How to Prepare For IIT JEE Main and Advanced?
Are you considering a future in the engineering field? If your answer to this question is yes then you might be well aware of the Joint Entrance Examinations that are conducted every year to help you enter into top IITs and NITs in India.
JEE has evolved over the past many years. Earlier it was just IIT-JEE conducted in offline mode but now the prestigious engineering competitive exam is held in two parts. One is JEE Main, other being JEE Advanced. Candidates who qualify in stage one i.e. JEE Main will only be allowed to appear for JEE Advanced. The rank of JEE Advanced decides which IIT or engineering college you get.
In order to access the competency of students for admission to premier higher education institutions, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India (GOI) has established the ‘National Testing Agency’ (NTA). This exam conducting authority will be responsible for conducting a transparent, efficient, and international standard test. As per the announcement in the year 2018 by MHRD, JEE Main is scheduled two times a year in computer-based mode while JEE Advanced still remains a single attempt paper conducted by anyone of the present IITs in computer-based mode.
A lot of students decide to prepare for JEE but aren’t able to figure out the process or the right strategy of preparation. I have, therefore, tried to cover every point in depth which will be beneficial in your preparation. Let’s get started-
JEE Main and Advanced 2020/2021 preparation guide
I have tried to simplify the post by dividing it into 7 simple subparts: Please read each and every point very carefully.
- Time Management for JEE Exam Preparation
- How to prepare a plan and follow it religiously
- Get familiar with exam pattern and syllabus
- The perfect model of learning – Online, offline or self-study
- Important Books for JEE Main and Advanced
- Solve previous year question papers and look at the solutions
- Take timed practice mock tests
Let’s decode each point one by one without any delay!
1. Time Management for JEE Exam Preparation
‘Time is valuable, and when it is gone, it is gone. Time is wealth, and unlike money, when it passes, you cannot replace it.’ To clear India’s one of the biggest and not-so-easy-to-crack examination, one of the most important elements in the management of time. You need to fix this point in your mind that without time management, you are simply not going to achieve your goals no matter how hard you have been trying so far.
You will have to manage time not only during your two or one years of preparation but also while sitting in the exam. Both JEE Main and Advanced are of three hours each consisting of one and two papers respectively. Putting your time to good use can bring out magical results. So, time is precious, every minute counts in your preparation.
The question arises how should aspirants manage time for JEE exam preparation? I have tried to compile 5 key points which shall shed some light on this question.
a). Figure out what is important and what is not – Often it happens that a student dives into the syllabus of JEE directly without shortlisting the important chapters or planning a task. This can later become very stressful because an unplanned preparation equals no preparation at all. What to do? Take a print out of the syllabus for both JEE Main and Advanced. Segregate the important chapters of Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics with weightage.
b). Begin with high weightage chapters first– Starting with topics that hold greater importance is always advised by experts. In fact, toppers say that completing important topics gives a sense of accomplishment and eventually relieves the brain from stress. Therefore, students should begin their tasks with high weightage chapters or topics.
c). Leisure time? Not anymore– Taking a break in between study hours is allowed but unnecessary outings, chitchats, movies, gaming, using mobile is a big NO. Cutting yourself entirely from friends and family is also not recommended but you need to limit your time for outings and family gatherings. These will keep distracting your brain and eventually affect your JEE preparation. You have to be a little strict upon yourself and not indulge in distractions.
d). Procrastination – A big NO- Preparation of the JEE examination requires 1% of effort every day. There is no escaping and there should be no postponing of tasks. Students who procrastinate tend to push themselves toward the path of failure. The reason is simple. When you keep delaying a task, you indirectly make backlogs.
What you can do to not procrastinate? If you are facing any difficulty in studying subjects then instead of delaying it try to plan small steps to achieve a bigger target. For example- In Mathematics, start with a chapter, understand the formula on day one, revise the formula and learn its derivation on day two, solve 2 easy questions on day 3, and this way move to difficult questions so that you can eventually master the subject.
e). Instruct your brain- This one is quite interesting. You must have noticed that if you tell your brain to complete a task in the given deadline, it makes sure you do it within the time limit. On the other hand, if you think you’ve got 5 hours to study a chapter, the brain will process this task slowly. So, the key point is to set a time duration for everything that you do.
2. How to prepare a plan and follow it religiously?
‘Success does not lie in results but in efforts, being the best is not so important, doing the best is all that matters’. All aspirants should understand the fact that there will be no magic happening overnight. And for practicing every day, you need to first make a solid and practical plan.
1). How should you start? Begin by making a to-do list. Maintain a diary and start listing your daily activities in that. It is believed that to make an activity a habit, you need to follow it for 21 days at a stretch. Start with a planner or any mobile app whichever works well for you and make sure not to waste any single minute. Keep an eye on the dates of examinations
2). When to make a to-do list? You should do it either before going to bed or quickly after waking up in the morning. It will hardly take 10-15 minutes and no rocket science is involved. If you plan your entire day your brain is aware to complete those X number of tasks helping you save time.
3). What to avoid?
a). Sticking to your mobile phones, watching Netflix, spending too much time on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, video games or watching movies, etc. You might get completely lost in social media apps and not realize the amount of time you’ve wasted. So, you have to really avoid all these and utilize every second smartly. These are mere distractions and they will not help you gain anything in your preparation.
How to avoid distractions? With meditation and self-control, you will be able to control your urge of checking Instagram, Twitter, etc. and stay away from these social media distractions. You might also deactivate your account for some time.
b). Eating junk and processed food. Students should strictly avoid eating pizzas, burgers, oily, fatty food because these give you unwanted calories and fat. Processed food is high on calories and tends to make you lazy and obese.
c). Avoid comparing yourself with your fellow peer group. A comparison can motivate some people to do better or demotivate others affecting their confidence and preparation. It totally depends on how you take it. There is no denying the fact that you are competing with lakhs of other students including your friends to secure a seat in this national level examination but comparing your preparation and demotivating yourself is also not correct. Rather, you should be your biggest competition.
4). What you cannot miss out?
a). Your health and fitness regime should be a part of your schedule. A healthy mind and body are quintessential for the preparation of JEE Main and Advanced. You need to relax and calm down your brain at regular intervals. So, keep some time for yoga, running, playing, exercising, etc. as already mentioned above.
b). Your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yes, you read it right! You cannot miss out or skip any of your daily meals. They are equally important as preparing for the exam.
c). Often a lot of students due to stress and fear aren’t able to sleep properly which later on hampers their functioning of the brain. It should be noted that enough amount of sleep is extremely crucial for staying alert and active. Without the presence of mind, you will not be able to succeed in JEE. So, students should sleep for at least 7-8 hours without any disturbance. Sleep Well, Sleep Tight!
5). Quick Tips
a). Start penning down your formulas and reactions on flashcards and take them when you go outside, visit a library or meeting friends, etc. Just get a glimpse of these flashcards and keep them back in the pocket. This is a great idea to remember formulas quickly.
b). Review your day. After you are finished with your daily activities, take 10-15 minutes in analyzing the following questions-
- What was my target?
- Am I satisfied with my performance today?
- What did I achieve?
- How do I optimize my time to perform better?
- Where did I go wrong?
- How do I improve my concentration?
This activity will hardly take 10 minutes of yours. When you retrospect your day you tend to become more organized and self-aware.
c). Be in the company of those who have cleared JEE with a good rank. They will be able to explain to you better about the short tricks and useful tips to crack the exam. Also, a good mentor/guide/teacher can work wonders in your life. S/he should help you with problems, motivates you regularly, boost your confidence and help you stay positive throughout.
3. Know the syllabus and the exam pattern (including weightage)
The JEE Main and Advanced Syllabus are huge and in order to get a decent position, you should ensure that you have practiced enough for all the three subjects – Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.
How to become well-prepared for PCM subjects?
To gain authority and mastery over the PCM, you should begin with all the important chapters first. Later on to assure that you have understood the concepts fully, practice an ample number of questions. Practice does make a man perfect. So, hone perfection with regular practice.
Set your priority on topics with which you are beginning your preparation. Take a print of the syllabus from the official website of JEE Main (https://jeemain.nic.in/) and JEE Advanced (https://jeeadv.ac.in/). And categorize chapters as most important and less important. The ones which have got the topmost priority have to be completed first.
How to begin with a chapter or topic?
Start reading from the study material and focus on understanding the formulas, reactions. Try to relate them with daily life situations or experiences. While studying, make your own notes. Once you are through the chapter, start solving examples. Understand their solutions and then try to attempt unsolved questions on your own. When done with the first chapter, move on to the next topic. Slowly, you will get a sigh of relief knowing that the majority of the high-weightage chapters have already been completed by you well in time. It will help you achieve a good rank.
Before you start your preparation you must go through the information brochure released by National Testing Agency (NTA).
Paper pattern for Online JEE Main Exam:
- Exam Conducting Authority- National Testing Agency which is an autonomous, self-sustained premier exam conducting authority
- How many attempts- 2 attempts for JEE Main from the year 2020. One will be in January, the second attempt will be in April
- Exam mode- Computer-based
- Question type- Multiple type questions. There will be four options out of which students have to select one correct option
- Marking scheme- 4 marks awarded for each correct response and 1 mark deducted for an incorrect answer
- The total number of questions – 90 questions
- Subjects tested- Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics
- Subject-wise questions – 30 questions from Physics, 30 from Chemistry, and 30 from Mathematics
- Total marks – 360 marks
- Subject-wise marking scheme- 120 marks Physics, 120 marks Chemistry, 120 marks Mathematics
- The total duration of the paper- 3 hours
- Can a student re-appear for April exam if he has already appeared for January JEE main- Yes
- Answer recorded on – OMR sheet as per JEE rules
- Eligibility Criteria and syllabus – Read JEE Main 2020 eligibility criteria and PCM syllabus
(Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics Subject Wise Question)
(IIT-JEE Subject wise Marking Scheme)
All JEE aspirants must be aware of the fact that if a student clears JEE Main then only s/he is allowed to sit for JEE Advanced which is conducted every year by one of the IITs under the guidance of Joint Admission Board. To know everything about the advanced paper, click JEE Advanced 2020: Registration, Exam Dates & Syllabus.
4. Coaching Classes – Online or Offline or Self-study?
This might seem to be a perpetual question to many but I have got an answer to this. With the online revolution in India, today I feel online coaching classes along with self-study are a crucial part of your JEE Preparation. How and why you should also agree, let us go over the pros and cons of both these types of coaching classes quickly.
Advantages of Online Classes for JEE:
- Study at your valuable time
- You get free from traveling hassles and expenses
- Learn at your own pace whenever and wherever you want
- Renders the flexibility and feasibility of watching video lectures
- You can watch courses gain and gain as many times as you want
- A study from the comfort of your homes
- Track your progress easily using online tools
- A vast variety of options available
- Video lectures are interactive and fun to watch
- Ask multiple questions & clear doubts on the forum
Cons of online coaching for JEE:
- No direct face-to-face interaction with the teacher or other students
- Doubt clearance is an issue
Pros of Offline coaching for JEE:
- Direct one-on-one interaction with the teacher
- Good networking with fellow students
Disadvantages of Offline Coaching for JEE:
- Extremely expensive, can’t be afforded by all
- Disturbance in classrooms distract students
- You have to learn at the teacher’s pace
- Top batches are given top faculties, leaves a feeling of discrimination
- No detailed feedback on student’s performance
- Can’t ask a lot of doubts from the teacher owing to time limitations
- Traveling to and from the coaching institute is tiring
Clearly with the advantages of online coaching you are bound to agree that it is removing the barrier in education and creating a shift in the mode of learning methods. Well, whatever is the mode of learning – offline or online is; I would recommend joining at least one coaching because in both the cases students will have to devote time to self-study which will make a major change in their preparation. Remember, the JEE paper is analytical. So, the questions are concept and application-based. No theory questions will be put up! So, apart from what you practice and learn in coaching classes, you will have to dedicate extra time to self-study.
You should also read the best Online Coaching Institute for IIT JEE
Is self-study sufficient to crack JEE?
Well, not really. Thought it might be possible that a few students with self-study are able to crack the exam but the number of such candidates is less in comparison to those who join coaching institutes. The reason is clear. You study from the best and experienced teachers who themselves have cleared the exam. So, getting tips from such learned persons will always improve and benefit your preparation. Moreover, online or offline coaching institutes provide the best study material and quality questions that have chances of coming in the exam. So, I would say with only self-study it is not impossible but a little harder to clear JEE paper.
5. Important Books for JEE Main and Advanced
Selection of the right study material and books hold importance because these books will give direction to your JEE preparation. So, I am mentioning some important reference books for subjects Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics which students should refer to-
- Textbook for Class 11th NCERT
- Textbook for Class 12th NCERT
- Physical Chemistry by O.P. Tandon
- Physical Chemistry by P. Bahadur
- Modern Approach to Chemical Calculation By RC Mukherjee
- Organic Chemistry by O.P Tandon
- Advanced Problems in Organic Chemistry by MS Chauhan
- Organic Chemistry by Solomons and Fryhle
- Concise Inorganic Chemistry by J.D. Lee
- ETOOS Comprehensive Chemistry Study Material for JEE – Main & Advanced (Class 11th)
- ETOOS Comprehensive Chemistry Study Material for JEE – Main & Advanced (Class 12th)
- JEE Complete Study Material (Chemistry) For Main and Adv (XI + XII or XIII Class)
- NCERT for both 11th and 12th Std.
- Concepts of Physics Volume 1 & Volume 2 by H.C. Verma
- Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick & Walker
- Problems in General Physics by I.E. Irodov
- ETOOS Comprehensive Physics Study Material for JEE – Main & Advanced (Class 11th)
- ETOOS Comprehensive Physics Study Material for JEE – Main & Advanced (Class 12th)
- NCERT books for class 11th and 12th
- Mathematics for Class 11 & Class 12 by RD Sharma
- Maths for Class 11 & Class 12 by R.S. Agarwal
- Hall & Knight – Higher Algebra
- Plane Trigonometry by SL Loney
- Differential and Integral Calculus from Arihant
- ETOOS Comprehensive Mathematics Study Material for JEE – Main & Advanced (Class 11th)
- ETOOS Comprehensive Mathematics Study Material for JEE – Main & Advanced (Class 12th)
Do consult your mentor before buying any of the reference books but NCERT books are mandatory.
6. Solve sample papers and previous years’ question papers
If you are willing to know the mindset of the examiner, you ought to solve sample papers and previous year question papers. Students who have solved at least past 10 years questions papers and are well-familiar with the approach of solving the question are always at an upper edge than those who haven’t solved.
The people who set the JEE Main and Advanced papers are highly talented professors, Iitians or subject-matter experts. These people want to test the understanding of concepts and see if you acquainted with the application of concepts. If you think you’re going to get value-based questions, then you’re mistaken. Questions in both JEE Main and Advanced paper are integrated from different topics. For example, you might see a question containing the concept of Thermodynamics involving the calculation of calculus. So, you have to be thorough with every little thing. It is advisable to not leave any topic.
How solving JEE previous year question papers help?
- Do you know questions from previous year papers might repeat? Yes, it true. You might see a similar question that has appeared in the past in your upcoming JEE Main or Advanced paper. Experts suggest that concepts and formulas are not going to change but questions will. So, by solving sample papers and previous year question papers of JEE, you come across a variety of questions that can be framed.
- Just like your body needs regular medical check-up JEE preparation also needs timely check-ups and tests. And this is where these exam papers come into the role. The sample papers and previous year papers are designed in a similar exam pattern covering the entire syllabus of Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. It gives you a reality check of your on-going preparation. If you score well, good for you, aim for a better score. If you do not score well, understand your weak areas and prepare harder.
- Solving JEE exam sample papers will eventually lower down your stress level on the main exam day. If you repeatedly practice a variety of questions, you will develop confidence. Slowly you become prone to solve those ‘typical questions’ easily. As a result, by continuously familiarizing yourself with solving these papers, the exam fear will disappear automatically.
- If a student solves the papers in similar exam conditions, i.e. with an OMR sheet and set a timer, then you will easily get the actual feel of the exam and an idea of the difficulty level of the paper. Your brain will also adopt the exam environment and thus, reduce anxiety, panic attacks, etc.
Remember, a concept does not change. It is, therefore, repeatedly said that get a hold on the concepts. Ask your teachers or mentors to explain the formula with some real-life situation or an example. This way you will easily understand and memorize it too.
One thing I would like to lay emphasis on is going through the solutions at the end of each exam paper. I feel it helps you develop a problem-solving strategy, you discover different ways to tackle a problem and increase your speed and accuracy.
7. Take timed practice mock tests
The idea of online mock tests is to provide a sense of familiarity with the students before the examination and also help you with the revision process. Both JEE Main and Advanced are computer-based as the online system ensures error-free analysis of the result, faster result detection and fewer chances of cheating. So, experts suggest giving mock tests online only.
How the online JEE mock test series is beneficial?
- Builds time-management skills
You know that all exams (school or national level) are timed which means a student has to solve a number of questions in a given time. Now just imagine due to lack of practice or knowledge you do not know how and where to invest time properly in the JEE exam paper. What will happen? You probably won’t be able to complete the paper in time and your pivotal chance will be just a waste. Mock tests or online test series come to your rescue here. They can work wonders because they teach you time-management skills. Practicing mock tests helps you identify how much time needs to be devoted to every section. And isn’t it a safe option to commit mistakes in mock tests rather in the main JEE paper? Now, you know the importance of JEE mock practice tests.
- Assess your preparation nationally
Some of the smartest and best brains of India will be competing with you for India’s one of the toughest examinations. Every aspirant puts their best to crack a seat in IITs or NITs. Therefore, it becomes imperative that at every step you are aware of your current status of preparation. You have to improve on the areas where you lack. Also, at the end of the paper what matters is the All India Rank AIR. With online JEE practice tests, you will get details like your overall score, national rank, percentile, state rank, time spent on each question, etc. This detailed and exhaustive analysis will help you curate your preparation strategy.
- Gives you an idea of strong & weak portions
The prime objective of JEE mock papers is to let aspirants know about their strengths and weakness. Sitting in mock tests and solving questions will give a rough idea of the exam paper. Once you are done with the paper, analyze every question. You will know which topics of PCM you will have to work hard on and which are your strong portions. Both toppers of IIT-JEE and experts believe that giving JEE mock test prior to the examination is an effective way to gain speed.
When to start giving JEE mock tests?
When your syllabus is completed, when you know you have fully gained an understanding of the concept, when you are confident to solve tricky problems, when you have done with your JEE revision then you must begin with the JEE test series. However, one thing you need to remember is to practice both easy and tough questions.
Often students believe that the JEE exam paper consists of only tough questions. This ideology is incorrect. If you start thinking in a complicated way for every question then you might never be able to solve easy problems. Hence, start with the easy ones, Move to the moderately difficult and then difficult.
Start with some of the best online mock tests for JEE!
Conclusion- Clearing JEE is going to bring you a lot of opportunities in the engineering/architecture sector. Therefore, students are advised to take the 2 years or 1 year preparation time very seriously. Candidates with full determination and dedication are only going to hit the bull’s eye. So, start today for a better tomorrow!
Do let me know about this post in the comment section below. If you have any query then you may contact me by putting a comment.
Wish you all the very best for your JEE Main and Advanced examinations.
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