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Get an Expert s Guide and Tips to Make it to the IITs

An exclusive interview with Dr. Ashok Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Magnificient2 Software Services & Technology Inc. on approaching the JEE exam and how to make it to one of the IITs.

Flexiguru.com: Flexiguru.com is an e-learning company offering flexible learning solutions that enhance teaching and learning. Launched with a mission to optimize educational information available on the Internet for everyone, Flexiguru is making huge strides within a short period of its existence. An initiative of Piron Corporation, Flexiguru aims at making learning more easy and organized. Hundreds of excellent teachers has joined the platform and thousands of students have already started getting benefits using the platform.

Ashok

Dr. Ashok Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Magnificient2 Software Services & Technology Inc.: Dr. Ashok Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Magnificient2 Software Services & Technology Inc. brings a total of 35 years of experience in places like IBM and NASA in the US. He holds an M.Tech degree from IIT (Bombay) and holds a Master’s Degree from Oxford University. Recipient of two doctorates from Georgia Institute of Technology, in USA (1985) and Computer Science and Space Physics (1987) respectively. He is an excellent academician and had been involved in teaching Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics to IIT JEE aspirants with success rate of more than 4.7 on a scale of 5. In addition, he also teaches PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) to children, who are studying in various boards – CBSE, ICSE and State, between the age range of 8 to 14 years using innovative techniques. He received Best Faculty Award from IBM in 2007 for teaching C Programming Language. He was awarded the IBM Champion (WebSphere) 2013 Award by IBM (Global) in January 2013, for his extensive works in various WebSphere Technologies. His also got an UN Fellowship for Pre-Doctoral work at the German Academy of Sciences in Leipzig, Berlin, during 1985. He has various research papers to his credit.

What is the right time to start preparing for IIT JEE?

Personally, I would say a child can start preparing for IIT JEE from 9th Standard. I believe in starting young and catch them young. Because that time you can actually mould a child’s to problem solving approach. Initially, it is always better to guide a child, because they are not taught to solve problems in school. I believe if a child learns to think they can solve any problem.

Guiding a child when they are young is essential. It is not necessary for a child to go to a coaching center, they can be helped to learn how to solve problem by their teachers and parents at home. Score is not everything, important is to make a child learn how to solve problems.

What are the areas where students struggle while preparing for IIT JEE?

Mathematics is the first one, when you solve a math problem you need to think. When you solve a Physics problem it is not that you don’t think but Physics is nature. Math is the approach that everybody needs to use and it’s rightfully said that ‘Math is the queen of science’. Mathematics is the first area, where you need to give proper approach to a child alongside Physics. Because physics is nature it’s just common sense, as everything is available in nature, a child just need to infer it the right way.

Chemistry on the other hand, can be started in 10th standard. Initially, its Math and Physics that needs to be started in the 9th Class. Even though, majority of the students find Chemistry difficult. It is always better to start on Math to train them on problem solving and use the problem solving methodology and common sense to solve problems in Physics and then finally look at Chemistry.

Expert's Guide on IIT Exam

How students should prepare for Physics, Chemistry and Math?

Physics should be started by knowing the concepts. They should know the concepts first. Math is another area where concepts needs to strengthen. I have been asking many students: What is the basis for Pythagoras theorem? I find many of them have no answer for that. When a student fails to answer, he says it is not taught in the class. Students should not only rely on classroom teachings, they must learn to apply common sense to solve problems. Children are not used to thinking. I have many such instances in Physics and Math classes. In Chemistry, one don’t have to use too much of common sense. We don’t have any approach primarily governing Chemistry as such. So a child should start Physics and Math early to strengthen the base. Importance is to make students learn how to think and apply problem solving approach.

What are the advantages of online coaching?

People often feel there is disadvantage in online coaching because you can’t feel and touch the teacher sitting next to you, but when you see him on screen you are able to get that feeling. I have my online coaching classes, as a teacher I can give individual attention to each of the students. I can answer to everybody, but present and make it feel like I am speaking to one student individually. I see another advantage in online coaching, where all types of students are there, it’s not only one-to-one interaction but there is also many-to-one interaction (many students to one teacher). When the teacher is explaining to all, and somewhere in the crowd there can be an Einstein or better so that other children would have an option to listen to such thing. The most important thing for an online class is that you can sit through the class, from the comfort of your home. Unlike in regular classes of 40-60 students, you feel like you are lost in an ocean of students. I believe in the years to come, online coaching may surpass even the personalized kind of teaching.

How Crash Course can help students prepare for JEE exam?

A Crash Course gives back what a child has learnt in the last few years. Here in 3 or 4 months, it brings all the concepts together, and brushes up whatever is needed. If something is learnt two years ago, there is a tendency to forget, unless my concepts are very very clear. But when I reinforce those ideas again just before a couple of months of the exam, you are just rekindling the fire within you, you do that at the end of those 3 or 4 months – the fire then starts burning like a bonfire. When you use that and go to the exam hall, the entire thing is burning there and it is not put off. When you go for a Crash Course that is the main thing you would be looking at – every aspect is available to me, I know that it’s all there I am sure that I am able to do it.

I fully recommend taking 2-3 months crash course which brushes up and opens out what is closed for the last few years. It could be classified as doubt clearing session. And something which have been lost may be not given during those days are actually given here. In the last 3 months, it opens up the door to really attack the entire thing what is called JEE at the end of it.

What kind of preparation strategies should students follow and what to avoid?

I would personally say that a student follows problem solving approach. He should avoid mugging up the actually process of solving a problem. He should be able to think as to why, what, when, where and clearly answer these in his head. Why should this approach to be followed? When do I use this approach and not the other approach? What should I do to you this or another or make them combined approach in a solution. These are the things students should to be able to take in, strengthen himself and go to the exam hall. Personally, I feel though he might say I can mug whatever problems by looking at past 10 to 20 years’ questions papers and questions which are repeated. You might pass the IIT JEE but it won’t be of great help, the next four years which you spend in IIT is the most important crucial time of your life. It’s not just important to pass the JEE and getting into IIT, having got into IIT you should be able to continue what you leftover because in IIT they tend to polish whatever is needed to make someone who could be another Einstein or more.

I would say try avoid to mug up the process, approach and procedures, understand the concepts and do it. I have students who are going through JEE, CET entrance exams and even for GRE. I have students in Class 4 whose parents asked me to train the child for IIT from now itself. But at that stage he/she won’t be able to understand that. It is always better to make the child solve problems of that year until he/she realizes there is something to learn beyond what being taught in the class. That happens only when the child is at the end of 8th Standard, from the 9th Standard the child is fully geared up. All those things that have been taught in the 7th and 8th Standard, now starts broadening up and polish them in such a way that they are able to take up more challenges. By the time a child reaches the 12th Standard, the child is fully geared up to attack the JEE exam.

How Flexiguru helps students to crack the IIT JEE exam?

As the name itself suggest, the Guru is a teacher according to the Indian culture and the teacher is flexible here. The teacher has a conglomerate of students in an online class. The teacher should be able to answer every question satisfactorily and even beyond that. The teacher should be in a flexible stage, he should be able to bend his answer in such a way that all the students are satisfied. Flexiguru is one of those companies which though in this as a pioneer thing, I am sure Flexiguru with all its background and approaches would be in a position to kick off something which could be a revolution for online training and especially online coaching for IIT JEE in India.

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