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Conquering IIT-JEE

Here are some last-minute tips on acing the most sought-after entrance test in India for engineering

education Updated: Apr 06, 2011 09:17 IST
Garima Upadhyay

Now that the IIT-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) is round the corner, it is time to take stock of the situation and put your best foot forward. Slated for April 10, the exam is expected to get close to 4.85 lakh candidates fighting it out for a seat in one of the 15 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

Here are some tips for the last few days of preparation that’ll help you sail through the exam:

Preparation strategy
No feat was achieved without a proper plan and strategy. Ensure that you have a proper schedule in place for these last few days. Shyam Mohan Gupta, director, Vidya Mandir Classes, says, “Divide your study matter into small units based on the topics in the revision checklist or syllabus. Once the units are listed, allot proper time for each unit ensuring more time for difficult ones. Don’t forget little breaks; in your time schedule include time for activities which require you to breathe in fresh air. Take a five- or 10-minute break every hour and do some stretching exercises or go for a short walk. You may find it helpful to change from one subject to another at ‘break’ time, for example doing one or two sessions of maths and then alternating it with a different subject will help you study well.”

Revise, revise
With barely four days left for the examination, an areawise revision is still a very good idea. Besides that, a strength, weakness, opportunity, threat (SWOT) analysis of the model test papers you have done so far will also help you check your performance. “Review the last three full length model examinations that you have done and identify your mistakes. Reinforce those concepts and ensure that you are absolutely comfortable with the method of problem solving,” advises Ajay Antony, course director, IIT JEE, TIME.

Exam strategy
“If you find the question paper easy, don’t get excited, observe extra care while attempting and selecting the answers. On the other hand, if you think the paper is difficult, keep calm and pay attention to solving questions efficiently. Always remember, it is equally difficult for everyone and would hardly affect your rank. When stuck on a question, change the approach and try afresh. Don’t spend too much time on a particular question. Often you get the correct approach in the second attempt to such questions. Once the JEE is over, do not sit and wait for results, keep working for your forthcoming examinations which are also equally important,” says Krishna Deo Pandey, director (academics), Discovering Talents, Delhi.

Last-minute advice
While the pressure to perform is immense, the trick to succeed at the exam lies in keeping your cool before and during the exam. “It is a mind game, although the time may be short, but you can still make a difference to your rank. Try to prioritise whatever you want to do. Use your revision tools (prompts, diagrams etc) to check final facts, be calm and consolidate your existing knowledge rather than trying to learn new topics in the last minute. Don’t stay up all night revising; being exhausted will not help you to give your best. Don’t worry over the exam; ask your self that what’s the worst thing that can happen if you don’t do well in one test. Excessive stress will make you crazy and deter you from shining in the exam,” says Gupta.

During the exam, pay special attention to reading the question. Often there are questions that require you to select more than one answer, but in haste many don’t read the full question and lose out on marks.

Pandey says, “Read the question carefully and if it reads ‘may have more than one answer’, it’s possible that just one answer is correct. But if it reads ‘have more than one answer’, you must have at least two correct answers. Remember you are using a pencil to mark your answers, so revise and change answers if necessary.” Carry a quality eraser with you for this purpose.