Sunday, 7 January 2018

What was the story of your journey to IITB?

Here is how it was for me:
  • UKG to class 5th: studied in an okayish English medium school in Kanpur. Used to rank among top 10 in class. Screwed up a couple of times, but was doing well. Elder sister used to teach me. I was not at all a studious guy. I rather spent most of my day playing cricket and other games/sports with my friends.
  • Class 6th - class 7th: school was changed to one of the best schools in Kanpur. Rank fell down from single digit to double digits. Percentage went down from 90+ to ~70. Didn’t care at all. Wasn’t a studious guy. The teachers in school and the residents of my society were so fed-up of me that my parents wanted to send me to hostel. I used to fight with my sister when she taught me. Enjoyed life like crazy. Played a lot of games. Broke some people’s heads. Messed up with teachers. Fought with classmates. I arguably had the best childhood.
  • Class 8th - class 10th: sister got married when I was in class 8th. Responsibility of studying suddenly fell on me. Class teacher was fed-up with complaints against me. I used to spend most of my time either outside my class (due to a punishment) or on the floor of the class (again, due to a punishment) :P. She made me sit with the most sincere guy (call him A) in the class. We became good friends and the “peer group” effect started to impact me. I started becoming serious about my studies. By class 9th, I was among the toppers. It was 2010 and A’s brother had secured AIR 125 in IIT-JEE 2010 (now JEE Advanced). In 10th standard, the school took us on a visit to IIT Kanpur. Mesmerized by the beauty of campus, I made my mind that some day I will also come here. I became extremely serious in class 10th and I studied a lot. Ended up topping the school with 97.4% marks.
  • Class 11th: started JEE preparation with the big dream of cracking IIT Kanpur. Got to know about IIT Bombay CSE from my class 11th Physics teacher. Learnt that only top 100 rankers are able to crack it (that was back in 2011 when the cutoff was around AIR 75). Changed the goal to a top 100 rank + IITB CSE. Performed well during class 11th, but still, I was not even close to a top 100 ranker’s performance.
  • Class 12th (May 2012 - September 2012): got in touch with Manoj Sir - the teacher who changed the way I saw Physics. He taught me how to hit Physics problems with the most fundamental concepts rather than applying end-results/formulae. I applied his ideas not just in Physics, but also in Chemistry and Maths. This started producing good results and eventually I became extremely serious about JEE preparation.
  • Class 12th (October 2012 - April 2013): FIITJEE AITS (test series) started. I performed well at the national level (1 and 2 digit ranks), but the scores were low because AITS is extremely tough. My ego got hit and I studied like crazy during these months. Maintained a top 50 rank in AITS consistently.
  • April 2013 (the JEE Main time): Did well in the exam. 300+ was sure. 323/360 was icing on the cake. Cracked INPhO and INChO also.
  • April 2013 - May 2013: Worked like crazy during this period. It was clear by this time that if I don’t screw up JEE and perform as I have been doing in AITS, a top 50 rank is sure.
  • 2nd June 2013: screwed up JEE due to a sudden change in pattern.
  • 3rd June 2013: got to know that it isn’t just me who screwed up. Relative performance was great and as per FIITJEE’s calculations I was getting a top 50 rank.
  • 21st June 2013: JEE results were announced, AIR 33 in JEE Advanced 2013.
  • Counseling time: I filled 9 choices in the following order: IITB CS, IITD CS, IITK CS, IITB Elec, IITD Elec, IITK Elec, IITB Mech, IITD Mech, IITK Mech. I knew that under any circumstances, I am getting IITB CS (there were 43 general category seats at that time), but my mom was slightly paranoid and she made me fill so many choices. :P
  • Counseling results: was partying with friends when results were declared. Cracked IITB CSE :)