JEE Exam- How to Crack it?

This post discusses few tips, tricks and ideas on how to breeze through AIEEE exam. The AIEEE exam is conducted by CBSE for admissions to India�s premier national level institutes like NITs, IIITs (Indian Institute of Information Technology), DCE, PEC, many deemed universities, government funded institutions and technical colleges in the country. More than 1 million candidates appear for this exam and the exam is counted as the largest exam in the world held on a single day. AIEEE 2011 Information Brochure The AIEEE consists of two papers. Paper -1 (PCM) is administered to the candidates desirous of admissions to B.E/B.Tech stream and Paper 2 (Part I-Maths, Part II- Aptitude & Part III-Drawing) is administered to candidates for B Arch/B.Planning. The exam has objective type format with multiple choice questions. There is negative marking in the exam- for every wrong answer one fourth (1/4) of the mark allotted for that question is deducted. For left out questions, there is no negative marking. Marking more than one answer for a question is considered a wrong answer and negative marking is applied. The exam is not tough at all and can be cracked with some discipline and hard work. The candidates scoring about 50% marks in the exam can expect to get a rank around 10000. In cricket terminology, if you can avoid follow-on in the exam (i.e. score say 226 out of 425), you are on the way to get a rank below 10000. Here are some tips and tricks to crack this exam and the rules can be generally applied to crack any engineering exam. Please also refer my other post on “How to Crack MCQ Exams” 1) Topics to Focus on and recommended books : Based on past years question paper trends, there are few topics in each subject which have more questions in exam than other. Physics: Electricity, Magnetism, Modern Physics, Mechanics, Radioactivity, Wave Options and Heat Transfer. More than 80% of questions are normally asked from these topics. Without any doubt, H.C verma is the best book for physics. Chemistry: Unproportionately higher questions come from Physical Chemistry and then Organic Chemistry. For example, say out of 40 questions, Physical chemistry gets about 20 questions, organic 12 and inorganic 8. For chemistry, NCERT book is all one requires to crack the exam. In my humble opinion, NCERT Chemistry books are much better than some of the private publisher books. Moreover, I am not a big fan of studying from 10 different books. Rather, make one book your best friend. On the exam day it will help to recall what was written on the topis in your best book. One definitely requires additional books for IIT JEE. Chemistry portion in AIEEE is more conceptual paper than numerical. If one has time on hand, try few short numerical questions from P. Bahadur. Maths: Calculus, Algebra (both topics commands ~50% of maths questions). 3D, Vectors, Coordinate Geometry . These five topics gets about 80% weightage. R.D Sharma objective is all you need in addition to NCERT books. However, be prepared to find a completely changed pattern for the exam than noted above as examiners keep trying to weed out �learn by rot practice of Kota coaching institutes�. One should not panic by witnessing a new pattern and it should be considered friendly match as �Kota-wallahs� will not have any upper hand in the exam. 2) Chemistry is my friend, dear: �It is said �Chemistry brings you to doorstep of NITs and physics/Maths can get you inside of a top branch�. Do first thing first- chemistry- and that too physical chemistry as exam setters seem to like this subject. It is expected that questions from Maths and Physics would be pretty tough and they no longer would remain your friend. Knowing your friends well is mantra to success. Having said that, do not leave out any segment. Devote 40% time on chemistry. 3) Brain likes Revision: I have read a lot on human brain cell communication and can state one thing solidly- the strength of brain signals is directly proportional to constant revision. Keep all the formulas, key points on a couple of A4 size sheets as ready-reckner on your table and go over them time and again. If you are done with notes, prepare more detailed inside notes and go over them once again. It is no good if a topic gets your attention once in 2/3 weeks- make it at least a weekly affair as human brain like it that way. 4) Time Management: Avoid Followon : Most candidates who don�t make it to a good NITs are not good in one area- Time Management.. Just like you have a favorite TV programs and hate to miss them in any circumstances, in the same way don�t miss out questions that are from your favourite subjects. They are your bread and butter and you need them for survival. Don�t waste 1-2 minutes of your precious time on difficult question that you are not comfortable with. Realization and strengthening of what you are good at is very helpful – rather than what one doesn�t know. Your greatest motto in the exam should be- how to maximize my scoring with the given level of preparation. You are playing to avoid follow-on by getting about 200 plus marks out of a total of about 400 marks. The reward for avoiding follow-on is admission to a good NIT (though for a good branch one needs to do much better than that). You would know from T20 cricket that one would be doomed if he tries to score 400 in about 3 hours. Panic is number one killer in qualifying exams. Start with chemistry in the first hour as it has some easy and direct questions. Remember you need a good start to feel confident and be clinical for the long chase. I suggest not to attempt maths first as early wickets can surely ruin performance in the exam. Moreover, do not play risky shots in first 10-15 minutes of the exam by attempting numerical questions. Play copy book style shots by sticking with conceptual questions. It will help to be aware that questions in a typical competitive exams can be categorized into 3 areas: Easy: About 25%.; Average/Moderate: About 60%; Difficult/Tough nut to crack: About 15%. The easy and direct questions make sure your selection in exam and the difficult ones ensure the merit. Another mantra for success: Devote initial 2 hours of the exam on clear-cut, easy and direct questions. The exam after two hours should be played just like batting in one day cricket after 40 overs- start hitting all important runs to make the match beyond the reach of opposition. 5) Practice Mock Test- Go to war fully armed : What good is a preparation if it is not practiced in mock/simulated test conditions? The importance of solving previous years papers and 5-10 mock tests cannot be over-emphasized. Solving mock tests help improving skills on management of time, temperament and strike rate. One may try here for mock AIEEE mock tests. Candidates loose about 10- 20% of their marks because of the so called� silly mistakes� even though they know the subject quite well. These mistakes can partly be attributed to exam fear, pressure and confusion as to what to do next and applying long methods that has inherent risk of mistakes. Such mistakes are akin to getting run-out since the batsman failed to ground his bat. Though silly mistakes cannot be eliminated 100%, but even if they are cut by half, the resultant AIEEE rank would get divided by half (additional 15-20 marks can improve the rank from 10,000 to 5000). If anyone is serious with this exam (and IIT/ BITSAT, State Exams), I suggest them to do a favor to themselves by buying a few quality mock tests (the money thus spent would be much rewarding for a career lasting about 40 odd years than saving same money to spend on ipods, PS3 DVDs, mobiles and the list is long). Moreover, for NRIs, they would not need to cough up more than $4000 per year for a seat that can be easily theirs for $1000 per year. There are a lot of mock tests available in the market and I leave the choice to my readers- just pick a quality mock test series. 6) Improve Your Strike Rate and Accuracy : When solving practice tests or mock tests, try to analyze where�you are�making mistakes- I mean where are you wasting your time. Which section you are doing best. Whatever mistakes you make in the first mock tests, try to improve in second. In this way, one will be better prepared for the main exam. What most students do is that they revise whole of the syllabus but never attempt a mock and thus they always make mistake in main exam and thus they loose the track. Remember that directly going though the solutions is not going to help you at all. The key in problem solving does not lie in understanding the solution to the problem but to find out what clues in the problem leads you to the right solution. In case you are not able to solve the problem,try method of elimination. Furthermore,�try to find out the reason by analyzing the level of problem & practice similar kind of problems so that you can master the tricks involved. Conclusion : Most of the questions in AIEEE are not difficult but they are quite different from CBSE perspective. In AIEEE the emphasis is on fundamental concepts and their application in different situations. The questions asked in the exam seek to test the conceptual clarity and the reasoning ability of the students. To solve them, it requires a different approach, a different mindset. Each question has an element of surprise in it and those who are adept in tackling ‘surprise questions’ are most likely to sail through. To summarize, I find that most students who crack the exam with good ranks not only have ability and intelligence but also possess abundant desire to succeed, their efforts are well directed and finally, they apply good time management practices. In nutshell, they are just smarter and anyone can become one with few tricks of the trade. I wish�best of luck to all those appearing for CBSE board exam and thereafter,� competitive exams!

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