IIT JEE Dropper Success Story

Getting into an IIT is a dream for many intermediate students in India. There are just two opportunities to appear for JEE (Advanced). It is natural for people to fail. No wonder I didn’t fare well in my first attempt. Now, I am a junior undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering at IIT (BHU). Here is my story for those who are still in a dilemma whether to take one year drop to get into an IIT.

“Don’t let someone else’s opinion dampen your own inner spirit. You are not a mere AVERAGE guy.” My journey from AIR 10257 in JEE (Advanced)-2013 to AIR 2571 in JEE (Advanced)-2014 taught me this.

It may sound absurd that I was not aware of IITs until the end of class X. Giving a plausible explanation to this; I am from a small town Balasore, Odisha and back in 2010-11, less than 100 students from Odisha used to get into IITs.  No wonder, there was neither coaching centres for JEE in my town nor was I aware of any digital platforms like HashLearn dedicated to exam preparations. Hence, I joined schooling and coaching at Bhubaneswar. The competition was tough, but what was worse was the hostel life and peer pressure. I performed really well in both coaching and school exams securing a rank among the top 10 students almost regularly for the first 5-6 months. I was on track.

I would describe the circumstance under which I failed to get into an IIT in my first attempt. I was swayed away from my target by the newly garnered fascination to city glamour leading to engendering a lot of dilatory habits. My friend circle was immature and I was often bullied verbally. I would not shy away to mention about my infatuation and desperate efforts in befriending a girl, leading to a lot of time wastage. Apart from that, the coaching was not of national repute like FIITJEE or Resonance, which conduct All India test series that helps you gauge the depth of your preparation from time to time. Once there was a situation in which 5 Physics teachers came to teach ‘Electrostatics’. One of the worst demotivating factors was when the head of my coaching institute called me an ‘AVERAGE student’ when my father asked me about my performance. All this happened altogether in a short span and I began losing my confidence. I became a regular back-bencher. My rank in coaching slipped down to below 40 and from 90.8% in class XI finals, my percentage in half-yearly of class XII slipped down to 77.8%. I also faced difficulty in getting my last minute doubts cleared.

In May 2014, I decided to drop a year for preparations. I joined FIITJEE (South Delhi) and stayed in a single seated room. Earlier I used to stay in a room of four. Now, there was hardly a class when I didn’t sit in the first row. The teaching was spot on and a lot of importance was given on solving the last 35 years paper. Even the silliest of the doubts were entertained, unlike the previous coaching. I made just a handful of friends at Delhi. I was soon one of the top performers in the droppers’ batch. I appeared JEE (Advanced) sleep deprived although I shouldn’t cite this as an excuse for an average rank in the JEE (Advanced). But to be honest, there is a hell lot of pressure day before the exam despite your best preparation, especially in the second attempt. I never felt that in my first attempt. I had dropped despite my father’s denial because of the expenses to be incurred. The thought of the consequences of not clearing JEE in the second attempt did take a toll on the performance. But anyways, I am an IITian now. My success in the second attempt just taught me to feel confident about myself and I realised that there is always a way to get back on track if you try.

I believe, “It’s better to be a dropper than being a quitter.”

Thanks for reading. Keeping reading and do voice your opinions and queries through comments. This article was featured on https://www.hashlearn.com/blog/success-story-of-an-iit-jee-dropper/

Is NCERT Enough for JEE (Mains)?

This is a common question which peeps keep on asking for generations now. Well, here goes my opinion on  this.

JEE (Mains) is based on the concepts given in NCERT textbooks. The answer to the above question is, however, equivocal. It relies on the relative aspirations of the students.

I have the experience of solving the AIEEE Papers from 2008-2012 and I have appeared in JEE (Mains) 2013 and 2014. From my experience, I can say that” If you are thorough with NCERT, then you can score easily around 200/360. But it is definitely not enough to score above 250.” A genuine doubt which may arise is that if one can score above 200 with simply covering the NCERT, why is then only less than 15,000 students out of 14 lakh students appearing in the exam achieve that feat.

I have two plausible explanations to this. First, NCERT text books are full of jargons and it requires a lot of depth to assimilate them. There are certain concepts in NCERT which are not explicitly specified. Students have to derive meanings on their own. To elucidate my point I would like to quote an example. NCERT Chemistry textbook merely states the Markownikoff Rule and Saytzeff Rule without giving an insight into the reaction intermediate formed, that governs the formation of the final product. A student who simply follows the NCERT will end up mugging up the lines, without actually understanding the mechanisms. Second, NCERT textbooks lack enough practice questions. Being thorough with the concepts demands rigorous practice and regular brush-up of your concepts. Students who are not exposed to any practice materials like question banks but NCERT are used to a straightforward way of answering subjective questions.   But Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) are asked in JEE (Mains), which are often confounding. Definitely, NCERT is not enough.

However, if you analyse the questions asked in previous years, you will find at least one direct organic reaction is asked from the NCERT. Even the questions of p-block and other inorganic reactions asked in the exam are never beyond NCERT and are usually straightforward. Physical chemistry, however, demands problem-solving aptitude which requires you to go beyond NCERT. There are some topics like Statistics, Mathematical Reasoning in Mathematics, from which at least one question is asked every year and these are directly based on NCERT. Even the questions from 3D Geometry, vectors, complex numbers and coordinate geometry are based on NCERT exercise questions. Physics, however, requires a different approach. One has to solve problems from books like H.C. Verma, in addition to the NCERT questions to gain a good command over the subject. Nevertheless, the questions asked in electromagnetism, fluid mechanics and even modern physics are often directly taken from NCERT. ‘Semi-conductor devices’, ‘Electromagnetic Waves’ and ‘Communication’ are the topics which are factual. But the facts and figures, if ever asked, are never beyond NCERT.

One of the best ways to excel in any exam is to solve the previous years’ papers. This will give an insight into the types of questions being asked in the exam. Once you start solving these questions, a feeling will sink into you that many questions are NCERT based. Develop an ability to question mere statements of NCERT. I hope my article proves helpful for the students and instill a belief that they can clear JEE (Mains) with a good rank by having a thorough understanding of the concepts of NCERT.

I hope my article was helpful to you. Comments and queries are definitely welcome. This article has been featured at  https://www.hashlearn.com/blog/is-ncert-enough-for-jee-mains/