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Posted at: Mar 15, 2017, 12:36 AM; last updated: Mar 15, 2017, 12:36 AM (IST)ON BOARDS

Don’t lose focus of JEE preparation

Don’t lose focus  of JEE preparation

Ramesh Batlish

After the Boards get over in March, many of the students of Class XII will be taking up the JEE Main exam on April 2, 2017. At this stage, many students are anxious about simultaneously balancing the Boards along with their IIT JEE preparation. Though for a layman the syllabus remains the same for both,  JEE requires in-depth knowledge of concepts whereas in Board exams a student needs to memorise these concepts at length to produce desirable results. Here are some  tips to help students to optimise their performance in both the examinations:

1 Prepare withoutlosing tempo

While the students are preparing for two distinct examinations, the good thing is that the syllabi and the paper setting authorities are common. The JEE main examination paper as well as the CBSE Board paper both are set by the CBSE. Sometimes considering the proximity to the Board exams, students tend to focus exclusively on the Board-type questions and start losing touch with the IIT JEE type questions. However, one must understand that if one is preparing for IIT JEE, one is automatically preparing for the Boards. The focus should be on understanding the concepts rather than mugging them up. If one has a thorough understanding of the subject, one should be comfortably able to answer the questions in both types of examinations. One should continue to take JEE-type mock tests even during this period. 

2 Give emphasis to exclusive Board-type questions

There are certain sub-topics in various subjects which generally get more weightage in the Boards because the questions are subjective type. There are also some topics which are part of JEE Main but not part of the JEE Advanced exam which some students tend to ignore during their preparation. For example, in physics the chapters on Semiconductor Devices, Communications Systems and Electromagnetic Waves are part of JEE Main and the Board exam but not part of the Advanced Exam. Students should carefully study these chapters along with the Questions from the Sample papers so that they can comfortably handle descriptive questions from these chapters. 

A good source to prepare these chapters would be an Archive of JEE Main/ AIEEE questions of the previous years for JEE Main along with a good collection of Sample Papers for Board.

3 Communicateclearly

While the Board exam as well as the JEE Main paper, both are set by CBSE, the approach required for attempting the exams is entirely different. JEE exam is an objective type exam where it is not important to go through the steps of calculation, one may do all the calculations in one's head or just some rough scribbling in the question paper. All that matters is that you tick the right option. 

It does not matter, whether you do it by elimination of other options, or use any other trick. However, in Boards there is step marking and your working out of the intermediate steps is as important as getting the final answer correct. 

Some extremely bright students tend to lose the marks in Board-type examinations not because of their lack of knowledge, but only because of their poor presentation and skipping the steps/ doing the intermediate steps in their head or just scribbling around in the margins.

4 Take tips from the writing style of toppers

Previous years' toppers answer sheets can be found on the internet for all the subjects by simply googling "best answer sheets".  In fact, we have tried to analyse some of the best evaluated answer sheets and what we find is that the student who secured the best marks displayed an extraordinary understanding of the subject. 

What is important is to write to the point and do neat and clean work.  

5 Understand and develop exam temperament

One must remember that JEE is a low-scoring exam. Scoring even as low as 60 per cent marks will get a student an excellent rank. Rather than aiming at solving all the questions, the aim should be to attempt all the questions that you are confident of doing correctly. 

The best way to do this is to quickly scan the entire question paper and classify the questions into three categories. The questions that you are sure of doing correctly, you may call them "Good questions" and the questions which seem too difficult/ confusing may be marked as "tough questions".  If you are able to finish "good questions" well within time, you might like to try out some "moderate questions" and maybe you would prefer to recheck your calculations for the "good questions".

Attempt mock tests to clarify all doubts

There is a famous saying that "if you want to succeed, double your failure rate". The essence of the statement in the context of exams is that the students should not be scared of trying new problems. The more problems we are exposed to before the actual exam, the more is the likelihood that we would get it right if a similar problem was asked in the actual exam. Sometimes, students are scared of taking mock tests thinking that they might not do well and may start feeling less confident due to a low score in the mock test. However, it is important to understand that not taking the mock tests test is not the solution. A test only exposes our weak points. Rather than avoiding the mock tests, it is important to ensure that if we don't get a certain problem right in a mock test; we must clarify it as soon as possible. A mock test is the compass which tells us exactly what we need to focus on.

— The writer is FIITJEE expert

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