My @Quora answer to How should one study to pass IIT-jee?
Answer by Arûn Râinâ:
DO’s to succeed in IIT-JEE
- Regular self study for minimum 4-5 hours a day from day one which should be increased gradually.
- Stick to NCERT textbooks and your FIITJEE Module,CPPs/DPPs. First solve them completely and then go to one more reference book or study material which is much better than jumping to ‘n’ number of sources and solving them partially.
- Take each tests seriously. Develop your own strategy during a test and follow it.
- Revise for a week after each three months.
- Memorize all the formulae, as they are as important as learning the concept, they will save a lot of time in the examination.
- Try to achieve consistency in your performance and improve it slowly.
- Always use study tables for long duration study sessions. It will prepare you to sustain the pressure on the Last Day.
- Study in slots of three hours. This will help you in the real JEE
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DON’Ts for IIT-JEE
1. Avoid irregularity in your study pattern.
2. Do not jump from one to another book in order to search for new problems in the same chapter. Do one book thoroughly.
3. Don't go beyond the syllabus.
4. Don’t miss out lectures even when you know the chapter, as while listening to it again you will revise it and will definitely learn something new.
5. Don’t study the entire night as you will feel sleepy during the day. Especially in your 12th.
Coaching institute: Needless to say, going to a good coaching class is very important. What is a good coaching institute depends on the city where you are living. Get the material, and also pay attention in class. Do not go to tech-savvy places where they just give you a tablet and ask you to view the lectures… I had old-fashioned JEE profs who used to make learning fun, and they used the blackboard.
Coming to the timetable part. Since there are so many topics to study, there is no point in me detailing a topic-wise timetable. Instead I will give you a few points to keep in mind while making a timetable.
Planning: The key point about preparing for IITJEE is planning. You must have aclear idea of what you are going to do tomorrow and also have a broad idea of what topics you are going to cover in the next 3-4 days, or maybe even a week. By clear idea, I mean, for example, you must be absolutely sure which sections of which chapter you are going to read up, which problems from which textbook you are going to try out, and how many of them you aim to complete as well. Further, clear idea means you must know at what time of the day you are going to do which of the tasks planned on that day. You should spend some 15-20 mins before you sleep everyday, outlining the tasks for tomorrow and the time slot for each task. Having regular study hours is very useful in this context. By broad idea, I mean you must know that in the next 3-4 days, you must finish chapters XXX in subject YYY and their corresponding problems from book ZZZ. Also, at the end of each day, review mentally what were the things that you did, and what are the pending items.
Choice of subject: Ideally, never do more than one subject per day. This is especially so, when you are doing new chapters. This does not apply when you are revising/brushing up. This is because, if you study for 6 hrs a day, for example (not everyday! that would be impossible with school and coaching class and all that (unless you are in a integrated coaching school)) , it will take at least 30-40 mins to get into the groove for any new topic/subject. So, once you are in the groove, after spending 30-40 mins, do not waste it by just studying that subject for another 1 hr or so in the rest of the day. I am not telling you to continuously study 6 hrs… best to do three 2 hr slots in a day (for 6 hrs). You shouldn't waste the momentum gained in the first 30 min of the day by changing subjects 2-3 times: then you are wasting thrice the time in just gathering momentum for each subject. There is one exception though. Some chapters have so much dry mugging up to do (some units in inorganic chem for example) that you can't do all of it in one day.. your brain will heat up! In that case, better to do some problems from math/physics for a part of the day after you have had enough of mugging stuff.
Theory: It is best to start a chapter/unit by studying the theory. Do not start with problems and think that you will learn the theory as the problem demands. Finish the theory off thoroughly. For example, I would take circles and parabolas as one segment of Conic sections and finish learning thoroughly all the formulae/concepts involved. Only then would I start attempting problems from circles and parabolas. You must be able to tell all the concepts/formulae from memory before you start attempting any problems.
Problem-solving: Please, please start with easy problems. Do not straightaway try to master the hard problems, it will not work. Firstly, doing the easy problems will help you verify that your concepts are correct, and you are using them correctly. Secondly, it will set your brain along the correct path of thinking required for that chapter/unit. Thirdly, and crucially, it will build your confidence. Doing hard problems first, and not getting them right will shatter your confidence. Then gradually raise the level, go to medium , and then to hard. In many JEE materials, if the problems are not already classified, then the first few problems are easy, and the last few ones are hard, with the difficulty level gradually increasing. If you do not get a problem , please spend as long as possible to get the solution by yourself. Do not immediately refer to the solution manual. This way, you will subconsciously internalize many ideas that would not have come to you if you gave up on the problem after just one/two attempts.
Time spent on studying: You don't really have to slog 6-8 hrs after school and coaching classes on weekdays. You'll die. Study maybe 2-4 hrs depending on how much time you have… but study effectively. No point sitting for long hours if your concentration levels are low throughout. Stay away from noise, crowd, people while studying. Some people (like me) require absolute silence while studying, while some may require some pleasant music. Find out what works for you. Weekends, try spending 6 hrs (three 2 hr slots), and maybe a bit more if you don't have any weekend coaching classes.
Test-series: I strongly recommend taking the fiitjee all India test series, or whichever test series is written by most people currently. It will give you a rough picture of where you stand, and will help you practice timing your exam as well.
Will keep updating the post if I think of anything else.
"SUCCESS COME'S IN CAN'S , NOT IN CANT'S"