepare these predetermined subject-wise topics thoroughly in order to secure a good score.
Exam Pattern
The paper pattern of this national level engineering entrance exam is not fixed and it may year by the conducting IIT. However, there are a total of 2 papers (paper 1 & 2) and candidates have to appear for both. The question paper consists of three separate sections viz., Physics- that would cover topics on General Topics, Mechanics, Thermal Physics, Electricity and Magnetism, Optics and Modern Physics; Chemistry that covers topics under Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistryand Mathematics that covers Algebra, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry, Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus and Vectors. The questions would be multiple choice and numerical answer type questions that are designed to test comprehension, reasoning and analytical ability of candidates.
How to prepare
Expert Speak: Ashutosh Sharma, Director, Ashutosh Coaching Classes Sangrur says,” I always advise my students to study the NCERT text books and also beyond. The syllabus might looksimilar but the level of the questions is very different. So, read the NCERT text books to get the concepts but also practice from other sources including previous years’ papers. The questions in the NCERT books are public exam oriented. On the other hand, the entrance exams ask objective type questions involving analysis and synthesis of concepts.You can plan the journey to the destination well if you know your strengths and weaknesses in advance.
For instance, you can be strong in Mathematics, average in Physics and weak in Chemistry.It is observed that those who crack the exams are the ones who do well in chemistry.¬† To prepare for Mathematics and Physics, concentrate on the quality problems as they would cement your understanding of concepts. To prepare for Chemistry, read NCERT for Inorganic Chemistry. For Organic part, first build up your all basic concepts and then start practicing. And for Physical part, practice as many number problems as you can.This is important because then you will create your plan to turn your weaknesses into strengths and ignore certain weaknesses if they are not important from exam point of you and improve your strengths. This would build confidence to crack the examination”.
Student Speaks- Working hard for having conceptual clarity rather than cramming .
Tanuj Ralli, who appeared in 2015, JEE Mains rank 20154, NIT Jalandhar attributes his success to systematic preparation through studying NCERT books and guidance from coaching institutes. He says,” I believe in hard work and strengthening the concepts rather than cramming. For me the seemingly impossible became possible through regular studies, concept strengthening, and motivation towards career and of course self-study. I kept on learning and practicing all concepts and topics that were being taught to me in my school and coaching classes. I have always worked hard for having conceptual clarity rather than cramming. Physics has always been my strength followed by Maths and Chemistry. However, I used to devote my time equally for all the three subjects. I used to remind myself not to lose concentration. With the help of NCERT books, I was able to devote my time properly for self-study. I studied for 4 to 5 hours in my coaching class and used to revise every subject daily. With the help of coaching classes and mock tests, I improved a lot. I would like to tell the future aspirants to study NCERT books thoroughly as it will strengthen your concepts and help you in staying confident”.
While attempting the paper- Know the short cut
JEE Mains is a test of speed and accuracy. It is advisable that they give 40-45 mins in attempting questions from any one subject they feel confident and move on to the second subject and then to the third. In the remaining time, the unsolved questioned may be reviewed. This would help in increasing the attempting rate. However, students may develop their own strategy based on their preferences.To maintain the right balance between the two, always attempt theoretical questions first and then questions which require calculation.
A few correct attempts in the beginning boosts the confidence and the positive energy makes you sail through. Try to attempt chemistry in the first hour as it has some easy questions and if you can solve these, you will feel confident. Also,if you want to solve all questions in the given time then you will have to remember some most important formulas and some short cuts in Maths. Skip irrelevant steps to save time.
Summing Up
To sum it up, the stakes for exams are quite high and with due preparation, perseverance and cool mind, you can crack the mammoth exam before you. All you need is to bootstrap every second you have and hit only at those questions you are confident of.