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Expert tips to crack the IIT-JEE

Last updated on: January 09, 2014 19:12 IST

Image: Performance in the Joint Entrance Examination is crucial for admission into undergraduate programmes at the Indian Institutes of Technology and National Institutes of Technology.
Photographs: Sahil Salvi/

In an online chat with readers, Vivek Gupta, an IIT-B alumnus and co-founder, Plancess EduSolutions Pvt Ltd, offered advice on how to crack the Joint Entrance Examination.

The IIT-JEE is an important examination for engineering aspirants in the country. It is taken by approximately 2 lakh students every year.

Conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, your overall performance in the Joint Entrance Examination will help you qualify for admission into undergraduate programmes at the Indian Institutes of Technology and National Institutes of Technology.

Since 2013, the JEE comprises JEE Mains and JEE Advanced.

The JEE (Main) score is important to qualify for the JEE (Advanced).

According to the new pattern, Class 12 board marks and JEE scores will carry 40 and 60 per cent weightage for engineering admissions respectively.

Here are the details of the examination this year:

JEE Main Offline Exam: (BE/BTech): April 6, 2014 (9.30 am to 12.30 pm IST)

JEE Main Online Exam: (BE/BTech): April 9, 11, 12 and 19, 2014 

1st shift: 9.30 to 12.30 IST

2nd Shift (if required) 2 to 5 pm IST

JEE Advanced Offline Exam: May 25, 2014

Paper 1:  9 am to 12 noon IST

Paper 2: 2 pm to 5 pm IST

To help readers understand more about the JEE pattern and strategies to optimise their scores, had organised a chat with Vivek Gupta, co-founder and director, Plancess EduSolutions Pvt Ltd,  on January 9 between 4 and 5 pm IST.

For those who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript:

shirish: How can I know whether I am qualified to write JEE (Advanced). How can i checked my self?

Vivek Gupta: The JEE Main results will be out on 3rd May. You may also check out the FAQs on the following link -

Arun Kumar: Why large number of people go to KOTA for JEE classes?

Vivek Gupta: Arun,I feel that the trend is gradually changing. And since JEE Main is probably going online in a couple of years, people now prefer to make use of Technology.

rajat: Preparing from 'Basics' is really important to have a good base for a right foundation.

Vivek Gupta: I completely agree with you Rajat.

jitesh: I want to now how many hours i should study a day? maximum and minimum?

Vivek Gupta: Hey Jitesh, honestly, you cannot quantify the final results. But yes, a lot of practice will definitely ensure a good result.

mustafa: Hi Vivek, please, help me with some mentally solving questions for JEE 2014.

Vivek Gupta: Hey mustafa, all you need is practice to develop some short cut tricks for cracking JEE problems.

bhanu: hi, students have the habit of cramming and learning as many new concepts as possible. At the same time, most of them fail to take mock tests before the actual exams.

Vivek Gupta: You are correct Bhanu.Testing yourself after sincere preparation is equally important. At the end of the day, all you need to do is crack as many questions as possible.

mustafa: Is it difficult to crack the JEE? I started preparing only last year.

Vivek Gupta: Hey Mustafa,It is just the competition that most people fear and not the difficulty level.

waman: How much time should I spend on mocks? Should I register for a test series? Pls recommend some good ones.

Vivek Gupta: Dear Waman, giving Tests after your preparation is the most important parameter that decides your success at JEE.

anil: Should I prepare for JEE after my board exam or before it? please advice.

Vivek Gupta: Anil, ideally, you need at least 8 months to 1 year of sincere preparation for exam like JEE Advanced. You won't have much time after you give your Board Exam. So I would recommend you to start the preparation as soon as possible.

haresh: Please share some strategies on how to approach the paper. Some dos and donts i can follow

Vivek Gupta: Hey Haresh, chemistry is the most scoring subject and least time consuming at the same time. Before you even see the paper, you should know which subject would you be attempting first and which would be the last. You should have practiced giving Mock Tests in the same fashion you would be attempting the final Paper. Don't worry about what the other person is doing. At last Believe in yourself!

somnath dey: My daughter is in Class VIII . How i I start to prepare her for IIT ? Pl. guide

Vivek Gupta: Somnath Ji,It's always good to get the basics first before moving to advanced sums. So it would be better if she works more on fundamentals of Maths and Science. Exposure to National Olympiads is a bonus. After all most of the Topics are same when we talk about 9th and 11th syllabus and similarly for 10th and 12th syllabus.

Amol Dhurve: How to time your preparation? How many hours to solve and how much to spend on revision

Vivek Gupta: Hey Amol,It all depends on your determination in the end. Try to maximize your effective study duration rather than increasing the time you sit on the Study Table. Get the concepts cleared first before attempting the questions.

Gurshan Gurmeet: Sir, I am consistently getting about 220-230 marks in mocks. What are my chances based on this performance?

Vivek Gupta: Hey Gurshan,Your scores relfects that you going on the right track. Keep practising and you will definitely nail it! The scores are good but try to aim a bit higher because the toughness level and the environment in which you are attempting the Tests also decides the final score.

Zeel Kappor: Will there be negative marking? How many questions should I attempt right so that I stand a good chance?

Vivek Gupta: Look Zeel!There is always a negative marking scheme applicable for both JEE Main and JEE Advanced. You can never quantify the number of questions to attempted in order to get a good rank. It all depends on the overall score. You can improve your performance by practising a lot of variety of questions.

Aatish Jagmanani: What should be the ideal overall score to get admission in the IITs?

Vivek Gupta: Hey Aatish.As per the norm, if you score atleast 40% marks in JEE Advanced (both papers included), then you can easily get a decent rank. For a really good rank though, you will have to target alteast 60% marks in JEE Advanced. You can check the last years cut-off here -

guddy: What is the procedure for getting into NITs?

Vivek Gupta: Hello Guddy!For getting into NITs and IIITs you need to clear JEE Main exam which is usually conducted in the beginning of April.

Vinayak Tavade: What is the weightage attached to class 10 and 12 marks? What is the minimum marks and percentage I must score to qualify for JEE?

Vivek Gupta: Dear Vinayak,Your class 10th percentage has no role to play in any way for your selection in JEE. Although your 12th Board marks has a significant role from now on. Kindly refer my reply to Nitin Deshmukh's Question.

Nitin Deshmukh: Does the board you take your class 12 examination in affect your All India Rank?

Vivek Gupta: See Nitin, from now on 12th Board score has a 40 % weightage in deciding whether you are eligible for JEE Advanced or not. It does not affect your AIR in JEE Advanced. But it does have a significant effect on your JEE Main Rank. 60 % weightage is given to your aggregate JEE Main Score and 40 % weightage is given to Normalized Board Score.

shaishav: Sir, I am in class eighth. When should one start preparing for JEE?

Vivek Gupta: Hey Shaishav, It's really good to hear that you have started thinking about cracking JEE from 8th standard itself. I would recommend you to build your foundation level Maths and Science so that it helps you down the line during your actual preparation in 11th and 12th. Also try to participate in National Level Olympaids like NSO, NCO, IMO, NTSE.