Here, by partial droppers, I mean to address those aspirants of IIT JEE which have already taken admission in some college. But, still they want the tag of IIT JEE and they are preparing for IIT JEE along with their regular college course.
I’ve already discussed about the strategies to be used by a repeater for IIT JEE. However, the way of preparation for a partial dropper differs a lot from a normal repeater. Partial droppers face a lot of problems which are hard to overcome. The most basic difference is availability of time. A partial dropper needs to spend at least 6-7 hours daily for their college course. I know not every partial dropper spends 6-7 hour on his or her college course. However, on an average this is the ideal time. Therefore, it’s no brainer that they get overall less study time for IIT JEE preparation. This means they have to use their time in the most optimal way. Along with this they have to create every possible spare time as an opportunity to study.
Apart from this every person have the desire to perform well even if the exam is of less important. Hence, there is an itch to perform well in both IIT JEE and their current college course. This creates mental pressure, especially after every semester or mid semester exams. In normal case a partial dropper score somewhat poorer than a regular student in the college course exam. This in some way hit their ego and transforms them to perform well in the next semester exam. This means, it acts as a strong force of diversion from IIT JEE for partial droppers.
Seeing the friends around enjoying the college life sometimes demotivate from giving ample time for IIT JEE preparation. When partial droppers notice that their friends are enjoying the college life and they are not, even if they can. Sometimes, this works in diminishing their zeal to be an IIT’ian, as somewhere in the mind they fear that they could fail to secure an IIT seat. It is easy to enjoy life in present than to plan to enjoy in the future which is unclear. Overall, a partial dropper needs to be mentally very strong to overcome these problems. The success rate of partial droppers is not very high. So, the first lesson to be successful as a partial dropper is to be strong mentally. If you can take heavy pressure, only then think about preparing for IIT JEE along with your 1st year engineering Course. This period will test you how well you can handle pressure.
A very important fact about IIT JEE applicable to any candidate is that only the time devoted by you on self-study make or breaks your chance to be an IIT’ian. I mean to say coaching or tuitions or any course material just enhances your chances of selection in IIT JEE. They don’t play defining role in the selection. A person can be an IIT’ian even without studying in coaching or reading from GMP. But, one has very less chance to be successful in IIT JEE without lots of self-study. I’m saying here very less chance, not no chance as I’d a friend with me at ISI Kolkata, who used to just pay good attention in the classroom, but still without self-study used to get good marks. He had got around 1100 rank in IIT JEE. Some of his friends from his IIT JEE coaching told me that they never saw him studying at hostel while IIT JEE preparation. Just with the classroom lecture and classwork, he was able to crack IIT JEE. What I want to say was there are exceptions, reciting exceptional people. But, on average this is not possible.
As a partial dropper has to use his time optimally, he can’t afford to study in a coaching. He has to rely only on self-study. Try to find other partial droppers in your institute or hostel or around. Make a group and try to clear your doubts with them every week or every 3-4 days. You can’t afford daily group session as many a times group session result in entertainment session. If a lot of jokes are cracked during the group session, chances are it will attract you just like drug attract a drug addict. So, try to make these group session professional. Doubt clearance is very important as it helps to understand the concept and make them strong. If one tries to clear such doubts by looking in different books, one might clear the doubts. In a way when a doubt is cleared in such way one understands the concept in better way than in doubt clearance session. Also, sometime it happens that when we try to clear our doubt by ourselves, we assume few incorrect things to be correct. Lastly, it takes your precious time too, which is in less reserve. The ideal way to deal with a doubt is to try to clear your doubts yourself for few hours by looking in different books. If you could clear your doubts then good, if you don’t then no problem. In any case, you have read a lot about it. Now, in your next group session discuss it with your friend. If you cleared your doubts, then in group session whatever you understood was true or false will be tested, else, if you didn’t clear your doubts, then, it will be cleared. It also helps in clear the same doubt in your friend if they haven’t noticed that they have any such doubt.
In a doubt session, try to discuss conceptual confusion and not the problem you couldn’t solve. Problems should be solved only by you. Remember, for IIT JEE, it is not important to know how a particular type of problems is solved. Problems which will come might be very new. You need to know how to solve even new type of problems. IIT needs students with innovative mind. So, to be innovative you have to know how give direction to your mind on unknown paths. Solving harder problem with your friend will momentarily help you to understand the concept required to solve it. But, there is always a chance that you could not solve similar problem with little twist. Therefore, clear the doubts related to concept and solve problems by you. For IIT JEE, the best way to strengthen your concept understanding is by solving problems. You don’t mug up the concepts; you understand it by applying it. That’s why such students do well after IIT in every field either CAT or UPSC or any other area. Practical learning makes a wise man; rote learning makes a computer or robot.
Time management is the key to unlock the doors of your success in IIT JEE. I will not discuss how much time you should devote to your IIT JEE or when you should read. This will differ from person to person. I will just give you some facts which will help you to manage your time optimally. The most important thing in managing your time is to prepare a feasible time table. I said feasible as don’t make such a plan which is hard to implement. Your college academic session goes in a fixed time format. So, you might not face problems in preparing a time-table around your college lectures. Give sufficient time to cope with your college studies. A very poor performance in college exams might result in a weak spot in interviews if in unfortunate case you could not clear IIT JEE in your second attempt. So, you have to get average marks to pass. Don’t just ignore college. On an average, I assume 5-6 hours will be the time you will get on week days and 9-10 hours on weekend. On week days try to read in bulk time. Means, it’s better to read 5-6 hours continuously for IIT JEE rather than collection of many 1 and 2 hour durations. This will help you to forget about other problems for some time and lend your mind totally to IIT JEE.
As there is shortage of time, you are not in a position to solve many problems. I will suggest in every 2-3 problems, leave a problem unsolved, if you can think how you would approach the problem and solve it after reading it. In every 2-3 problem leave a problem which is less challenging for you.
After you complete a particular chapter, you should prepare a plan to revise it later. The fact is now after solving the chapter you know which problems are no brainer and which are good and challenging. Mark around 1/3rd or less problems of the topic in such a way that when you revise it even after 6-7 months later. You take very less time to recover all the tactics and methods, you improvised while solving it initially. Whenever, we solve problems from a topic, we tend to develop some special tactics for solving the topic. I’m not talking about magical methods. I’m talking about tactics like using a formula in different way or memorizing the value of some special constants that come repeatedly. These help to solve problem faster, but we have a common tendency to forget these things with time.
Lastly, enroll in a good test series in around December. I liked FIITJEE test series very much. But, you can go with any one that can help you to estimate your improvement. A fact I say always that you don’t need to prepare for each test of the test series. Don’t waste time in preparing for any test of a test series, either it is in the beginning or in the end. Tests are to estimate you in real-time. Even if you get less marks in test series try to be more conscious in the tests next time. But, don’t prepare for it. You need the precious time to keep your IIT JEE preparation in continuity. Never let a gap of a day or two between your preparations.
In the last months of your preparation, i.e. in March or April use the medical excuse to get free from attendance for a month or two. You require this leave as it will help you to summarize your preparation in the best possible way. It’s not mandatory to get a leave by such way. But, if you could get it you can use it for the best.
Above all, be brave. Only brave persons could clear IIT JEE while enrolling in some other regular course. Feel confident that you can do it. Try to keep yourself happy even in the toughest time schedule. Keep your mind as relaxed as possible. Best of luck!
There might be some areas which I might have missed. Please mention those in the comments. I will be pleased to help you.
I’m giving links to articles written by me on similar topics:
- Kota: Paradise for IIT JEE Aspirants
- Role of coaching in IIT JEE selection
- Hopes Beyond IIT
- IIT JEE: What should be the strategy for repeaters?
- How to Prepare for IIT JEE?