You need a smart and efficient time table if you want to do well on one of the toughest exams in the country. There are so much stress and pressure that surrounds this exam, that you need to have a clear cut plan as to how to go about your study plan. The most important target for you at the moment is to get rid of the fear of this examination because that is creating the biggest mental block for you right now- how should I start preparing, what should I study first, how will I manage everything. This article is there to help you with exactly all these questions. You don’t just need a timeline to finish your schedule but a daily schedule that will help you achieve this goal of cracking JEE. This article is not to scare but to show you how serious and disciplined you to need to be if you are serious about clearing this entrance exam and actually want that seat in IIT.
Things to Keep in Mind:
- Set realistic goals- This exam is not the kind where you can study at the last minute and expect to get good marks, or even clear it for that matter. Even if you are very good at all your subjects, this examination requires clarity to the extent that the concepts are perfected in your mind because this is not an easy paper, just the pressure of giving this exam is a lot for students to handle. You need a schedule where you will be able to cover most of your syllabus most efficiently. If you think you can study continuously for 12 hours a day, manage your school and coaching classes all throughout this journey, whc=ich will last for about a year or two years, you will end up burning out in a month’s time and will take a week’s break or so, wasting more time ultimately.
- See what works for you- There is no point in following a set pattern you have seen someone else follow or tell you. If a person claims that they studied 12 hours a day for this exam and you need to do the same, they are lying. You need to see what works for you. Do you study in the morning or at night? Do you prefer textbooks to e-books? Do you find it more distracting to study in silence and thus, need light music in the background? (Try some light house music or soft jazz. Nothing distracting like rock, pop or R&B, etc.) Some students need to actually do the experiment to understand it, they can’t just mug it up. So, understand what works for you when you are studying. Your time table has to be different and unique to shift your needs.
- Concentration- You cannot fix a schedule, follow it for a month and take a “break” for a week because you studied so much in the last month. This schedule is a lifestyle change, which is exactly what is required to clear this exam. It will be a year long or two years long dedication that you have to give to this exam. You may see others relaxing but you don’t know how much they are actually studying. And you have to keep your goal clear in your head because this ultimately lies on your motivation, discipline and dedication.
- Get rid of social media- Yes, this what every parent dreams of and scolds their child to do. They happen to be right. The amount of time we spend on social media is crazy. You can still maintain contact with your family and friends by messaging them once a while but no FaceBook, SnapChat, Instagram- nothing. These are distractors and your social media presence is just taking away time from you. When you are feeling idle, you want to go on FaceBook but when you can’t, you will automatically turn to studies because you need to do something with your time. The pressure of this exam will not leave you, so you might as well use it positively.
- Balance out the subjects- You may have your favourite subject among the three but you have to balance all three out and give all of them equal importance. So, your daily schedule has to fit time for all of them properly. The subject that you are not very good at, will obviously get more space in your schedule. So, plan accordingly.
What Should Your Time Table Have?
- Understand your strengths- There is that one subject you are very good in and there may be a subject that you are not scoring well in. You have to obviously give more time to the subject that you are not good at and monitor your progress very closely. Understand where are you going wrong, what areas you need to be focusing on- are you unable to remember the formulae, is the application of a concept, even after understanding it, becoming a problem for you? Once you have this analysis, you have to work towards balancing them out.
- Keep important chapters in mind- You need to analyse previous years’ papers and see what are important topics being covered. You can either to the important topics first or follow the syllabus as is. However, if you are following something like HC Verma for Physics, which is considered to be the best possible book for Physics and most of you are probably using it. If you skip a chapter there and jump onto the next one, there is a possibility that you will get stuck there because the concepts are built in that book in such a way that you simply need to follow that book step by step, the way it has been written to clarify all possible doubts and understand all concepts you need for this exam. Emphasis has to be given to important chapters that are always repeated, their frequency might change but you know that they will be asked for.
- Short Answers- We usually tend to skip out on the short answers and exercises at the end of each chapter but you have to go through them as well because they will help you quickly revise everything you have done in that chapter. Again, in HC Verma, there are some MCQs in the book, do not skip those because even in the examination, the questions are all in MCQ form, so this will be good practice for you.
- Revision- To deal with problems like you forgot the chapters done previously or not being able to solve the more difficult problems, revision is the only solution for it. You have to revise all that you studied in a week at the end of that same week. As and when you progress with the syllabus, the portion you revise also increases. This way you will slowly build your stamina to handle the entire syllabus together.
Should I follow the Same Schedule for JEE Advanced as well?
Once you have cleared your Mains, you absolutely have to revise your preparation strategy. You don’t have a lot of time on your hands and there are only 16 IITs in the country, which means that the number of seats is in the thousands and the aspirants are still in the lakhs. You have to be relentless now, there is no question of slacking off right now or even celebrating that you cleared Mains, you are still left with one very important step that can still break that dream you have held with you for so long.
Keeping all these facts in mind, you again cannot be irrational here and claim that you will finish the Advanced syllabus and revision in two weeks. This can only happen at the end of three very rigorous three months of prep. Consistency is key for you right now. All the sacrifices you are making will ultimately be rewarded. You have to be different to crack JEE Advanced, which would require a different strategy than the rest. You are expecting some great tip or trick that only certain students are privy to but the only key to success is hard work and consistency in a calm and rational manner.
You may have rote learned a little for Mains but that is unfortunately not going to work here. You need to have conceptual clarity to the point that you can teach the concept from scratch to your peers and juniors, and will have no difficulties at all. If someone wakes you up in the middle of the night to solve a question, you need to be able to answer it. Yes, that is the level you need because there will be some questions are difficult as they will be testing your in-depth knowledge.
Maintain your health- This is irrespective of whether you are giving Mains or Advance, you have to take care of your diet and you have to work out- just go out for a walk, listen to music, go to the gym. And no, do not leave that hobby to study, you will probably spend less time on it but you have to take a break. Just don’t remain static for hours because this is not good for your body and this will impact your studies as well. In order to stay focused and relaxed during this not- so easy time, you have to add healthy distractors in your life. Your physical health impacts your mental health tremendously.