Bracing up for the IIT-JEE?
Going by the sharp increase in applicants -- 3.95 lakh -- as against 3.2 lakh in 2008, the ‘IIT dream’ has certainly not lost its sheen, writes DEEPA KURUP
Photo: M. Vedhan
TAKING NO CHANCES: Students are busy with last-minute-cramming, strategising and brushing up on their year-long efforts for the IIT entrance test.
The joint entrance examination, used as a benchmark for admissions to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology, is just round the corner. Young IIT aspirants, who have just completed their pre-university or 12th standard examinations, are busy with last-minute-cramming, strategising and brushing up on their year-long efforts. Going by the sharp increase in applicants — 3.95 lakh students applied, as against 3.2 lakh in 2008 — the ‘IIT dream’ has certainly not lost its sheen.
And with 13 IITs to choose from, and two others in Indore and Himachal Pradesh set to open admissions this year, for many their dream college has only moved closer home. Needless to say, competition will be stiff; and with news reports constantly talking about the low recruitment scene in your average engineering college, the rush to Brand IIT is likely to increase. News reports have attributed this surge to more students applying under various reserved quotas — nearly 1.55 lakh, as against around 50,000 last year. Last year, there was a total of 6,752 seats on offer in the seven old IITs and the six new ones. However, with several of them not having separate campuses, students are sceptical about them. For instance, IIT Bhubaneswar is operating out of IIT Kharagpur. Bhuvana Anil Kumar of the Triumphant Institute of Management Education, a coaching centre chain, says that students were apprehensive last year. “Like any other brand when we have more chains – more valid in educational institutions – people look at it with a bit of caution,” she explains. However, she feels, that the IIT brand name will prevail, and those who don’t make it to the older institutes will pick the new IITs over a regional college.
Until last year, subject cut-offs were not a matter of concern for this exam considering cut-offs were as low as zero and two. With the mode of calculating cut-offs back to the national-average method, the figure is likely to be a double digit number.
This means that students cannot afford to neglect any subject, and must do reasonably well in all sections. “Don’t forget that the subject cut-off will be higher this year. So don’t hesitate to give more attention to a subject in the Paper 2 if you have not attempted that subject to your satisfaction in Paper 1.
Tips to use
The difficulty of this exam is because the questions are unique, and requires both an in-depth knowledge of subjects and the skill to apply various questions in combination. Several websites forums provide data analysis of trends, section-wise break-ups and JEE pattern changes over the years. The Hindu Education Plus spoke to experts to put together some tips for the fresh IIT aspirant.
Firstly, relax. The pattern hasn’t changed for three years, and is not likely to change Ms. Anil Kumar says: “Only possible change could be in the type of questions in some sections. Last year, section 1 had questions with multiple right answers, and Section 2 had matrix-match type questions. Except for such minor changes, things will be the same.” Hence, the most important thing is to read the instructions carefully.
Use your model papers, that you have worked out, and go through the flow of questions and marking scheme, Experts remind students that marking schemes are subject to change. Saurabh Kumar, National Programme head, Career Launcher advices students to not study anything new in the coming week. “Revise important formulae, and step assumptions daily. By now students should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, so they should decide what subjects to attempt first,” Mr. Kumar says. Also, eat healthy, sleep well and relax, he adds.
Do not attempt to do any lengthy problem that involves multiple steps. Do not study a new concept or a variant of a old problem. The last day has to be spent in skimming the material. Decide that you will not do any in-depth study. Never open a book that you have not seen till that day.
Take the last three model examination papers that you have done and go through the flow of the questions and the marking scheme applicable Tell yourself again and again that the marking scheme in the actual examination could be different from the marking scheme mentioned in the model examinations
On exam day –Do’s
Last year, multiple correct answers did not carry negative marks. Students who did not attempt those questions for fear of attracting penalty missed out on easy scoring opportunity.
So do read the instructions given for every type of question.
After Paper 1, the only analysis that you should do is to understand the pattern of the question paper. No other analysis is worth doing during the two-hour break from 12:00 noon to 02:00 pm.
Use the restroom before entering the examination hall. Your mind needs to be completely focused on the examination paper.
Don’t forget that the subject cut-off will be higher this year.
So don’t hesitate to give more attention to a subject in the Paper 2 if you have not attempted that subject to your satisfaction in Paper 1 Don’t spend more that 90 minutes on any single subject in any Paper. That would be an overkill and could actually hamper your chances with respect to subject-wise cut-offs.
Do not trade last minute tips with friends or complete strangers on the day of the examination. nothing is achieved on the last day. You are what you have prepared for the last two years.