JEE-na issi ka naam hai? Weighing in on IIT aspirants’ rigorous timetable - Hindustan Times

JEE-na issi ka naam hai? Weighing in on IIT aspirants’ rigorous timetable

ByKriti Kambiri
Apr 07, 2024 03:55 AM IST

A JEE aspirant’s schedule, with 16 hours and 45 minutes of prep and just four hours of sleep, has left internet users asking: How much is too much?

For science students, it’s the most crucial time of the year as they sit down to attempt the second session of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main. Touted among the toughest competitive exams in the country, aspirants hoping to join the technical fields are juggling between practice tests and last-minute revisions. Now, a recent post on X, showing the timetable of a JEE aspirant, has gone viral (over 655K views) and raised questions about the laborious preparation — involving 16 hours and 45 minutes of studying, leaving just 4.5 hours for sleep alongside short naps and food breaks. Are these patterns productive or detrimental? IIT aspirants, IIT Delhi alumni and medical experts weigh in.

A still from the web series Kota Factory.
A still from the web series Kota Factory.

Aspirants' tales

“My preparation for the current exam cycle has also been quite rigorous. I’ve been self-studying for over 12 hours daily,” informs Tanmay Krishna, a resident of East Kidwai Nagar, adding, “I took a gap year so that I don’t have school work or boards to worry about. Before the first session of JEE Main, I took coaching and had classes on six days of the week, from 8am to 7pm, and I followed that up with some self-study. Now, I wake up at 6am and study for four hours at a stretch, then from noon to 4pm, and again from 6pm to 10pm.”

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But, not all aspirants think following such a timetable is sustainable in the long run. “Aise padhai karenge toh jeeyenge kab?” opines Ishita Arora, a resident of Kailash Colony. Just done with her board exams, she feels, “I have been studying for eight-to-10 hours a day and sleep for a full eight hours. I also hang out with my friends between the study sessions. Only in films or OTT shows do we see such a tight schedule being followed. In reality, we need some socialising and downtime in order to recover.”

Alumni's take

Kshitij Morodia, an alumnus of IIT Delhi from batch of 2019, shares, “It doesn’t matter how many hours in a day you study if you’re too burnt out to remember it. You need to use the time judiciously. Back when I was preparing in 2011-12, I kept weekly and monthly checkpoints instead of a super strict daily schedule, which changed according to the timings of school and coaching classes. This (the timetable in the viral post) is an extreme case.” Morodia, who works as a software engineer at Goldman Sachs, adds, “You can’t just throw hours at something and magically hope to [get into IIT]. You have to do it efficiently.”

Shivam Khare, a senior software engineer at X Corp who graduated from IIT Delhi in 2016, says, “I used to study for about 12 hours a day when I was in class XI and XII, and that included school and coaching centre classes. In the final months of class XII, it was limited to revision for about four-to-five hours... I always tried to study when I would enjoy it, so I used to be relaxed. But now, it seems like the competition is higher, so naturally, the JEE would be tougher. Still, the schedule shared online looks extremely rigorous.”

Doc's advice

“I would advise against following such a schedule,” says Vandana, a clinical psychologist at AIIMS, Delhi. She explains, “It might be possible that some children are studying in that manner, but it is also possible that the timetable is just made up to get likes and traction [on social media]. We often see some exaggeration in seeking approval... For a young mind that is still developing, it’s imperative to give it time to rest and recuperate. If a child doesn’t get enough sleep, they will not be able to retain that much information, leading to a constant cycle of worrying, studying and forgetting. A minimum of six-to-eight hours of sleep at night is essential at this stage of development, both for the mind and body.”

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