College, Year, Branch: IIT Hyderabad- 3rd Year, Mechanical Engineering,
When did you decide that the JEE was something you want to go for?
I didn’t conventionally take coaching from 8th class like most aspirants do. I just decided to do engineering after my 10th grade. I didn’t want to be ordinary. So, while joining 11th grade, I decided to study in the premier institutes of the country. So, I chose to study at either an IIT or an NIT.
How did you prepare for the exams?
I just solved a lot of questions from the coaching material given at my institute. I managed to get a good grip on concepts in Maths and Chemistry because of good professors at my institute. Then, I worked on all the problems given in that chapter. The continuous weekly tests also helped a lot.
What was your motivation: brand IIT or something else?
It was basically the brand. I am not going to lie and pretend like I have some kind of passion or feed you some (fake) inspiring story about it. I feel that local engineering colleges are not up to the mark. They lack in many things – from research to good pedagogy to standard of students. So, I didn’t want to end up as a random girl among the existing over-abundance of engineers. I wanted to be special! So, that was my motivation. When someone asks me about my education, I wanted to be able to say it with pride rather than mumble some college’s name that no one has ever heard about. This drove me to work hard for the exam!
What according to you are the best ingredients to crack the JEE?
Hard-work, dedication, passion and a clear-cut goal that keeps you focused. Whether you are intelligent or not, if you are industrious, you will succeed!
And what of these do you think you lacked/ possessed?
I worked hard, I was dedicated. Although my goal wasn’t very clear-cut. If you know what institute you want to get into, you can work accordingly. I was okay with any NIT or IIT, so I got a seat in NIT Warangal CSE, but I got into IIT Hyderabad Mechanical by that time already. I didn’t give my best in JEE Advanced, but I did do well in JEE Mains. This was because I didn’t have a good strategy and aim.
Was it all books, tutorials, and formulas or you took out time for recreation?
Well, I am not going to sugar-coat it for you; honestly, it was quite a lot of studying. But I did have time for a little bit of TV (less than half an hour) on most days of the week, and more on the weekends. I did have fun times with my classmates during breaks and study hours, though.
Things you would like to change w.r.t. your preparation strategy
I wish I had worked harder in learning concepts better. And I would have better practiced more. Apart from that, I have no regrets.
Any speciﬁc problem you faced during your preparation and what helped you in your moments of such depressions?
I was more of a cheerful person and barely complained because I wanted the seat so bad. I was willing to gladly sacrifice all my free time for it and put in a lot of work. Sometimes when my state ranks in local tests would not go that well, I felt a little down. But those failures motivated me to work harder for the next tests and I used to perform well. I loved Math and frequently got close to full marks in the tests. So, my heart breaks when I make any blunders even in a single Math problem. That motivated me to be more careful. So, my depressing moments itself helped me to form better actually.
What was your expectation with yourself?
My expectation was that I would get into NIT because I thought IIT was a little beyond my capabilities. But then I was ecstatic to find that I actually exceeded my own expectations and got into IIT!
If you wouldn’t have cracked JEE, how would you have felt and would you have considered dropping a year to ace the exam?
No, I wouldn’t. I was pretty confident that I would, at least, get into an NIT. So, if not IIT, then I would go for NIT. Dropping a year is neither economical nor suitable for me or my family.
Any advice you would like to prescribe for the aspirants w.r.t. preparation?
Give it your best shot. No half-hearted preparations ever get you to the right college. Have an aim and a backup option. Work hard towards that goal!
Any advice you would like to impart to the aspirants as an IITian about life in IIT?
Life in IIT is chill. It is worth the hard work during your prep. The respect you get in the outside world feels amazing. At IIT, you will have to study well too, to get your grades up. You cannot expect that it is the end of your hard-work. But the parties, the fun, and the best part – hostel life make them the best four years of your life!