Edit : A number of edits have been suggested in this post by one of my friends which have been taken into account and the post is now in it's final structure.
This post is dedicated to the time that will matter - the time after Board exams and before JEE Main - the time that is extremely crucial and the time that will greatly change your JEE Main rank if utilized properly - the 15 days time that may change your future.
You might think that you are listening to some news channel where a news reporter is trying to scare you with heavy words. But mark my words - this is the time that may change the game.
Let's come back to the point.
The aim of this post is to approach and help all sorts of students from extremely weak to weak to average to good to outstanding. Even repeaters might find it useful.
This post has been designed to be rather in a Question answer format. A student (you) will be asking questions from me and I'll be answering them.
01.)Question : My board exams are over. What should I do to improve my JEE Main Rank ?
Answer : JEE Main syllabus is exactly same as CBSE syllabus. So, the books that are the best for JEE Main are also exactly same as the books prescribed for CBSE, that is - NCERT Books. For JEE Main, NCERT is the god-book. Prepare NCERT thoroughly - both class 11th and 12th. It should take around 1 week to complete NCERT if you have prepared for your board exams well.
02.)Question : I haven't prepared exclusively for JEE Main. But I am going to appear for it. What should I do ? I am an average student.
Answer : Since you haven't prepared exclusively for JEE Main, it might be expected that you aren't thorough with class 11th syllabus. So, it is advisable that you should start NCERT class 11th. You must rely solely on two things :
->Past year AIEEE (now JEE Main) papers
Solve the problems given in NCERT and all the past year papers.
It is highly likely that you won't find yourself comfortable with past year papers because you never prepared exclusively for the exam. In that case, I would suggest you to look for solutions to the past year problems in the websites of various coaching institutes (FIITJEE/Resonance for instance). Also, you can buy Arihant past year papers (with solutions)
Solve them and you might end up getting NIT or any other good college.
03.)Question : I have prepared well for JEE Main and have taken a coaching for JEE preparation in the past. What should I do to get the best out of this time ?
Answer : It's good that you utilized those past two important years. You are soon going to get rewards for that. Revise - revise and revise. Solve a number of problems. Ensure that you have solved all the past year problems carefully and understood well the solution of each and every question.
In case you haven't solved the past year problems, I would suggest you a strategy.
Pick up a paper say every alternate day and start solving it from morning 9.00 to 12.00 afternoon. Sit on a table and chair and don't get up for those 3 hours. All this is meant to give you an actual feel of the examination.
Ask you parent not to disturb you during these 3 hours.
After you are done with the paper, take a break of say 1 hour.
Then again sit back and check your score. Find out your mistakes :
Did you commit a number of silly mistakes ?
Did you misread the question ?
Did you go short of time ?
Were you not familiar with a particular concept/didn't know a particular idea ?
Such questions will help you to realize what's wrong with you and your strategy. You should also try various sequences in which you are attempting the paper (PCM or PMC or ...) and find out the one which suits you the best.
04.)Question : I have taken coaching in the past 2 years but I didn't focus much so I am not confident of getting a good rank in JEE Main. What should I do ?
Answer : In that case you should read the following 3 questions :
I am weak in Maths. What should I do ? (Question 09)
I am weak in Physics. What should I do ? (Question 10)
I am weak in Chemistry. What should I do ? (Question 11)
05.)Question : I am confident of getting above 250 marks in JEE Main and I am confident that I will clear JEE Advanced too. What should I do during this period ?
Answer : First of all, make absolutely sure that you are "confident" and not "over-confident". For checking this, take help from your teachers. Ask them that do you have the potential of being an IITian ?
If the answer is "yes" then read on.
Since anyway your main aim is JEE Advanced, you are suggested not to waste time in JEE Main topics like semiconductors, statistics, etc
Note that this will decrease your JEE Main score (I lost 20 marks in physics because I didn't bother to prepare semiconductors) but since you don't care about it, it will least affect you. Keep preparing for JEE Advanced. You don't need solving JEE Main papers exclusively. You will find them damn easy. Focus on solving tough JEE Advanced problems. Just don't take JEE Main as a big exam.
Note : You might interpret the above paragraph as - "ignore JEE Main completely".
"WRONG" !! That's not my point. My point is that don't take JEE Main preparation as a burden. Since you are anyway preparing for JEE Advanced, JEE Main will be covered side by side automatically - you don't need extra efforts for it.
Also note that don't forget to analyse JEE Main paper because this is going to be your first official "big" exam.
For example, I misread plano-convex lens as bi-convex lens and made a silly mistake in JEE Main. The same mistake was made by my friend in JEE Advanced (yes! the same mistake).
I got it correct in JEE Advanced because I had noted that mistake.
"Finally I would like to say that if you have prepared well for board exams then it won't be a problem for you because your JEE Main syllabus has already been covered.
Also, a good score in JEE Main will please your teachers, parents and friends and will also boost your confidence."
06.)Question : I am a repeater. I appeared for Board Exams last year. What should I do ?
Answer : Since you don't have board exams, you have enough time (more than others). Give your 100% this time. Study NCERT books thoroughly. Ensure that you have solved "all" the past year papers. Don't leave even a single question.
Those who are appearing for the improvement exam, please refer Question 01 and other related questions.
07.)Question : I am not from CBSE Board ? What should I do ?
Answer : Not a big problem. Although, you are recommended to purchase NCERT textbooks and study them thoroughly.
08.)Question : I am done with NCERT. I have repeatedly revised it and I am confident that I will not be stuck in a direct NCERT Question. What should I do ?
Answer : In that case move on to solving past year problems. If you have done that, then get some good revision package meant exclusively for JEE Main and solve it completely.
Choose whichever package you want. All are equally good.
09.)Question : I am weak in Maths. What should I do ?
Answer : Nothing much can be done about it. Ensure that you are solving a number of questions from various topics. Maths is an art. It cannot be learnt in a couple of days. You need patience and above that - a lot of practice to master it. Solve as many questions as you can. Revision packages will help you. If nothing works, your last resort is RD Sharma. It's the best book out there.
10.)Question : I am weak in Physics. What should I do ?
Answer : Something can be done. First try to cover NCERT fully. Read each chapter carefully and cover at least all the theoretical points given in NCERT. Solve all the problems of NCERT (including the additional problems). They are really good - some of them are up to JEE Advanced level. When you are done with it, move on to solving past year papers.
11.)Question : I am weak in Chemistry. What should I do ?
Answer : A lot can be done about it. Start mugging (cramming) each and every word of NCERT chemistry. If you are successful in cramming NCERT completely, I can guarantee you a good score in JEE Main. Also, it's extremely - extremely important to solve "all" the past year problems. Don't leave any. In JEE Main, questions of chemistry are frequently repeated. So, if you are lucky, you may be facing the same problem again (whose solution/answer you already know).
12.)Question : What do you have to say about examination temperament / examination pressure / fear ? What do you say about "D-day" ?
Answer : A lot is to be said about D-day. Ensure that you get up on time. I assume that your parents will take care of that. Get ready. For this, ensure that you have kept your Admit card, a water bottle, chewing gum (optional) and of course your pencil box.
Take blessings from your parents. Tell them that you are going to give an exam and you aren't going to fight a battle. Tell them that you are a student and not a soldier. Tell them to keep their expectations low.
When you get to the centre, you will see a completely new scenario. There will be all sorts of people. You might see some candidates studying right before the exam and you might feel nervous. What I would say is - "ignore it". A true students never studies at the last moment. He/She is always prepared to be tested. Last moment studies can't help you.
Secondly you might end up meeting one of your friend. It might happen that you both start discussing about the exam - "how tough it can be ?", "which subject you are weak at ?" etc etc. I would suggest you to refrain from all this. This will simply make you nervous. Your friend might tell you some wrong information and you might get scared right before the exam. This might hamper your performance.
You might feel nervous. It's natural. Little bit of nervousness is really important to avoid over-confidence. Almost all the aspirants will face this.
You may also feel too excited about the exam because you have prepared well. That's wrong. Don't be too much excited.
Next comes the time to go inside the centre. Bell rings, paper begins.
You first step would be to get a quick glance of the paper and decide which section is the easiest and which one is the toughest. Your plan would be to solve the easiest section first and the toughest at the last.
In a particular subject also, you are to decide the easier and the tougher questions and solve them in the sequence easiest --> toughest. "Don't" start solving tough questions.
Note that if you are accustomed to solving a particular subject first, then go with it. It's absolutely fine. But please ensure that if say you are used to solving Physics first and by chance physics paper comes extremely tough, then you should be ready to solve maths or chemistry first.
Don't get excited if the paper is too easy - you may accidentally misread a particular question if you are too excited
Suppose you are stuck in a particular question - simply leave it and come back in the end when you have solved other questions.
Carry chewing gums with you. They will help you to keep your mouth wet and avoid thirst. This way, you won't need visiting toilets again and again.
Don't mess with invigilators if you find any question to be wrong. They can't do anything about it.
Another important problem that many students face it that "should I tick the answer about which I am not sure (even when there is negative marking) ?".
My answer is yes - there is no problem in guessing but don't resort to "blind guessing". You might make intelligent guesses say by eliminating 3 options and get to the correct answer. It might happen that dimensional analysis leads you to the correct answer (it happens frequently in AIEEE).
Blind guessing is highly discouraged.
13.)Question : What should I ensure a day before JEE Main ? Can you provide a brief check list ?
Answer : A lot is to be ensured. Most importantly, you are suggested to sleep not later than 11 PM. You will have to get up early the next day.
Secondly, I would suggest you that you should "not" study the day before the exam. You should relax your mind completely. Don't think about the exam.
Watch movies, hang out with friends, play computer games.
Don't play any sport (like cricket/football) because you might end up exhausted/injured. You might break your spectacles (take special care of your spectacles).
Have a light dinner and then set up your bag.
Keep your Admit card, Pencil box with at least 3 pens, water bottle, chewing gum, medicines (if you need them), etc.
Before sleeping, ensure that all the mobiles are in silent mode. It might happen that some of your relatives may call you late night just for wishing all the best. Unknowingly, they might disturb your sleep (happened with me before JEE Advanced).
It may be possible that your sleep blows away. You are excited/nervous/scared and you are not able to sleep. It's natural and nothing much can be done about it. All you can do is to take help from your parents by telling them that you are not able to sleep. This will surely help.
14.)Question : I have opted for online exam. Can you tell me something about it ? How different is it going to be from the offline version ?
Answer : I really won't be able to help you much with this question. Try googling it or posting a question on Quora.
15.)Question : What if I am stuck with a particular question during the exam ?
Answer : Leave that question. First make sure to guarantee your selection and then try to build up your rank. By guaranteeing you selection, I mean that first solve all the easy problems and make sure that you are well above the JEE Advanced cutoff. If you are stuck in a particular question, then leave it. You don't have to be sentimental with a particular question. If it's tough, leave it without giving it a further thought (It does not mean that you leave everything). Come back to it in the end if you get time. But remember that such questions will be the rank deciding questions. These are the questions that will differentiate you from the common junta. These questions will build your score.
16.)Question : What if they suddenly change the pattern of exam ?
Answer : Please don't expect the paper to be of the same pattern as that of last year. I made this mistake and this is the reason my rank slipped a little bit in JEE Advanced. Frame your mind to accept a new pattern. Also, keep in mind that it is a change not only for you but for everyone. So, most of your competitors will be bearing the same pressure as you if the paper pattern changes.
17.)Question : What if the invigilators are terrible ?
Answer : You can't help it in any way. You will have to bear it. In my case the invigilators were 2 ladies and throughout the paper, they gossiped about their daily routines. I was fed up but I couldn't do anything. Remember, don't mess with the invigilators at any cost.
18.)Question : What if I make bubbling errors ?
Answer : Since you are going to use pen to bubble the correct option, you really can't do anything about it. If at some point you realize that you did make some bubbling mistake, stay calm. You can't correct it. Using ink eraser might rather render your OMR unreadable by the scanner. So better not try it. Just make sure to bubble the remaining part correctly and with full caution.
19.)Question : Negative thoughts keep coming to my mind. What should I do ?
Answer : It's completely natural. You might well imagine that "what if Physics paper is tough ?" , "What if I am not able to solve maths questions ?". This little bit of nervousness is important. You should be confident but not over-confident. Almost all the students will face negative thoughts some or the other day. It's not only you.
You can't really help it if paper is tough. If it is tough for you, it will be tough for everyone including the guy who will top the exam. The thing that matters is how you are performing relative to others.
20.)Question : What if the exam does not go well ?
Answer : Well let it be. It's over. There are thousands of people whose exam didn't go well. You can't score 360/360. If you are confident enough that you will be in the top 1.5 lakh then keep calm. You have probably qualified for JEE Advanced. Your aim now must be to figure out why did the paper go wrong ? What kind of mistakes did you make ? Can those mistakes be rectified in future exams ? Did you go short of time ? or did you commit a lot of silly mistakes ? Did you interpret the question wrongly ? or did you use the wrong concept. Such questions will help you find the flaws in yourself and your examination strategy. Try to rectify them and ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated in JEE Advanced. I remember making a silly mistake in physics in JEE Main and my friend did it correctly. In JEE Advanced, the reverse happened. Because I made a mistake in JEE Main, I learnt from it and hence I did not repeat it.
There may be another case - you are pretty sure that you won't qualify for JEE Advanced. In that case, your hands are tied. You cannot do anything except waiting for the results. If after normalization, you rank comes out to be good enough, then congrats. If your JEE Main rank is not good enough, then probably you should wait for counselling. You will have further options to join BITS or other colleges. Or you may choose to repeat the next year if you are willing to work hard next year.
To conclude the looooong post, I would say that all kinds of suggestions and comments are welcome.
Please don't post questions of unrelated topics on this post.