When did you decided that the JEE was something you want to go for?
I first heard of JEE in 11th standard and as I inquired more I got to know that it is probably the toughest exam in India and that attracted me to study for it.
How did you prepare for the exams?
I had enrolled in a local coaching class and there was a lot of hard work and practice involved.
What was your motivation was it just brand IIT or something else?
Although brand IIT was a definite motivation but it was more like proving yourself to be the best that motivated me.
What according to you are the best ingredient to crack the JEE?
Hard Work and a knack to understand concepts certainly are the primary ingredients.
And what of these do you think you lacked/ possessed?
I think I was blessed with all of these qualities.
Was it all books, tutorials and formulas or you took out time for recreation?
I believe that the concept of recreation had vanished. I mean the best time of my day was when I could crack a question which no one else could. Tha gives you a sort of rush which you can’t get in any recreation.
Thing you would like to change wrt your preparation strategy etc.
It is very important to join a good test series. I had a pretty good rank in screening but I did not do that good in mains just because I had no practice of solving a JEE like paper in the given time constraints. Although now there are no screening and mains buit still a good practice under JEE like conditions can give you a l;ot of advantage.
Any specific problem you faced (psychological, moral, not getting good marks in coaching despite studying et al)?
Despite how good you think you are there is always the in built doubt wiht questions like, what would happen if I don’t go through, what if their are better people than me, what if my preparation is not sufficient etc. So that was one problem I faced other than that is a great amount of self doubt.
What helped you in your moments of stress?
The fact that I was better than the people around me really was a moral booster.
What was your expectation with youself (in terms of selection/ rank) and the reason cause of which you didn’t achieve/ you exceeded the same?
I did pretty well with objective exams so I did reasonably good with screening and hence I thought I would be able to carry on that success to the mains which did not happen. I did not do very good in the mains. I think the primary reason was not having the experience of given a mock test under JEE conditions. Such tests help you a lot and can give you important pointers like how to strategize for time etc.
If you wouldn’t have cracked JEE, how would you have felt and would you have considered dropping a year to ace the exam?
The year I passed JEE I was at my pinnacle and I think if I had not passed the exam I would not have the heart to carry on.
Any advice you would like to prescribe for the aspirants wrt preparation? (please be specific with your response if you dropped/ had reservation/ self study/ high rank/ border-line rank/ too much of extra cur activities before joining etc.)
Well there are a lot of things to be said and I would try to write on this topic in detail in an article but in short you have to constantly read and revise and certainly don’t waste a moment of your time if you can. Remember every oment you waste somebody is getting better.
Any advice you would like to prescribe for the aspirants as an IITian about life in IIT?
The thing is this again is a very subjective topic but for the purpose of discussion here I would say that IIT is just an avenue, a step towards a very long ladder of success in a life. Even if you do not get through you can still do a lot of good if you make the best use of whatever opportunity you get.