Targeting IITs

How to prepare for the toughest exam?



As class 10th examinations in the valley come to an end, quite a few of you would have already decided on opting for the non-medical stream in order to pursue a career in engineering. The first step, and probably one of the most important ones, towards a successful career in engineering is getting into a good engineering college. While there are numerous good engineering colleges across India, IITs maintain an undisputable position at the top and continue to attract the best students across the country.
IITs are the centres of excellence and knowledge, and are regarded as one of the most prestigious engineering institutes in both, India and abroad. Every year, lakhs of students appear for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE; in 2011, 485,000 appeared for the test), vying for only a few thousand seats, making it one of the toughest examinations in the world. Itís a dream come true, for even the brightest of students, to secure an admission to IIT.
Given the competition and the difficulty of JEE, itís needless to say that you need to work really hard in order to do well in the examination. However, there are certain other factors that determine a studentís success in the examination. These factors include a desire to be among the best, focus and dedication, and a proper guidance.
First and foremost, in order to qualify for IITs, you need to have a strong inner desire to be among the best, to excel, and hence, compete with the best. This strong desire is paramount to ensuring that the student always remains focused on the goal and continuously works hard till the goal is achieved.
Unlike Board exams, competitive exams focus more on understanding and application of concepts. So just knowing the concepts is not enough; you need to develop a very strong and fundamental understanding of concepts along with an ability to apply these concepts at ease. This is can only be achieved through constant learning of concepts and a disciplined routine of solving numerous problems/questions on each and every topic. Grasping of these concepts and mastering the technique to apply the same requires an unparalleled dedication and an unshakable focus.
From my personal experience, I believe that in order to do well in any competitive examination, and not just JEE, you need to understand the examination first. You need to understand what exactly the examination wants to test. Only when you know what the examination is looking for, you can optimize your preparation for the examination. This is where the guidance factor comes into picture. Proper and constant guidance ensures that you are preparing for the exam in the best possible manner and are up to date with the changes in patterns/course.
You should ideally start preparing for JEE right from the beginning of class 11th. Extra efforts should be put in from the start in developing and understanding of the concepts. Studying and discussing with a group of like minded people is advised. It helps in understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses. Discussions also enable flow of knowledge as students learn from each other. Enrolling for courses which prepare students for entrances is very helpful. Not only does it ensure a conducive environment for knowledge sharing among students but also provides students with adequate guidance and relevant preparation material. However you are advised to research about these courses in detail and enroll only if you are convinced that itís the most suited approach for you.
Lastly I would emphasize on the fact that the two years post class 10th are probably the most crucial years of your education. The effort you put in these two years will end up determining the college you go to for pursuing your higher education. Hence, you need to ensure that not only do you put in a lot of effort during these two years, but also, that the effort is sincere and in the right direction.

(Mubeen Masudi graduated from IIT Bombay in 2011. Feedback at

Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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