I have been a cricket freak since childhood and hence picking an analogy of cricket only. Carefully read about the mentality of a batsman, it’s an amazing example to understand how should your thought process be, on the last day before JEE.
Last week before the exam is as important as years of preparation. Appropriate strategy and correct state of mind in these few days will do wonders. No matter how hard you prepare, no matter how fast you are in solving questions, no matter how deep your fundamentals are, if you are not able to strategize your last week before the exam in the correct way, you will not be in the best of your senses to score heavy in the exam. Based on my analysis and experience of last 15 years as an IIT JEE faculty, I am sharing few tips, which will help you to efficiently plan your moves in last few days before IIT JEE.
More are your conceptual skills and E.Q., better would be your score. Lets take an example, if you are confident about 80% of your syllabus, then your conceptual skills=80. If your E.Q. = 1, then you will score 80 X 1=80% marks. But in exams like IIT JEE mains and advanced, it is next to impossible to have an E.Q. = 1. Even IIT JEE toppers including, All India Rank-1, Sushant Sachdeva, did few mistakes and lost some marks.
1. Positive and Vibrant attitude.
Its probably one the most important aspect, which one should work on. A positive frame of mind is sufficient enough reason to increase your score by 10% Have faith in yourself, your hard work, your mentors and the correct decisions which you have taken and you will continue to take in life. JEE score is a mile stone, which you are trying to work on. Its not the ultimate destination. No matter what your JEE mains result are, you can be a successful person, by taking correct decisions at right time. What is the best decision right now, when JEE is few days ahead ? Yeah…you got it right. Utilization of your time and resources strategically to maximize your JEE score without pressing panic buttons.
I have to utilize today, in best possible way for my studies.
I just don’t care about yesterday, I know I can remain focused today.
I am a champion to the core and I will prove it to the world.
I am proud of my strengths and I will surely work on my weakness.
I get distracted by these xyz things and today I will keep myself away from all of them.
I will not feel bad if I lose a mark, but I will curse myself, If i miss an opportunity to gain a mark by wasting my time.
If I am not able to concentrate then I will take the help of my parents or mentors.
Above mentioned distraction, may vary from student to student. In my case I was heavily biased towards cricket and used to go out for 10 minutes and used to come back after 2 hours, drenched in sweat. Now a days these distractions come up in the form of Facebook, whatsapp, friends etc. Kids upload a pic on FB and keep on checking “kitne likes aaye”.
2. Follow a schedule
Here is a typical planner, which has helped many of my students to score good in JEE. Many of these students turned out to be top IIT JEE ranks from Pune. This planner is not recommended for the last day, before JEE.
7 am: Get up and freshen up. Make it fast and don’t waste time in reading newspapers etc. After bathing just meditate or sit alone for 5-10 minutes doing some introspection.
7:30am -7:40am: Breakfast (I know its fast, but its fine. Hurry up, morning time is very important and you have already slept for 7-8 hours. Come on jump on your study table)
7:45am – 9:15am: Study time (Mind is fresh, revise previous topics, which you usually forget.)
9:15am – 9:30am: Get ready for the mock test, by setting your clock, OMR etc .
9:30am – 12:30pm: Study time (This is the time when JEE would be conducted and your body should acclimatize with exam type situation in this time interval.) Take a mock/sample test under time constraint. You may give previous year’s JEE paper. Click here to know more details about mock test of JEE mains.
12:30pm-2pm: Study time Analyze the paper and mark those questions/concepts which you couldn’t solve because of lack of revision, despite of gaining confidence in past. These are the concepts, which you can recall very fast by the help of a quick revision. Click here to know how to analyze mock JEE mains
2pm-2:45pm: Quick Lunch and 15-20 minutes of rest
2:45pm-6pm: Study time (Just check those forgotten concepts, which you had marked in your mock test and revise them from your reference books and note books)
6-6:30pm: Snacks break. You may request someone to ask you 15-20 simple memory based questions from inorganic chemistry or some physics or maths formulas over phone or in person.
6:30-9pm: Study time (As per plan, revise some already learnt topics)
9pm-9:30pm: Quick light dinner and 10 minutes of evening walk
9:30 pm-12am or 1pm Study time : (Take some interesting subject, so that you will not feel sleepy)
Sleep for around 6-7 hours.
3. What to study and what not to study
Just revise revise and revise. Don’t run behind those topics which you haven’t done confidently. There is no harm even if 20-25 % topics are in dissatisfactory zone. JEE Mains is not same as 10th board, where a score in 90s is a an usual affair. JEE cut off is usually around 30%. Here a score of 60% can get you in top 2% of the nation. That means you can can still be topper, even if you have lose 40% marks ! In JEE, it is time constraint which usually becomes the bottle neck and hence despite of knowing solution of couple of more problems, you can’t put them on your answer sheet. Barring top few hundred students of the country (out of 15 lakhs), no one gets sufficient time to even finish 75% of the JEE paper. Whether the solution of rest 25% problems was known, becomes an useless point. Does it ring a bell in your brain ? Even if you finish any new concept in last week before JEE, your level of confidence will be way higher in previously finished topics. Subsequently, these newly finished topics will account for those left out 25% problems which you don’t solve in exams. Hence it is better to revise only those topics which you had done confidently in past. Time required to understand a new topic is 10 times more than the time required to revise an already finished topic. And hence it would make more sense to revise 10 previously understood topics, instead of chasing a new one. That way your chances of solving a question will increase to 10 times. That’s yet another advantage of revision.
Best way to revise is to solve already solved multi-conceptual problems. All good coaching classes for IIT JEE cover a vast section of problems in lectures, which consist of many concepts. Tough level of these problems is little higher than JEE Mains standard, but still, solving one such problem helps a student to revise 3-4 concepts. Since you had already solved that problem in past, it will not take much time to revise. While studying you need not solve each and every problem. Just go through the solution of 10 problems and solve one yourself, so that you can cover more number of problems.
Do Time-Bound-Studies. As per plan, if you have decided to study Electrostatics for 6 hours on Tuesday, then make sure that you should do as much Electrostatics as you can, in 6 hours only. Don’t extend it beyond 6 hours. Because if you give 3-4 extra hours to Electrostatics, then somewhere you will have to cut short these many hours from your next topic, as exam timing will not shift by 3-4 hours.
Click here to check the complete details about the concepts and their importance in JEE mains and advanced. 4. Mock Tests
5. Avoid distractions
Just keep away from any type of distraction. I know this point is useless, as no sensible student will even think of wasting his time in these super sensitive days. But still I am mentioning few distractions. No smart phones. No TV. No strenuous sports. No friends. Believe me, its worth keeping away from these things for sometime. Infact parents should also avoid going for outing, inviting guests at home, watching TV at home etc.
6. Keep Fit and have healthy food
Late night studies should be stopped, at least 2 days before JEE. Students must synchronize their biological sleep cycle, with JEE exam timings (9:30am to 12:30pm) , i.e. they must be awake and preferably study or take some mock test at 9:30am. That way students will not feel sleepy in actual exam. If you are in habit of getting late in morning then you will be sleepy during exam time. You will experience the same feeling which indians experience, when they fly to USA, where timezone is different. Jet Lag!
Last day before the exam
Realize your strengths
Try to recall those instances, which help you to get pumped up with
confidence. For eg, At Prime Academy, Pune, every year in the month of
April, I discuss JEE mains paper of that particular year, with those
students who have just given 11th standard exam. Many of the problems
asked in JEE mains are from 10th and 11th standard ! yeah thats true !
And hence these 11th appeared students are able to score around 100
marks in a JEE Mains paper, which is meant for 12th appeared students.
Since typical cut off of JEE mains is around 100, they get enormous
confidence just by recalling this instant “If I almost cleared JEE mains
in 11th, then surely I will go all guns blazing in my actual JEE as I
have prepared for one more year”.
If you have been
taught by good faculties for 2-3 years than their expertise will
certainly help you. For those who are from Pune and studied Physics by D.C.
Pandey sir, Rahul Waware, Durgesh Mangeshkar, Rohan Sinha, Sanjeet Singh
Adarsh, Vaibhav Bakliwal, Lalit Kumar ( I hope I can include my name as
well 😉 ), Mathematics by Pradeep Nagar, Sreedhar Babu, M. Prakash sir,
Lalit Kumar. Chemistry by Jaswant Charan, R. Satyanarayan, Ashish
Anand, Pritam sengupta sir, then you have been groomed by legends of
Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. These people teach you in such a
way, that JEE mains can be a cake walk even for an average student. Almost 60% of the problems asked in exams are
either directly asked from the practice problems taken by these teachers
or they closely resemble them. Their expertise in their subject
becomes your strength. Cheer up.
Rest day to recharge your grey cells
It might sound little astonishing, but you should not study on the last day before JEE. Whenever you study, definitely you gain some concepts, but at the same time your mind gets stressed as well. If we compare the advantage of gained concept and disadvantage of stressed out brain, just a day before D Day, then last day study turns out to be a loss making affair. Let me emphasize by the help of a very simple example, a football player works really hard on field. He runs 7-8 Km and lifts heavy weights in the gym to develop stamina and strength. But on the day of match, he doesn’t do all these things. He simply relaxes. Why doesn’t he run and workout? Suddenly what happens to his zeal to build strength and stamina? Answer is very simple, in quest to develop stamina and strength he actually gets tired and this tiredness can be suicidal for his match performance. Likewise, to give our best in exam, we need a fresh mind and hence its not worth studying on the last day.
Follow this schedule on the day before JEE
7am: Get up and freshen up. Be prepared for a relaxing day, full of positivity. Today you are going to have loads of fun.
8am: Break fast. Lots of fruits
8:30am: Visit your exam center a day before. It has multiple advantages. First of all, you will have a hassle free entry in the examination hall on the day of exam, as there wont be any confusion about entrance gate, hall’s location etc, which can waste crucial time and energy on exam day.
Another advantage of visiting exam centre, is the anticipation of the exam scenario. Top Australian batsman, Mathew Hayden, had this habit of visiting cricket pitch a night before the match, where he used to spend lots of time, sitting alone late night and visualizing his batting position and various places on ground. He claimed, that this visualization helped him perform better, as next day he used to enter the ground with some prior virtual experience. Well in case of exam such strategies can be even more useful, as exam performance is a mind game and you need to train your brain in all possible ways. All your mock tests accounts for this training of brain. Spend some time sitting alone and imagine that you are giving exam in that exam center which you have just visited. You will be able to anticipate all minute things, like exact orientation of the place, size of the hall, type of benches etc. You are actually doing a rehearsal of the exam for boosting your performance, by training your brain.
Try to connect this virtual rehearsal with your experience of mock tests. There may be few instances, where you would have gone blank or felt jittery after messing up few problems in your mock test. Now while doing this virtual rehearsal (imagination), think of something to avoid total collapse. Just tell yourself that because of 1-2problems or 5-10 minutes, I will not let rest of the paper get spoilt.
If you are very much eager to study, then just revise the formulas of Chemistry and Physics till 1pm. AND STRICTLY NO STUDY AFTER 1PM. Don’t even think about unfinished syllabus. No one finishes his syllabus completely.
1pm: Lunch. Avoid having oily and heavy food. Try to stick with veg diet for the day.
1:30pm: Today you have luxury to watch movies. Preferably motivating movies, Chak de India, Bhag Milkha Bhaag, Lakshya, etc. Avoid getting stuck alone in 4 walls. Sitting alone can develop negative thinking in your brain. Be with your siblings, parents and good friends. Keep away from pessimists and ask everybody, not to talk about studies and exam. There concern will not help to increase your score.
4pm: Have some juice and prepare your geometry box/pouch, keep JEE Admit card safely. Share a copy and pic of the card with your parents as backup.
5pm: Go for jogging/mild exercise/long walk, sports like badminton, basket ball. Do proper warm up and stretching exercise and don’t do too much of rigorous activities or else your body will ache next day.
6pm: Milk/tea / Listen Music, Fun with friends by calling them home, Play some games, where injury chances should be minimal. You may get a head massage. This will help you feel better.
8:30pm: Dinner followed by a walk with those, who will not talk about exam.
10pm: Go to sleep. If because of anxiety you are not able to sleep then, take two table spoon of cough syrup after doctor’s recommendation.
The Exam day !
You are asked to walk 100 steps on a 1 foot wide straight road (without boundary) without stepping out of it. In return you are offered Rs 10,000. Wow… that seems to be an amazing deal. I am sure all of you will accept the challenge. But If I ask you to repeat the same activity on a bridge (without boundary) which connects two tall 100 storied towers ! Almost 400 m above the ground. This time I offer you Rs 1,00,000 ! Oopes… still you will decline the challenge. But why ? its the same width, same number of steps. I am sure gravity wont change much there 😊 and this time I am offering 1 Lakh ! It sounds funny but it answers one of the most crucial question, What should be the state of mind !!!
Fundamental and the only difference inbetween these two examples is “state of mind” ! To be very precise fear ! Fear of falling, makes him jittery and increases the chances of toppling. If it is compulsory to cross the bridge, then best way would be to ignore the consequences and concentrate on subsequent steps. If he forgets about the vertical height, he will be able to cross. Since you dont have an option to bunk JEE, better you stop thinking about the result and concentrate on exam problems. I know its easy said than done. But ultimately you are aiming to become cream of the country and that deserves such mental toughness. You have to strike the correct frame of mind, you will surely cross the road !
Lets get into further details, crossing such road, involve movement of legs and your mind controls the execution. Its a Leg-Mind coordination. A disturbed mind creates problem in the coordination. This example can easily be co related with the process of attempting an exam. But there is a slight difference. In case of exam, instead of legs, our mind will be directly involved. Hence it becomes a mind-mind coordination. Hmm… it sounds even more confusing. But one thing which came up loud and clear is, you have to have a cool head !! Think like a monk !
Few more important points are as follows:Dont waste your energy in talking to anyone.
8. Go to washroom before entering the exam hall.
You have to enter the Exam Hall the way Sachin Tendulkar used to enter Cricket ground ! Body language matters. Yes it matters alot. In gym before lifting heavy weights, my instructor used to bang on my back, which was followed by loud shout by both of us “Come On Lalit…!! “, electrifying the environment. That resulted in some more aggression and hence some extra Kgs of weight lifting. Believe me it works for exams also. Please dont hit anyone in the hall 😇 You should have a smile on ur face, chest pumped up and one hand in hair and another one carrying your belongings.😎 Your aura should confuse other exam aspirants, whether you have come for exam or to receive a gold medal . Jokes apart, this attitude will help you to keep fear at bay, which could have otherwise spelled doom.
You have won your first battle. Now the next agenda is to acclimatize with the examination situation. Sip some water taking your seat. Close your eyes and take deep breath which will lead to some extra oxygen supply to your brain. Tell following things to yourself,
3. Read instructions on the cover page carefully. JEE is famous to throw surprises. You never know what kind of marking scheme they will come up with. If there is no surprise element, well and good. But what if they throw a bomb shell of something like +4 and -3 ? Well this should not be a problem as it a competitive exam, a tougher marking scheme will affect everybody’s score and hence relative ranking remains unaffected. Because of such marking scheme, many JEE aspirants will get bogged down. Everybody will lose marks, others may lose more, owing to the mental tension over and above tough marking scheme. Since you are not tensed, you will lose just because of tough marking scheme. Your lesser loss, is actually your profit. Make appropriate strategy to tackle such surprise elements. For example if they have tougher marking scheme (+4, -3), decrease your speed and try to increase the accuracy. Usually if you solve 70 out of 90. Then you just solve 60. Similarly, if there is no negative marking then you have to attempt 100% problems. In case you are running short of time, just mark “c” option of all the questions. Be careful, you can afford this only if there is no negative marking.
- Never leave any unwanted mark on the OMR sheet.
- Keep on sipping water from your water bottle after every 30 minutes.
- Don’t drink too much water.
- If there is some problem, in paper or classroom, which you can avoid, then you need not waste time in reporting that problem to the invigilator.
- If some student is disturbing you, immediately report to the invigilator. Dont communicate to the student directly.
- If there is a question, which you are not able to solve, but you can confidently strike off two out of four options, then you may use some guess work to select one of the remaining two options.
- Never bank upon last 10 minutes to fill the OMR sheet.
In JEE advanced, take care of following points:
- You have to use the 2 hours break in between two papers, to recharge your brain.
- Neither think nor discuss about the first paper.
- Ask your parents strictly not to talk about the first paper.
- Take a short nap of 30 minutes in car or under a tree. Make sure that you should not fall asleep for long or else you may get late for second paper. Ask your parents to wake you up after 30 minutes.
- Have light food and juice in the break
- While solving a problem, your complete focus should be on that problem ignoring everything else. Many times if students are not confident about previous problem, then they get distracted by thinking of previous problem, which leads to yet another mistake even in subsequent problems as well. Do you remember the batsman theory on 5th day ? Just concentrate on that ball, no matter what happened with previous problem. Thats it !
Be prepared for some unexpected situations.
JEE mains is conducted on a huge scale. Almost 10 Lakh students appear for this exam and that seems to be too heavy a load over government to manage. Many times student have to face few adverse situations in exam, here I have listed few of them.
- In a huge hall, you may get a corner bench, where paper distributer will reach last and you will end up getting your paper 10 minutes late. Worst may happen when new invigilator will come at the end of the exam and he will start collecting paper from you ! Subsequently you will get almost 15-20 minutes less than the student sitting in front bench.
- It may happen that your JEE Admit card pic or signature mismatch on the day of exam. I remember one of my student, Ameya Ranade was troubled by the invigilator for signature mismatch in JEE 2004. Unfortunately he pressed panic button and completely messed up his maths exam. His score was 49/60 in physics, but because of mathematics he spoilt is rank. Next year he reappeared and got AIR 37.
- Few confused invigilators may ask you to show some documents, which you are not expected to carry. A student of Prime Academy Pune, Hemant Phalak was asked to show his board admit card in JEE 2014, which a student was never asked to bring. Luckily Hemant had attend my last-day-tips lecture and was prepared for blunders. He kept his calm and went out of the hall to call his mother and asked her to do the need full. All this happened in exam time. Subsequently ended up wasting 20 crucial minutes. Still he managed to clear JEE and made it to IIT Bombay.
- In JEE 2010, Question paper had a sequence of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. But surprisingly, OMR had a sequence of Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. Now if you read Question no-1 from Question paper, it belongs to Physics, but in OMR if you wish to fill the answer of first physics question, then heading was of chemistry. That means you have to write all physics answers in chemistry section of OMR. This was a blunder and poor students kept on wondering. Invigilators of different centers suggested different remedies.
- Conditions at few exam centers are not conducive, some times because of small sizes of seats or sometimes because of lots of disturbances around.
- I know a case, where one student was absent. While distributing OMR he skipped the empty bench but he had already left one Question paper on that bench. Consequently paper code and OMR code of all the students sitting behind that bench mismatched and created chaos in middle of the exam.
- In 2016 JEE mains, students were not allowed to carry their watch and unfortunately few of the centers, didnt have wall clock.
- Sometimes invigilator may snatch your OMR 5 minutes early and if you are banking on last 5-10 minutes to fill the OMR, then all your hard work will go in vain.
- In case your brain gets tired or slow down because of any reason, just sip some water and shake your head.
These situations are not under your control. But in all these cases if you keep your cool, there is always a way out. Dont except complete 3 hours from the invigilators. Assume as if you are going to get just 2 hours 45 minutes. If you get (well deserved) 15 minutes, then thats great ! In case there is some misunderstanding with invigilators because of photograph/signature mismatch, documents or any damn thing, then politely tell them that after the exam you will do the needful and request them to allow you to continue with the exam.There is a very important point which a student must realize. In an exam of 180 minutes, if your score is 180, then it doesnt mean that you will score 1 marks after every minute. There may be occasions, where you will score almost 8 marks in 1 minute and there may be few lean patches, where you will take almost 20 minutes to score these 8 marks. Well its a very crucial information which can keep the moral high, even if you get 15 minutes less because of invigilator’s fault or may be because of your own silly mistakes in exam. I have emphasized that in my next paragraph.
There may be few occasions, where you are not able to solve a problem and start getting frustrated, this frustration usually leads to the unsuccessful attempt of subsequent problems. This trail of unsolved questions can lead to a devastating black out of your mind. The moment you realize that you are being dragged in any such situation, simply close your eyes and do deep breathing for 2 minutes and sip some water before staring again. While doing deep breathing, say following things to yourself
“I can still crack the exam if I get into my normal senses.
Few jittery moments can not stop me from success.
Paper is not over yet and i can still crack it
If I am fining the paper tougher than usual, then it must be tough for others and everybody will lose marks.
I have to hold my nerves in this difficult situation to get best out of it.
All my mentors and parents are showering blessings for my success.”
Don’t worry you will not lose marks because of these 2 minutes. These 2 minutes are your investment, which can help you give out put worth extra 30 minutes. This simple process, can rescue you from a potentially horrible situation, which would have been destructive otherwise.
As i had explained earlier, you don’t score every minute and its perfectly fine if few minutes go in vein. But important is to consolidate on rest of your time.
I have enough experience to claim following points with confidence ! Hard work never goes in vein. If you have put efforts, then it is bound to give you results. If your efforts are sufficient enough, then you will clear JEE. It is important to realize that exam result, is not the only reward, which you get by preparing for IIT JEE. It is much more than that. Rigorous IIT JEE preparation improves the basic thought process. Fundamental knowledge of maths and science, clubbed with analytical skills, will help you in future course of action.BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. YOU CAN DO IT!
Team Prime Academy, who has groomed you for couple of years, join me in conveying our best wishes and whole hearted blessings !
May the force be with you
Love and Luck !
Founder & CMD
Prime Academy Pune
TEAM PRIME ACADEMY, PUNE
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