How to Prepare for the JEE without Coaching

Hello! Hope you are doing well with your JEE preparation! Some of you might be going to some highly reputed JEE coaching institutes, and you probably feel pretty good about that. But for any number of reasons, some of you might have had to settle for mediocre coaching or even none at all.

It is natural to feel a bit demoralized if you think that you lack proper guidance. But remember this: a coaching institute only acts as a catalyst, guiding you to your destination through a proper exam oriented pathway. That’s it! They can’t make you study and they can’t affect how hard you study.

So let me assure you that you are not necessarily at a loss! All that really matters is how much effort and time you put into your studies. The result on any day depends solely on how well the student uses the resources provided to them.

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So let us discuss how a student with no JEE coaching can prepare effectively, and achieve his/her desired rank. Although I will be primarily focusing on JEE preparation without coaching, the points can very well be applied and implemented by any aspirant.

No JEE Coaching? Step 1: Arrange Good Study Material

Having a proper set of books and exam related stuff is the first step before starting the preparation for any examination, JEE being just one of them. You cannot trust average or merely board level books for cracking an exam as important and competitive as the JEE. There are a lot of JEE oriented books available, some of which are very necessary to attempt. And having a study material package from any of the reputable JEE coaching institutes, or good online sources can be extremely helpful too.

The best part of these packages is that they deviate from general books. They emphasize the theory, but only to the extent that is necessary for the student to develop a sound basic idea of the concept. Furthermore, they present mind-boggling and advanced concepts in the form of exercises to be attempted by the student. Their proper examination oriented pattern of questions is much more than sufficient for a sincere student to understand the intricacies of the subject and apply those concepts during the exam.

Utilize the Study Material Properly

So, study material procured? The next important part begins now. Just having tons of books and study packages of tens of institutes is not going to do any good unless you use them properly. Here is where you need to use your discretion about which book/material to read for understanding the concepts, which one to solve now, and what to keep for revision, etc. These choices and decisions are to be made by you. It is almost never the case that what worked for someone else will work as well for you—so be careful when selecting resources.

Now that you have all the stuff ready, it’s time to send guns blazing. As you aren’t going to coaching, it is all up to you and the syllabus.

So prepare a rough plan, and keep in mind that it need not be very elaborate. Preparing short-term goals is highly preferable to making huge, almost unattainable ones. Make sure that you include all the small steps that are necessary and will “count” towards your final destination.

For instance, let’s say that you have to cover Carbonyl Compounds in Chemistry; Work, Energy, and Power in Physics; and Sequences and Series in Math. Set two weeks for this, and make sure to complete it all by then.

Do many problems from the decided topic from one resource at a time.It isn’t necessary to do Arithmetic Progressions from one book, Geometric Progressions from a second book, and Harmonic from a third—because when the time comes to study Special series, you will be so exhausted that you skip the topic. This is what has to be avoided. Don’t go for too many things at a time. Stick to one resource and do it completely, and only if time permits move to the other.

Join a Test Series

So this is where we come to the most important part that you need to ensure is done perfectly well. You may be already familiar with the above term. If not, it is a set of test papers designed by some top-notch faculty members of almost all reputable Coaching institutes, that are conducted throughout the year. But why is it necessary? First, it provides you with real exam-like conditions, so that you may develop the proper examination temperament for the JEE. And second, it ensures that you don’t go to the final match without having enough net-practice.

Almost all institutes offer test series combined with study material. So, if you have one, do check it out because you may already be enrolled in a test series. If not, search for a renowned test series that is neither insanely tough, nor a cakewalk, but is in perfect unison with the prevailing exam pattern. You may check out their reviews or contact people who had given those tests before deciding which one to go with.

Work Consistently on the Test Series

Right, you are enrolled in a test series, now what do you do? Make sure to give each and every test without fail. Don’t skip tests for petty reasons like exams in school, or going for a trip, or a friend’s birthday. Although no one asks you to bang your head on them if you are unwell, it’s your responsibility to be sincere and regular towards your studies—and these tests are the only way to gauge your performance on a regular basis.

How do you gauge your performance? Simple. You will get the answers and solutions to every test right after the exam. These are the handiest resource to get a first-hand impression of how you did.

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So go home, relax a bit, then take an hour or two to analyze how you did on a particular day. And remember do this exercise on the day of the test itself. Don’t avoid or run from your marks. The paper might have gone bad. It is okay, screw-ups happen every day. There is no point in running away from them. You need to face the reality. Whether the test is good or bad doesn’t matter as long as you try to improve and learn from it.

Solve Many Questions

Have you ever wondered how to achieve the same level of expertise in a subject as the students studying in the top batches of the top-most coaching programs? By solving a plethora of questions of various difficulties, various patterns, and involving more than one concept at a time (remember the JEE Advanced 2018’s Organic Chemistry Portion?). This is what they do, and this is what is expected out of you if you want a marvelous rank.

Give a large number of time-bound tests, of difficulties ranging from very tough to very easy, making sure to keep your calm in all conditions. Don’t be excited seeing an easy paper (read JEE Advanced 2017) or tensed seeing a hell of it (read JEE Advanced 2016). And don’t get bogged down by the change in exam pattern (read JEE Advanced 2018) or by a paper with hard to digest marking scheme (Phew, read JEE Advanced 2015). This is how toppers prepare, and you too can be one of them, provided you keep your cool at every situation, analyze the situations properly, be confident but not overconfident and finally ace the exam without thinking of the results. Remember it is only the paper in your hand, not the results. Everything is relative, you just need to do your part and forget the bygones.

Have Faith in Yourself

Finally, the psychological aspect comes into play. You may be extraordinary in Physics, an IPhO Gold Medalist, but unless you have in yourself the same faith and confidence while giving JEE that you had while attending the World Finals at IPhO, things are bound to break. There are several instances when promising students fail to deliver, just due to the lack of faith in themselves. They know, they are doing well, and have the potential to rock the stage, but due to some faint doubts, they fail to achieve what they richly deserved.

Every student is blessed with some inherent talents. “You can achieve it”. Keep this in mind, don’t be overconfident at any stage, and you will achieve the success you haven’t ever dreamt of.

So, this brings us to the end of a long discussion. I hope you understand, going to some XYZ coaching doesn’t matter much. All that matters is your hard work and perseverance. Study smart, and ace the exam.

Cheers and all the best!

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