Tips for ensuring your best performance in JEE – Part 1

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In today’s article we will talk about how to manage time during the JEE examinations. You can also use the following to test when u solve mock papers as well.

First and foremost, you should be absolutely clear on which subject are you going to approach first. And quite basically, you need to attempt the subject you are really strong in. The basic idea behind it is, what you are good at, u can do it fast. Time is of the essence, and when you manage to finish one subject satisfactorily, you will be fairly relaxed for the latter two.

If we compare the state level CETs to the JEE in terms of the paper structure, what we observe is in JEE although the questions are on a tougher side, the marks per question are more as well. JEE focusses on quality aspect of the questions and answers. Nobody actually solves 100% of the JEE questions correctly and completely. Accuracy of the number of questions you solve is of paramount importance.

Regarding actually attempting JEE, you need to come up with a system within yourself. As you read the question to be solved, in your mind you should know, 1. Whether to solve the question right away, 2. whether to mark that question for review later, or 3. whether to omit that question and move on to the next. This is possible with practice. The biggest advantage of this is, in your first run through the question paper, you would have solved a considerable chunk of the paper at one go, and would have a definitive target of questions that need review and some time to solve. Also, you would be relatively stress-free about completing the paper as the things you know for sure are been marked.

For more paper solving techniques, keep a lookout for this space. All the best!

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Manage Exam Stress in Five Essential Steps

stressThe stakes are high. JEE is considered to be as a once in a lifetime opportunity. All the hard work and learning from the last two years is going to be tested at the national level. You want to do very well and so have u prepared. But the sheer scale at which the examination takes place, it is bound to stress you out. Always remember that stress in right amounts actually helps your performance, but when it increases to a large amount, that’s where problems start creeping in. So to avoid that and to effectively manage the exam stress, ensure the following 5 basic yet essential steps.

  1. Revise well. Revision is basically going through the syllabus you have studied. Prepare a revision timetable and stick to it. Make sure that you touch every subject on a daily basis. Revision also includes solving mock tests. Please refer to the earlier articles to hone your focus and to revise effectively.
  2. Sleep adequately for 6-8 hours a day. The amount of sleep a person needs is highly subjective, but make sure that you are not sleep deprived under any circumstances. Sleeping is rejuvenating. Sleep is the best stress buster. A good night’s sleep does freshen you up and keeps you in a positive frame of mind.
  3. Exercise daily. A short walk or a jog will help keep you stress-free. A good exercise will work up your appetite, increase your immune system and help fight stress. Exercise is a very good way to keep your mind off negative things.
  4. Follow a healthy and nutritious diet. A sound mind dwells in a sound body. Good food is the best source for both physical and mental energy and you require both in abundance. Indulge in home-cooked healthy meals, avoid eating out, and avoid food which has even the slightest chance to disturb your health.
  5. Organize.  Keep your notes organized. Stick to the timetable prepared. Have a plan ready for studies. This will help u prevent any last minute changes in schedule and preparation, and will help studying and revising go smoothly.

The Importance of Effective Stress Management

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. Stress, in its most basic form, is the response to a demand placed on you. Activities you do, invoke stress in you. Stress need not be always of the bad kind. Stress can, and surely does helps the performance often. But the amount of the stress is the key here. A small amount of healthy stress is known to boost up the performance, but when the stress consumes a lot and becomes dominant, that’s when things start going south.

For you, i.e. the students, stress management is a very important task. You have to manage both time and the stress for the effective preparation and performance. If you follow clearly, stress and time are not two distinct variables in your case. Stress and time are co-dependent in your case. Like two sides of the same coin. Hence, time management and stress management need to in sync with each other all the time.

Matrix_jee

If you observe the matrix above, you shall observe that effective time management and effective stress management together translate into success and the lack of both results into failure. Failure in this case need not be absolute failure. It can be a situation where you miss your set goals by a long shot. Now for the other two situations,

  1. Lack of effective time management can lead to under achievement. It’s a state where you don’t rise up to your potential and settle for mediocrity. It happens because you couldn’t utilize and exploit your available resources and intelligence just because you did not manage your time at hand effectively.
  2. Lack of effective stress management will result in a burnout. It is a state when you undergo a lot of stress. This might get you closer to your goals, but there will surely be a performance gap. A burnout is a state where you will be fatigued all the day, you won’t enjoy studying and preparing, there will be a lack of optimism and confidence, and so on and so forth.

Let’s now discuss few simple stress management tips that will help you.

Balance

Yes. You read it right. Balance is the key. You have to balance all the things you do. You need to balance studies and preparation with rest and recreation. Remember that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Neglecting recreation and rest will result in you getting stressed out and obsessed over studies, which will hamper good performance. Take breaks, pursue a hobby in your free time, listen to some music, take a walk, do a thing which helps take your mind off. Again let me stress this enough that all these activities are to complement your studies, not to replace them.

Diet and Exercise

Sound body sound mind! Exercise or a physical activity is a must. It helps you stay fit, does wonders for your immune system, improves concentration and focus and alleviates stress. Play a sport of your choice for a short time, or take a walk or go jogging, the choice is yours. A proper diet complements exercise. Eat healthy stay fresh. Avoid junk food, avoid eating out, have home cooked meals regularly.

Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important factors. You require 6-8 hours of daily sleep and you should follow it. Sleeping rejuvenates the body and the mind. Lack of proper amount of sleep can directly affect your concentration and energy levels. Especially not sleeping well before taking a test is catastrophic. Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. Also sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do. Hence a good night’s sleep is more vital than you would think!

Communication

The word Communication, derived from Latin ‘commūnicāre’, means “to share”. Good communication can be a part of many solutions for you. Communicate with your peers about studies and preparation, with your parents about your goals and the progress, with your friends about other things. The first aid for any stress and anxiety related issues are “talking about it”. Take about your feelings, both good and bad, and let them out.

Also, keep an optimistic outlook. Do go through articles on studying techniques, jee preparation and time management techniques on this very blog, and elsewhere as well. Educate yourself in the truest sense, don’t neglect the other factors and aspects of studying as well.

Salient Features of MKCL Mastering JEE

You can read about MKCL Mastering JEE in this previous article

https://mkclindia.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/about-mkcl-mastering-jee

As we all know by now that MKCL Mastering JEE is a comprehensive test series by MKCL. In this article today, I will talk about the factors which make Mastering JEE stand out. In short, today’s article will discuss about the salient features of Mastering JEE.

Systematic Study Plan

As the word describes, the study plan and the test series is systematic. The time table is well laid out considering the window of the 12th standard examinations. There is an ample amount of chapter wise tests and then a good number of subject wise tests.

On the basis of the tests, you would be ranked nationwide. There is a preset timetable that you have to follow. A test missed is a test missed; you cannot reappear online for it. You would lose the chance to get ranked. Yes. It’s structured to that extent. MKCL has put up a system together.

With this MKCL Mastering JEE test series, a complete, comprehensive and systematic study plan is put together. It will not only prepare you for the examination, but also inculcate discipline and a sense of responsibility in you.

Conceptual Distractors

This is one of the most innovative and interesting factors in MKCL Mastering JEE. Lets take a look at the following question and its options now.

“When someone has trouble seeing far-away objects properly, what eye disorder is he/she suffering from?

  1. Myopia
  2. Presbyopia
  3. Hypermetropia
  4. Retinoblastoma”

As you see here, the difference between the options is very fine. Hence it forces the student to be extremely thorough with his/her concepts. It makes the student think before answering.

The basic concept behind conceptual distractors is, the multiple options in the MCQs are conceptually very parallel or alike. It’s a good way to test the conceptual clarity of a student. If a student doesn’t know the concept properly, then he/she is bound to get very confused.

Another indicative example for how the conceptual distractors work is as follows.

Which one of the below is a Chinese, Korean and Japanese national?

Picture1

If you observe clearly, we can see that all the girls in the picture are of Asian ethnicity. But without knowing the subtle details and a deep study of facial features and ethnicities, we just cannot be sure of an answer. This is how Conceptual distractors work.

Detailed GAP Analysis

Putting it simply, an examination tells you how much you scored. For example, a result says “you scored 70%.” But the same result, doesn’t tell you why and how you didn’t score the remaining 30%. It also doesn’t tell you how and what can be done to score those remaining 30%. It doesn’t tell you how you went wrong, what made it a wrong choice. It doesn’t tell you how that could be avoided. Mind you, all this time, we are talking about conventional examinations.

In MKCL Mastering JEE, you get what all the conventional examinations lack. You get a detailed GAP analysis. The GAP analysis tells you where you went wrong, which concepts you need to work upon and how can you improve. The bases for analysis are question wise, topic wise, and subject wise. There is a brief scorecard which tells you the score. More on the detailed GAP analysis in the next article. Keep a watch out.

P.S. If you are still wondering,  #1 is Japanese, #2 is Chinese, #3 is Korean! Have a good day!

About MKCL Mastering JEE

MKCL’s Mastering JEE is a very effective test series program. It is one of the most comprehensive test series program. Two type of tests that would be taken:

  • 141 Individual chapter wise tests for all chapters of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology. Sequence of tests would be set by professor himself.
  • 28 subject wise tests (7 per each subject in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology.

The individual chapter tests test the learning on a very micro level, the subject wise tests help you to test your learning of all the chapters, and the preliminary tests are the final testing grounds. They simulate the JEE.

For good preparation, the course quality is the backbone. Mastering JEE features more than 16000 questions and follows the ‘conceptual distractor’ manner. It means that for you to answer correctly, you will have to know the concept in its exact sense. The alternatives provided will be very similar conceptually. So that tests your preparation and conceptual clarity.

Another advantage of an objective MCQ test series is instant result and feedback. Mastering JEE has ‘learning while evaluating’. That means after each test your answers and the model answers will be shown to you. You will be evaluating your choices instantly and that is definitely a learning experience. Also detailed feedback is shared with you consisting of the answers you attempted wrongly and the concepts you need to work upon. This will evaluate your capability very objectively and you would know the areas which require more work.

Mastering JEE comes with an innovative ranking system. It does rank your test score nation wise. All the scores of students subscribed to Mastering JEE will be considered for this unique ranking system. It simply means, after the test, you would be given a rank. That rank is the best comparative evaluating grounds for your performance. You will be ranked in the mock test that you take, just like the JEE. If you get Rank-1 in one of the subject test, that very well means that you have outranked other students in that subject and have become the absolute best.

One more very important thing about this ranking system and the test series is, it provides thorough practice. It provides abundant practice. It also simulates the JEE exam framework through the online mode. That gets you the real life JEE experience in the mock tests. That helps in dealing with other factors such as performance pressure, nervousness, exam blues, etc. The sheer scale of the program will help u get rid of such nagging performance issues. The instant results and the rank will instill confidence in you to take on the most challenging exam for you, the JEE. It will help with your morale and inculcate positive attitude, all while you learn continuously and progress.

Keep a lookout for this section. There is definitely more to come. We wish you the best. Pace yourself. Time yourself. Do Well.

MKCL Mastering JEE

You can read the ‘Part 1’ of this article here: https://mkclindia.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/mkcl-mastering-jee/

Preparing for JEE – Part 2

A.   Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

It’s rightly said so. Planning and organizing are the two most important things when it comes to studying with a definitive goal. Acing JEE is a mammoth task by no doubts and that calls for elaborate planning and deliberate execution.

Planning the studying schedule is highly subjective and depends on the capacity and learning style of an individual. But a common approach towards planning should be a one which can be easily measured. Some students plan as per the time they study while some plan on the basis of the subjects or chapters they study. Whichever way convenient, planning needs to be in place.

Another important thing is to prepare a timetable and stick to it. A timetable adds a direction to your efforts. It organizes your studying, makes it easy to see the results, and inculcates discipline.

B.   Focus and Concentration

Now that you have prepared the timetable, it’s time to stick to it. A plan isn’t that good if it’s not executed well. And to execute the study plan and the timetable, you require a great deal of focus and concentration.  Following are the few pointers which will help with the focus and concentration

  1. Choose the time of the study appropriately. Choose a time when it would be quiet and you could study undisturbed.
  2. Take breaks as and when needed. Ideally a break of 5-10 minutes after an hour of concentrated study is acceptable.
  3. Keep applying what you study instantaneously. For example if you learn a few concepts, then apply their formulae and solve a couple problems. That would instantly make you a master in that domain.
  4. Keep all the study material and required stationery handy.
  5. If comfortable, choose to study two subjects in a day. That would help reduce the saturation of knowledge and fatigue, and might even make things more interesting.

Keep the distractions away. Put the mobile phone on silent, switch off that television, and just focus on the subject at hand.

C.   Stress on Basics and Concepts

Basics and Concepts are the actual rock-solid foundation to your knowledge. The application and the instances will be varying at different levels, but the concepts remain the same. Not just thinking from scoring in the JEE point of view, but the concepts will help you in the future as well.

A novel way to get the concepts imbibed in your mind is attentive listening during the lectures. Ask questions at the end of the concept, ask for examples, apply them, and be comfortable working with them. The deeper you go the clearer it shall be.

D.   Stick to the syllabus

Now completely focusing on the goal that is JEE (Mains) 2014, while studying, stick to the syllabus. The concepts and applications are vast and important. But you need to crack the JEE. So efforts must be put in perfecting the prescribed syllabus.

E.   Use the available resources:

What I mean by use the available resources is to completely utilize and exhaust the resources you have. Instead of running behind test series and notes and books, utilize wisely the stuff you already have collected.

F.    Revise

The syllabus is vast, agreed, and even you study your best. But the more you study, there is a possibility that you might lose touch of the topics studied before. Hence, it’s very important for you to revise. Prepare your own revision schedule and stick to it. Make it a point to atleast go through and revise the syllabus you have learnt once in 15 days.

G.  Time Management

The most important factor to any exam preparation is the Time Management. Here, Time Management amounts to two things,

  1. Managing the study timings, and
  2. Managing time while solving the exams

More on this subject in the coming articles. Watch out!

H.  Update yourself

Keeping yourself up to date is very important. Knowledge and information needs to be shared for better planning and strategizing. Become a member at couple of JEE forums, go through the posts, contribute, and be active on that front. Subscribe to various blogs on the subject. Watch out for this blog for updates

I.      Believe in yourself

Lastly, believe in yourself. “If you aspire to crack JEE, and if you believe that you can actually do it, there is nothing stopping you.”

MKCL Mastering JEE

Preparing for JEE – Part 1

In year 2012, the HRD Ministry had announced “One Nation One Test” policy for the entrance into Engineering and Medicine colleges, and it is going to be implemented from the academic year of 2013. Thus, the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is now the only examination that an aspiring engineer would attempt to.  The JEE has been one of the toughest entrance examination in India, and now with this change, the stakes are even higher. There will be one huge pool of aspiring engineers competing together for engineering and medical admissions in the finest colleges of their choice. The sheer scale at which the examination is going to be conducted tells us about the massive competition. And to beat the competition, one needs an Edge. Competitive Edge it’s rightly called, and it’s the absolute advantage that you possess over your competitors.

Scoring well in this examination, or cracking it, is very crucial for an admission in a fine engineering college of your choice. In this article, I am going to write about how can JEE be cracked, what factors are crucial, the importance of hard work, etc. I am going to follow a structured and systematic approach.

To begin with the preparation strategy, the three most important things which are required to excel in JEE are,

  1. Conceptual Clarity
  2. Consistent efforts
  3. Practice

The conceptual clarity helps a long way. A concept well known and understood stays with you for life. Answering questions of any difficulty level is easily possible once you know the concept. The only way to get the conceptual clarity is interactive learning. Asking the teacher all the ‘wh’ questions is of importance. A good basic foundation of concepts, will not only help you ace the JEE but also will assist you in engineering education as well. Like it’s said, “Well begun is half done. ”JEE being a multiple choice examination, in addition to conceptual clarity, one needs to have an objective approach towards learning.

Consistent efforts pertaining to preparation, studies and solving practice need to be put in to ace JEE. Studying hard doesn’t necessarily mean studying for long tedious hours. Getting the basic concepts cleared, and the completion of syllabus is a good foundation. There is a lot more emphasis on practice and practice. Solving mock tests in abundance helps a lot in terms of confidence and helps the student get a general idea as to what he/she might expect in the exam. Thus, practice becomes the most important part in the JEE preparation.

As we know that JEE is an objective examination, practice is a sure shot way to get better at it. Practice mainly includes solving MCQs intensively. It makes you ready for the JEE with ample amount of exposure to solving MCQs. The most important thing is you get to see improvement for yourself. There is a distinct difference and an improvement in your scores with time. The sense of progression and continuous learning through testing makes the preparation complete. That being said, it is of paramount importance to subscribe a good preparatory test series for JEE.

More to come on how to prepare for the JEE and few tips in the next post. Have a good day ahead!

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