Tips for ensuring your best performance in JEE – Part 1


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!

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.

…. for that FINAL PUSH Towards JEE (Main) 2014

1Just little over two weeks remaining for the JEE Main. The stakes have never been higher.

You have been studying for JEE since about two years now. And that’s a lot of time. You are at a point where your basics are clear, fundamentals are in place, and have a lot of practice in solving problems. You have been through the Board Examinations, and countless prelims before that. You have studied the entire syllabus multiple times.  And these, my friends, are your strengths.


With less time at hand, one of the best ways to ensure top score in JEE is to focus on your strengths now.  “Don’t learn altogether new things, perfect what you know” are the words to live by in this crucial period. You have studied a mighty lot in the past two years. You have revised it multiple times as well. And now that’s your core strength.


At this time, with your board examinations being over, it’s important that you come out of the mindset of writing descriptive answers and get into objective answering mode. And Practice is going to help the transition go smoothly. Along with reading and revising the concepts and formulae, do practice solving MCQs as well. It is recommended to solve 4-5 mock papers a week. Check for yourself what suits well.

Try and solve mock JEE papers from a test series. MKCL Mastering JEE Full Portion Test is an intelligent test series covering full portion tests of each subject. The features like GAP analysis and Feedback will help u immensely to learn about your strengths and weaknesses. It will help you to be prepared completely for the bid day.

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


SQ3R Method for Effective Studying

The studying technique needs to be effective for good results. Today, we will discuss a study technique which is very effective as well as popular owing to its simplicity. It’s called the SQ3R method of learning. The SQ3R method is a proven, step-by-step strategic approach to learning and studying from textbooks. Why is it successful? Because it helps you discover the important facts and ideas that are in your textbook, and master and retain that information so that you are prepared for an examination. The added benefit of using the SQ3R Method is that often you will find your own questions on a test. Lets discuss this SQ3R method in detail now.














A. Survey – Formulate Goals

Before you start studying, survey the topic you plan to study. This step is also called the skim step. Just page through the entire chapter and get an overall impression. Glance at the headings, text in bold and italic and underline, something familiar, etc. Go through any graphics, charts, diagrams, etc. present in that chapter. Notice each heading and subheading while you are glancing the text to prepare your thoughts and build a structure for the details to come.

B. Question – Engage your mind with the content

Based on the information you gather in the survey step, keep posing questions about the same. Keep the questions like the follows:

  • What do I already know about it?
  • What do I want to know about it?
  • What do I expect to learn about it?
  • What must I remember about it?

Also, convert the headings and subheadings into questions. That will help you engage with the content and help your mind to focus on obtaining answers to the questions.

C. Read – Connect the dots

In the first two steps you have been building mental structures as to what and how the chapter is to be studied. In this step, you read the course or the text book. As you read, you are simply filling information in the mental structures you created. Read a section and find answers to the questions. Keep a lookout for raising new questions as well.

 D. Recite/Recall – Concentrate and learn as you read

After each section, recall the questions and see if you can answer them from memory. If not, look back at the text again as often as necessary, but don’t move to the next section until you recall the answers from the previous ones. Use this method for every section that you study.

E. Review – The finishing touches to the learning

Once you have finished with the entire chapter using the survey, question, read, and recite steps; go back over all of your questions. See if you can still recite them. If not, reread that particular section and try again. Reviewing will help you refine the learning and to build memory.


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.


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.


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 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!


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.

The Importance of Time Management – (Part 1 of 3)

In the past articles, we discussed about preparing for JEE, about MKCL Mastering JEE, and its salient features. Today we will discuss about an important aspect, “Time Management”.

“Time Management” is going to be a series of 3 articles. We will discuss in detail about the importance, necessity, and the merits and advantages of time management.

Time management primarily refers to the following in this case:

  1. Time Management while studying and preparing
  2. Time Management while solving mock tests and appearing for JEE

In this series of 3 articles on Time Management, today’s article will highlight the importance of Time Management, and the next two articles will discuss about the above mentioned situations.

Importance of Time Management

The Oxford dictionary defines Time Management as “the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively.”  Wikipedia describes Time Management as “Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity.” Very rightly defined by both the sources, time management is of great importance for you JEE aspirants. Cracking JEE is a mammoth task and you need to supplement your efforts with effective time management. Time Management becomes crucial because available time is limited and lapsing, and the time cannot be stored.

Let’s discuss about the importance of Time Management under the following

A. Discipline

Effective time management will imbibe discipline in you. You would be sticking to a timetable that you rightly prepared. Your efforts shall be organized and there would be very less room for errors.  The discipline imbibed in you would make you see the progress for yourself. All the resources you have including the study material, mock tests, etc will be utilized effectively.

B. You will have more time

Yes. You read that correct. Time management talks about efficiency as well as effectiveness. For example, with proper time management, you could actually achieve a task in lesser time without compromising on the quality. Most of the times, time management will help you to improve the quality of the task. Case in point, you would have more time as you would be saving time. You can utilize this time effectively to either study more or to engage in some relaxing activity.

C. Avoids last minute things

Ever came across a situation where in you had to appear for a test unprepared, because the deadline of an assignment submission? That is because, you kept putting off the assignment till the time it was actually due. You managed to complete the assignment, but the cost was poor marks in a test. With time management, it would never happen. You would have dedicated time slots in your timetable for assignments, studies, revisions, etc. That would help you avert such last minute things and the crisis.

D. Reviewing and Monitoring becomes easy

With a proper timetable in place, you could track your progress and monitor the studies very effectively. You can review on the basis of timely completion to the number of revisions to your confidence level about the subject or the topic. It ensures you stay on time and on track!

To conclude, I would say that effective time management wouldn’t just make your efforts organized and effective, but also will give you a control over your own life.

In the following article we will discuss about how to manage time while studying, preparing a time table, sticking to it, and other important things about time management. Keep a lookout.

Salient Features of MKCL Mastering JEE – Part 2

You can read the first part of this post which speaks about the Conceptual Distractors in detail on the following link:

Detailed GAP Analysis……… (Continued)

In this post, I will be talking about the “Detailed Analysis” part of the salient features as mentioned in the earlier post, and also will highlight a few more advantages of Mastering JEE. As we already know, 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.

Let’s take a live example. Assume that you have appeared for a subject wise test on the chapter Measurements in Physics. As we know, the subject wise test consists of 15 questions. The flow goes as follows. You appear for the test, and when you are done with the test, you get the result instantly. Along with the result, an “Analysis Booklet” is generated. That booklet has the comprehensive analysis of your performance in the test. The various parameters considered for the analysis are the difficulty level, topic wise performance, and the choice of the answer. It also gives an analytics view of the areas that we you need to work upon.

Difficulty Level Wise


Topic Wise Analysis


Analytics of the areas you need to improve


Feedback for a Right answered question

right answer

Feedback for a Wrong answered question

wrong answer

Learning while Evaluating

As with the detailed gap analysis, you will be shown your answers as well as the model answers for the test that you have taken.  The biggest advantage of the same is, you get to know where you went wrong, and most importantly, you get to know the solution. You learn where and what you did wrong, and with it the right answers along with the right approach. So basically, you keep learning and perfecting yourself.


This is a unique feature of MKCL Mastering JEE. As the test series is very structured and has a fixed schedule, at the end of the test, the entire students appearing are ranked on the basis of their marks. This gives you a fair idea of the competition, and more importantly how you did fare against that. You know where you stand from your rank. It is a simulated JEE environment. For instance if you get Rank 1 in a test, that means that you are better than the other students in that chapter/subject.


Salient Features of MKCL Mastering JEE

You can read about MKCL Mastering JEE in this previous article

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?


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!

MKCL Mastering JEE

You can read the ‘Part 1’ of this article here:

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.”

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