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IIT JEE: Adopt the EMD approach
Ajay Antony
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March 06, 2008

In the second part of our ongoing series on IIT-JEE preparation tips, we look at the flow of the examination in 2007 from the composition of the Paper 1 and Paper 2.


Let us remind you, we are looking at IIT-JEE as the benchmark for any kind of possible scenario because the overall structure of JEE 2008 is similar to that in 2007. The 2007 paper also had a first to its credit -- it was the first time that the question paper was given out -- ie students could actually carry the question papers with them.


One good thing about this is that, as you read this article, you could have the actual JEE paper of 2007 -- in its undiluted original version -- by your side to get the maximum benefit of all the points that we are discussing.


We will look at the subjects -- in Paper 1 and Paper 2 -- from an angle what we call as "Easy, Medium and Difficult" or what we refer to at TIME as the EMD approach of classifying questions.


The EMD approach is a basic framework -- a starting point for better time-management. Easy questions are those that could be answered directly by a well prepared student. These will not have any twists/ surprises but direct application of concepts.


Medium questions involve multiple concepts and could prove to be lengthy. Still, as per analysis, 3 out of 4 questions in this category could be solved within the overall time available by a serious student. Difficult are the really tricky ones -- the questions that really involve multiple concepts and require multiple steps to solve them.


The IIT-JEE continues to be the most challenging engineering entrance examination. But the following analysis should give you some reason to cheer -- ie, if you have been preparing systematically over the last several months.


In Physics, we have categorised questions worth 81 marks (out of the total possible 162 marks) in the Easy category.


In Chemistry and Mathematics, the corresponding weightages for the Easy category are 65 and 47 respectively out of the total 162 marks each. 52, 76 and 73 marks are the weightages for the Medium category for Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in both the papers together.


Now, our analysis in the above paragraph clearly indicates that there is a substantial percentage of the total marks to be scored without even attempting the questions that are categorised as Difficult.


In fact, the percentages of marks that can be scored without counting the Difficult category questions for Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are 82 per cent, 85 per cent and 74 per cent.

Now let's read this data with the actual scores of some students who qualified in IIT-JEE 2007. What follows is from hindsight. But any analysis that instills foresight is good.


A student who score 62 per cent overall -- of course after clearing the subject-wise cutoffs -- scored an all-India rank of 911. A student with 70 per cent stood at all-India rank 258.


What you can infer from the above analysis is very clear -- stay cool with the JEE. It challenges you alright. But it has enough dough available for you to knead your success.


So as far the preparation during the final phase is concerned, if you have completely ignored any area -- we suggest that you do not spend your time starting from scratch in that area. Instead, focus on your strengths and consolidate.


Ajay Antony is vice president, TIME. He has been involved in IIT-JEE training for several years. His subject area is Physics. TIME is a national-level training organisation with offices in 78 cities across India and is engaged in training students for various competitive entrance examinations.


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