“The best way to ace the Class XII and JEE Main exam is by remaining calm, managing time and attempting lot of mock tests” – Ambarish Srivastava, FIITJEE,Faridabad Centre.
Many students of Class XII will be taking up the JEE Main exam in 2017. At this stage, the students will be anxious about simultaneously balancing the Boards along with their IIT JEE preparation. Here are a few tips that will help the aspirants optimise their performance in both.
• Prepare without losing tempo:
While the students are preparing for two distinct exams, the good thing is that the syllabi and the paper setting authorities are common. The JEE Main exam paper as well as the CBSE Board paper are set by the CBSE. Sometimes considering the proximity of the Boards, students tend to exclusively focus 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.
• Attempt a lot of mock tests and clarify 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. One should continue to take JEE type mock tests even during their boards. In fact, some students who take JEE type tests even during the preparatory holidays between the two Board exams do exceedingly well. 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. A mock test is the compass which tells us exactly what we need to focus on.
• Give special emphasis to the 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 advance 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 parts of JEE Main and the Board exam but not part of the advance 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.
• Communicate clearly in the Board Type exams:
While the Board exam as well as the JEE Main, both are set by CBSE, the approach required for attempting the exams is entirely different. A 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. In our experience 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.
• Learn for Board from the writing style of the 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 that it is not 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 a neat and clean work. Try to visualise or put yourself in the position of a teacher who is assigned with the task of evaluating hundreds of answer scripts. What happens when such a teacher comes across an answer script which has a neat and clean work? The first impression is that this must be a good student and accordingly it does in a way influence the examiner’s evaluation of the answer script. Contrast this with the situation when the examiner comes across a shabbily written answer script with calculations scribbled all along the margins, inaccurate free hand diagrams made with a pen, and he has to search for the final answer amidst all the scribbling. It does put a negative impression on the evaluator.
• Manage your time well:
Time management can differ from individual to individual however on an average, the effective attention span of a JEE aspirant is about two hours, so it is a good idea to take a small break after every two hours of continuous study session. Smaller study sessions should be avoided because every break in study session means about 10 minutes being spent as warm up time and about 10 minutes as cool down time. One must be selective about the problems one solves during the self study sessions. Do not spend too much time on solving same types of problems. Identify the problems that you intend to solve at the beginning of your session. Also make sure that you memorise all the important results so that you don’t waste the examination time in trying to derive these results. For the descriptive type of questions in Boards, the theory should be memorised as per the standard sample papers. Learn to write all steps in a sequence.
And lastly, Stay Cool: It is important not to panic. Worry and brooding have a negative effect on one’s ability to study and test performance.
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