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How to ace the JEE Main entrance exam?

With the Board exams getting over or in last phase of getting completed, this is the most important time for the next big step – taking the various entrance exams.

One of the most sought after exams for the 12th standard after Board exams for the Science stream is the JEE Main exams for Engineering and AIPMT for the Medical Stream.

The JEE Main exam is being taken by more than 12 lakhs students with majority of them taking the paper based offline mode on 3rd April and a smaller chunk taking the online mode on 9th and 10 April.

The number of takers have come down in comparison to last year as the state of Maharashtra have opted out of the JEE Main for filling in their engineering admission.

The cutoff have seen a downward trend in the last couple of years and hopefully with the number of takers getting lesser and the number of students eligible for taking JEE Advanced being increased to 2 lakhs from the current 1.5 lakhs, there may be a dip in the cutoff mark if the same standard of difficulty is maintained with other parameters remaining the same.

How to ace the JEE Main Entrance Exam?

How to ace the JEE Main entrance exam?

JEE Main Tips and Test taking strategies

So what are the best possible way to clear the exam – tips for last minute preparation.

The paper being based on 11th and 12th syllabus, the students should look at giving equal emphasis on both the standards. With 12th board exam being just concluded or getting completed, the students can look at solving application oriented problems from the 12th topic in the beginning and look at the 11th standard topics subsequently.

Topics to Focus under Respective Subject

How to prepare for JEE Main Physics?

With certain topics in Physics like Mechanics, Heat and Thermodynamics, Electricity and Magnetism forming the major part in the last couple of years, the students can attempt these topics before looking at the other areas.

How to prepare for JEE Main Mathematics?

Similarly in case of Mathematics students can look at Algebra, Differential Calculus and Coordinate Geometry.

How to prepare for JEE Main Chemistry?

In case of Chemistry, application level questions are usually expected from Physical and Organic Chemistry. The paper in last couple of years had been more or less equally spread across the three areas of Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry. Hence emphasis on all areas is needed.

Board Exam vs Entrance exam

The students would need to shift the mindset from the board exam perspective where one is required to attempt all the questions to a mindset where the student can choose to leave a few questions or attempt lesser number of questions, as incorrect answer carries a negative mark. More often than not, students attempt all/higher number of questions and due to negative marking scheme, their final score becomes lesser than what they would have got if they had attempted fewer questions.

One should have a clear goal or mentally prepared on how much they plan to attempt before they take the exam as it would give them some specific target/focus and would in turn improve their performances as a well directed mind always result in better performance.

The cutoff being in the range of 30-40% of the total mark for the general category, one would need to look at solving correctly around 35-40 questions.

However for admission to NITs, marks in excess of 50% of the total mark would be a better bet, with other factors like JEE paper being of similar standard as the last couple of years and a decent board marks – which varies for different Board.

Usually the paper consists of three category of questions – easy, medium and difficult. The challenge would be to identify easy questions and then move on the next level of question and so on. However, the identification of a question into a category would come by practice only. The thumb rule would be to identify topics in which one is strong and attempt questions on those topics/areas before moving on the next range of topics.

One should look at solving a minimum of 30-40 questions and then look at attempting the other questions. With cutoff being in the total and not on individual subjects, students can look at attempting question in those subject which they feel they are confident.

Students who are taking “online mode” will have an advantage of seeing the “offline paper” and hence a better idea than those attempting offline mode.

Invest time in scanning at all the questions before answering. You do not need to attempt the questions in the same sequence as given. Please read the questions and look at all the possible answer choices given before attempting as one may get some idea looking at the answer choices.

Similarly, you may not have to solve the entire steps to find the correct answer, you may use the approximation to arrive at an answer in case the answer choices options are not very close. Approximation saves a lot of time and time management is very critical in competitive exams as difference in even a mark may cost you a seat or a branch.

Do and Don’ts on the day of exam:

Please have a sound sleep and do not work on the last minute!!!

Start early to reach the venue before time as we had cases of students reaching late and denied an entry in the exam hall.

Please do not discuss preparation with anybody before the exams and compare your preparation with them. Best possible way would be to avoid conservation and focus your attention and energy on the impending exam.

In the exam hall devote time to scan the paper before attempting and do not get influenced by the other person pace of marking in the OMR sheet.

Do not bog down in one question while attempting and in case you feel, you are spending too much time, go to the next one. The challenge is not on the number of questions that one has but the time. You have 90 questions to be solved in 180 minutes and also you may not have to attempt/solve all the questions to clear the cutoff. One needs to be conscious of the time more than the number of questions. Having a clear plan on the time one should spend on each subject before attempting the paper would be better strategy than with no plan.

Look at answer choices as you continue solving and going through the various steps. Also do not discuss the paper after the exams as it might influence you in the negative way and may affect your next entrance exam in case you are attempting other entrance exams as well.

Most important thought one needs to have is that one exam does not decide one’s career and do not get anxious and stressed before the exam and keep yourself relaxed as much as possible as our mind works best when one is relaxed.

Wishing you all the best and happy examining!

This article is written by Mr. Radhakrishnan K who takes care of the school related program in T.I.M.E and has been  mentoring and motivating school kids for their IIT Foundation and JEE Program. He has been in the education industry for the last 16 years and has been involved with JEE /AIPMT program  for the last four years and has seen many students get into premier institutes.

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