The admission to the 30 NITs, 4 IIITs, DA-IICT and 15% All India quota to all the unaided and aided Engineering colleges in different States (like VJTI, MIT, VIT, ICT etc.) is on the basis of JEE MAINS exam. The JEE from 2013-16 is being conducted in 2 stages viz. JEE MAINS in April and JEE ADVANCED in May. About 13 lac students across India appear for the JEE MAINS of which 2 lac students are selected for JEE ADVANCED. The admission to the 19 IITs is based on the JEE ADVANCED. In Maharashtra, there are about 2.5 lac students who appear for various Engineering Entrance Exams like MHT-CET, JEE etc. of which only about 15000 students consciously prepare for JEE. The rest prepare only for XII Boards and MHT-CET exam. Thus, barely 6% of Engineering aspirants in Maharashtra prepare for JEE as against 75% in Andhra Pradesh and 90% in Delhi & Kota. Despite this, Maharashtra ranked No.3 in India in 2015 after Andhra Pradesh & Rajasthan in number of IIT Ranks produced State-wise. Thus, there is a clear need for building awareness of JEE in Maharashtra as the Pre-Engineering Foundation gets far better developed by studying for JEE rather than by simply studying for MHT-CET.
The JEE MAINS has 110 chapters in Maths, Physics & Chemistry whereas the JEE ADVANCED has about 100 chapters only. Both exams are Multiple-choice questions based with negative marking. The pattern of JEE MAINS is fixed with 90 questions and 360 marks to be done in 3 hours. The pattern of JEE ADVANCED is not disclosed before the exam and changes every year. The average level of difficulty of questions in JEE ADVANCED is higher as compared to JEE MAINS. The cut-off score for qualifying from JEE MAINS to JEE ADVANCED has ranged between 105-115 marks out of 360 in the past 3 years. The qualifying score for an IIT Rank in JEE ADVANCED exam is 35% marks.
When to start preparing for JEE?
The preparation for JEE can be done in 2-years period from Std.11-12. However, developing problems solving ability in 110 chapters in just 2-years is usually a stressful experience for most students. Hence, the ideal time to start JEE preparation is any given year from Std.8-10 so that there is no stress during Std.11-12. If the student invests atleast 1 year in IIT Foundation preparation either in Std.8 or 9, he would come out of the rote learning approach usually adopted in schools and shall be better oriented to understand the concepts of Math & Science. This shall help the student in Std.11-12 tremendously and would help him enjoy his studies rather than finding it as a burden. Enjoying the study process is the antidote to the stress which students nowadays suffer from!
What must be the study approach ?
In the first 16 months in Std.11-12, the student must focus on understanding basic concepts of the 110 chapters in JEE syllabi and learning to solve problems by applying these concepts in various different situations. The focus must be to solve problems of JEE ADVANCED level of difficulty which enables a student to easily solve JEE MAINS problems as well. The last 6-8 months must be invested in mastering the art of cracking the JEE exam by writing large number of Tests and analysing Test performance in detail after every Test. The student must evolve his own personal exam strategy in the course of these 6 months to crack the JEE.
From which sources must the student study for JEE ?
There are broadly 3 sources from where a student can study for JEE.
1) Classroom coaching : This is the best avenue if the coaching institute has talented teachers as instant doubt clarifying happens, the right approach to learn is given and a vibrant peer group is readily available. However, the cost of education in coaching institutes is high and there are hardly 15 reputed coaching institutes for JEE in Maharashtra with centers in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur & Aurangabad.
2) Postal / Study Material coaching : A student who is determined and can do self-study can prepare for JEE by purchasing good books for JEE available in the market or by enrolling for a postal program in a reputed National-Level coaching institute. JEE books published by Cengage, Arihant, GRB, Disha, JPNP, Bharti Bhuvan etc. are widely used by JEE aspirants across India.
3) Electronic coaching : A student can enroll for e-Learning tools like video lectures, e-study material, e-Tests which again are available ONLINE or in tablet or pen drive formats. This is an upcoming trend and is likely to become more popular within 2-3 years.
It must be noted that Self-Study for 6-8 hours daily for JEE is a must in Std.11-12 while studying by any of the above 3 methods.
Is it worth sacrificing fun in my 2 precious teenage years for JEE studies ?
Engineering studies of 4-years are based on JEE studies and not on CET studies ! Hence, ideally every Engineering aspirant must study for JEE during Std.11-12 and must cut down extra-curricular activities during this 2-years period. It is worth it as the student can enjoy his student life along with excelling in academics during the 4-years of Engineering. The choice for an Engineering aspirant is to either have fun in Std.11-12 and suffer in the 4-years of Engineering OR to study hard in Std.11-12 and enjoy in the 4-years of Engineering. The wise student will make the right choice accordingly.
JEE studies must however be perceived only by students blessed with high logical intelligence only. It is not the domain of the average student. Parents must keep this in mind before encouraging the student for JEE studies.