By Arkid Bera:
“If you study well for the next two years, your life will be set!” is a very common axiom, which students hear after they pass out of secondary school. If not completely true, the hard-work during these two years will certainly define the course of your life for the years to come, so why not distribute the hard-work by starting prior to the scheduled time? I believe that the earlier one decides to prepare for engineering coaching, the better will be the yield. For me, personally, an ideal time to start IIT JEE coaching is from 9th standard itself (note that I am referring to this particular exam because preparing for it includes training for all other the competitive exams based on engineering concepts, due to similarity in the syllabus). But even if you do not start it that early, it’s not a matter of concern at all. After all, every student isn’t expected to choose his/her field of study before having the taste of all the subjects satisfactorily.
The key work begins right after the 10th board exams. Apart from the school/junior college you get into, for the next two years, it is recommended that you join some or the other JEE coaching institute, because it focuses mainly on preparing you well for the engineering entrance examinations. Let me get into a little more depth into how one can prepare for engineering examinations. There are many aspects to be taken care of while preparing for such exams, but the most instrumental factor is the understanding of the concepts. Every topic you encounter, the first approach must be a scientific one. Jump into the details and never leave even the smallest link vague, as that might fire back hard at you on the day of judgement, you never know! Engineering entrances are all about application of your concepts in a particular time-frame. This is where coaching institutes play a vital role. These institutes work hard into integrating decent questions from all well-known books throughout, to make their own booklets, modules, practice sheets, tests, etc. Use them to the fullest, and make sure at the end of the day you are thorough with the varied methods used to solve each and every problem of those materials. Also, with each test you attempt, you equip yourself with a set of skills which include application of concepts, getting accustomed to the exam-atmosphere, and of course, time management.
Once you are done with all the topics, then comes brushing up the skills mentioned above. The more you test yourself, the better you can judge. Error analysis is a crucial part of your preparation. If you don’t detect your weaknesses on time, how will you work on those? Smartness begins here. Your success depends on how well you gauge yourself, and handle the hitches. Having crossed this phase myself, I have a fair idea regarding the problems faced by aspirants. It isn’t possible for a student to have each and every concept at their fingertips. But along with being perfect in your strong areas, you need to lift your weak areas to such a level that you can at least manage a decent amount of problems in that area, if not all. That is the tough part!
Lastly, the one who survives this phase, ultimately goes on to clinch the trophy.
There will be phases within, when efforts won’t produce the desired results. You might end up on the bottom-half of rank-lists repeatedly. But not to worry. I have seen people rise in the last 3 months of preparation, by sheer perseverance. I have also seen students getting overwhelmed by their initial marks, and ending up devastating their own bright future. Try not to fall into this category. Competitive exams are like one-day games. You take two long years to prepare for it. An ample amount of money and immense moral support is involved. So just play it the right way, and never ever give up. Don’t waste even a single minute pondering over useless things, as each minute of your preparation phase decides your progress towards your goal. Remember this is not just a test of your brain. This is a test of endurance, temperament and management. This is no less than a game of cricket!
Good luck for the game of life!