Nitin graduated in Computer Science from IIT-Delhi in the year 1993. Calm and composed, Nitin strongly believes that remaining calm and unruffled during those crucial hours on the D-Day can help you win half the battle.
Let’s hear it straight from him-
My growing up years were spent in various parts of the country as a result of my father’s job that required the family to be transferred to different places in India. However, wherever I went, I was enrolled in schools affiliated with CBSE. I was like all the other children in class eleventh and twelfth. I made unrealistic plans of studying for 6 hours at a stretch everyday and chalked out unworkable timetables only to fall way behind schedule! The one thing that I did not lag behind in was regular revisions. I did not realize the importance then but when I look back now, I think what really helped me stay calm during the last three months before the IIT JEE entrance test was the fact that I had a strong knowledge base possible only because of everyday revision.
I had Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology as subjects in class XII but I was keener on taking up engineering in graduation. I loved Maths and never really had problems with the subject. It was Chemistry that gave me the nightmares. I hated referring to books that had very lengthy and complicated definitions and theories. I stuck to making short notes and reading up precise summaries of the concepts before going for more ‘technical’ sounding definitions. This helped me get a simplified introduction of the concept before I tried to swim in the ocean of technical and tedious readings on the concept. I managed to float successfully on the copious short notes that I made when I read through the texts for the very first time.
Since I was a night person, I felt that studying at night when everything was quiet and peaceful helped me concentrate much better on my studies than at any other time (race against time phrase meaning) of the day. My parents of course, wanted me to get up at dawn and begin working on my books but I whenever I tried that I fell asleep almost every time! I believe that everyone has one quarter in the day where his concentration levels, his grasping abilities are at their sharpest. Mine surfaced at night; others might experience something like this during other quarters of the day. The key is to locate that particular time period in the day when you are most active and make it a point to tackle concepts that trouble you the most during that period.
Once the basic is done, all that you need to do is to practice in a disciplined fashion and keep revising previous concepts even if it is for an hour.
I was a good student at school and stuck to the NCERT textbooks for my basic school boards preparation. I practiced application based problems from the correspondence notes that I managed to borrow from my seniors. The coaching culture was not so prevalent back then, but Brilliant Tutorials were very popular in our times for IIT preparation. They used to send regular test papers and revision notes via post for subscribers and we found it quite helpful. I personally liked another set of preparatory material that belonged to a small, unknown publishing house called University Publications in Roorkee. The notes were quite succinct and all-inclusive.
With my basics all in order, the last two months of my preparation were relatively smooth. Whenever I entered the panic zone I practiced questions from previous ten years’ IIT JEE entrance exam papers. Practicing those in a time-bound manner helped me immensely on the day of the exam.
Like I said before, it is imperative that you remain cool on the day of the exam. A stress free mind helps one remember things better and analyze questions in an orderly fashion. If you have learnt how to manage your time well while attempting the multiple choice questions and have disciplined your writing speed well while attempting the subjective section, then all you need to do in the exam is to identify the easier questions and then go on to first collect all the marks they offer, before tackling the more complicated ones.
Before signing off, I just (just in case definition) want to say that there is no alternative to regular studying. Manage your time well and you will surely reap the rewards.
All The Best!