Hello! Hope you are engrossed in your studies for the JEE. But, have you ever wondered why only a handful of students from the entire nation land up in the so-called premier institutes of the country—that is, IITs, NITs, and IIITs? The point worth mentioning is almost 13 lakh students apply but roughly 10 thousand could make their way into IITs. So, how did they crack the JEE? There must be something special that the top 10 thousand students did that differentiated them from the crowd. Or let me put it another way, there must be some mistakes that the rest of the people did that cost them a Govt. Engineering College seat. Let’s examine some of them.
There is a reason for this being at the top of the list.
Procrastinating, or the act of delaying any task, is the one major factor which ensures that the candidate is out of the race to an IIT. Don’t believe me, try it once. It’s almost impossible to find the motivation to study something which you decided to skip for now and do some time later. This will not help you crack the JEE. You will procrastinate once, feel that it doesn’t do much harm, do it again while studying something else, and the chain will continue. Eventually you will realize that all you are left with is a ton of backlog and zero preparation, and instead of cleaning up the mess you will simply ponder, “Where did I go wrong?”. Of course, the habit is not going to die.
Studying Too Little or Relying Solely on School Books to Crack JEE
Now, let’s talk business. The JEE is not child’s play. What is required of you is a concrete hold on the basics of all three subjects, along with rigorous practice of problems of varying difficulties and patterns. Surely, you can’t rely on board level books for it. You need to push your limits and explore all possible dimensions of a topic.
This is where most students give up. They think the JEE is similar to class X boards, so students start enthusiastically preparing for it. But the moment challenging problems are thrown at them the motivation starts dying. Remember, everybody goes through this transition. However, the ones who cope with it by being patient and practicing are the only ones who crack the JEE—and end up at IITs/NITs.
Too Much Use of Social Media
A factor which adds fuel to students’ careless attitude towards study is this age of Social Media. Okay, I understand it is almost impossible for students of today to stay away from the likes of Facebook and Instagram, but there have to be some limits. In other words, you cannot allow it to interfere with your studies.
But the sad reality is that students prefer posting stories to their Facebook and Instagram accounts, and updating their WhatsApp statuses, rather than picking up a book and studying. Well, why not do that? After all, the former sounds like more fun and is “cool”—but only till your friends and relatives ask for your results and you search for places to hide your face.
“The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future.” – Daniel Kahneman.
One can’t be perfect in any field. If not better, there would always be someone who is as good as you. Unfortunately, students tend to become egoistical if they do well in a particular subject or test, and feel like the JEE will be a cakewalk. But it isn’t. Even a small spark of over-confidence, if not subdued, could burn the entire career of the student. The JEE demands patience and control over yourself until the point you turn in the final paper.
Under-confidence is as harmful as over-confidence. The latter destroys the thinking and rational aptitude of the person owing to a premeditated image of oneself, while the former doesn’t allow the person to develop the required confidence to face the competition.
It is perfectly fine if you don’t do well in a particular subject or test. But instead of learning from it, students at times tend to consider it as their own weakness and inability to succeed. They take one bad incident during preparation so seriously that they fail to count on the numerous opportunities to succeed that are ahead of them. One must understand that things change. You will be subjected to numerous challenges and failures at every stage of life. What matters is facing them with strong determination, or else survival in this highly competitive world is next to impossible.
Irrational Comparison with Peers
Not everyone has the same living and studying circumstances. Everyone is different in ways of living, studying, appearance, etc. So why would you compare yourself to someone else’s intelligence? Everyone has some special talent which no one else possesses. Thus, there’s no point in blindly comparing two people based on just one factor.
If the comparison is made for self-enhancement it’s healthy. For instance, if your friend is good at Physics and you are absolutely not. Instead of being jealous of them, try to observe how your friend studies and try to adopt some of those traits in your routine. Keep comparing, but make sure the comparison is positive and healthy.
Poor Examination Temperament
Finally, after having ensured all the above-mentioned points are covered, there is still a chance that a student may screw up the paper. Reason? Simple. It is the lack of exposure to exam-like conditions.
Simply studying well, solving a lot of problems, and being calm and contented is agreeably required, but these things will work only when the student is subjected to stern exam-like conditions many times well before the exam. You simply can’t go play the final match if you haven’t practiced much on the nets, can you? This is where a test series comes in handy.
After all, the sole purpose of their existence is to build in the student a solid exam temperament, and to make sure that he/she isn’t bogged down at the final exam when they see something unexpected. But the sad part is, students tend to avoid giving tests on a regular basis and in spite of being good at concepts, fail to deliver at the exam due to lack of exposure to exam-like conditions.
So, it has been quite a long list, but it was necessary. The earlier you know your weaknesses, and the earlier the process of rectifying them starts, the better off you are. Don’t be disheartened if you find yourselves engrossed with many points above, time is still not lost. Start acting straightaway to make sure you don’t commit any of these mistakes as you move ahead. On the other hand, if things are going fine as per the list above, ensure point number 4 doesn’t start creeping up, and you should be good to go.
Cheers and All the Best!