Approximately 40 to 45 per cent of the questions in the JEE Main and Advanced are asked from Class XI syllabus, says IIT-JEE expert Partha Halder.
Photograph: Kshitij Anand/Reuters
The country's most coveted engineering entrance exam JEE Advanced 2017, the gateway to the IITs is about five months away. It is scheduled on the May 21, 2017.
Engineering aspirants eyeing a seat in their dream IITs have now entered the most critical phase of their preparatory phase.
This is the time to fine tune your skills, harness your capabilities, monitor strengths and weaknesses, plug loopholes, assess your national level standing and engage in maximising your output.
Around this time students must have completed their syllabus for Class XII.
It's now time to change gear and move on to the next level. But, what is important is clinical planning and putting them into execution.
The following pointers should be helpful for you:
Prepare a concise study plan
Before going to the next level of preparation one must begin by preparing a study and concept-wise revision plan for the next few months.
The plan should be such that it should factor in two important milestone ie Class XII board exam and JEE Main ahead of JEE Advanced, 2017.
The right way to revise
If a student has completed Class XII syllabus by now, then they must immediately start revision for Class XI syllabus. As 40 to 45 per cent of the questions are asked from Class XI syllabus in JEE Main and also in JEE Advanced. Students would not get sufficient time for revision later due to Class XII board exam.
During revision, remember it is the quality of time spent that is important and not just the quantity.
One must engage in concept wise revision -- which means revision should NOT be chapter wise rather it should be concept wise.
Lot of times questions are asked wherein multiple concepts are interlinked. If a student revises concept wise then chances of inadvertently missing out on anything is minimal hence automatically their quality of attempts improves.
Also, while revising, students must pick up representative problems specific to a concept or chapter and solve them. So, while solving a question a student is reminded of certain concepts or techniques studied earlier and hence other associated things automatically gets refreshed in mind.
During revision, help and seek help from peer group. The best way to revise is to explain a topic to your friend. Complete clarity with respect to a topic comes only when you are able to express in your own words. Try to make it a regular practice.
Students preparing for JEE Advanced, often ignore few topics which are relevant for JEE Main; for example 'Chemistry in everyday life' or 'Semiconductor'.
It is important to focus on all topics that are relevant for the exam.
The JEE Advanced is a concept-based paper hence one needs to revise concepts and also its application thoroughly.
As questions asked are application based with the objective to judge a student's thinking and analytical ability with higher difficulty level, it is imperative to focus on all aspects of a concept.
Moreover, every year the pattern of paper and marking scheme remains a surprise element. And this plays a big role by impacting a student's performance.
Hence, questions must be solved by applying your reasoning and analytical ability. Refer to archives i.e previous years JEE Advanced question paper bank. This will help to build confidence to solve specific types of problems.
Time management is the key
Develop strategy for time management in between the sections i.e Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.
One must subscribe to a good All India Level Mock Test Series. Such test series should be pattern proof so that a student is mentally prepared for any kind of surprises.
This will help students assess their skills with respect to other good and serious students at the national level.
Solve as many mock tests
To begin with one must solve at least ONE part or full syllabus test paper in every week.
Subsequently appear in All India Level Mock test at least TWICE a month leading up to the exams.
If possible, subscribe to a good quality online test series.
Also, the report card generated after every such online mock test is instantaneous hence a student gets access to know in-depth performance analysis.
While writing the tests students should look at building the right exam temperament, body clock adjustment, ability to focus in various test-taking environments etc.
Assess your weak areas; change your strategies
Attend test analysis sessions by experts to gain insight on the ideal approach required to do well. Map it with your performance. Calculate the GAP. Prepare an action plan to narrow the gap.
Implement the newly formed strategy in the next All India Mock Tests. Assess the improvement.
Subject-wise weak areas needs to be identified and revisit those concepts all over again to eradicate them.
Students should stick to fundamental approach.
Keep concept clarity, there should not be any room for any doubts.
Understand and analyse the question(s) correctly
Every question will have some unique keyword. Students should underline those keywords while reading the question.
Typically a question will have concept basis hidden under each such keyword.
Once a student is able to decipher those keywords then they would be able to have absolute concept clarity on how to solve them. Thus it becomes easy to solve instantly. Hence students should not rush through while reading the question for the first time.
Success in JEE Advanced is directly proportional to the number of questions solved by 'YOU' and NOT 'solution seen by you'. Hence, one must NOT refer to solution without solving a question on one's own.
Give sufficient time to think logically and analytically to develop a solution approach to a problem.
Initially deploy conventional methods of solving. Gradually develop smarter and efficient ways to solve to save on time.
Focus on accuracy
During practice and while solving test papers one must keep a tab on the accuracy.
To score well one has to be quick and accurate. High speed with low accuracy would prove to be detrimental for JEE.
Avoid using a calculator and log tables during preparatory phase (as both are not allowed during the exam). Rely on mental calculation and harness your skills accordingly.
Choose questions wisely
Selection of question is extremely crucial. Every paper consists of easy, moderate and difficult questions. The JEE will be no different in this regard.
In fact, a good quality Test series will give you similar experience. Hence while solving mock test develop an eye for selecting the right questions.
By quickly solving the easy and moderate questions will enable you to clear the cut-off easily.
To go the next level attempting difficult ones would be the key. Judicious attempt should be practiced.
The idea is to keep negative marks at bay. This will automatically create a huge difference with the masses as they would be randomly picking up negative marks.
During this preparatory period i.e from now till February, one must simultaneously solve Class XII board exam test papers.
Though the difference between the syllabus of board and JEE is not substantial, one must practice previous years' board exam papers. Attempt few mock tests as well.
Prepare a list of points to remember for all concepts, topic wise and mark the ones that need more practice at your end.
Keep referring to high quality notes prepared over the last 18 months.
However, one must be careful to read the instructions while attempting the actual exam so that you are well aware of exam pattern and/or marking scheme.
Stay focussed and healthy
To pursue the above point's one must remain physically fit and mentally focussed. Hence practice meditation to develop inner calm, self control and power of concentration.
These matter a lot and will help you on the day of examination.
Do not overstress/overstretch yourself. Six to seven hours (especially between 11 pm to 6 am, this helps in setting body clock) of sleep is a must.
Late night study must be avoided. Include physical activity in your daily schedule to remain fit and to maintain the right energy level.
The author of this article Partha Halder is BTech (Chemical Engineering) and director at FIITJEE, Punjabi Bagh Centre.