Varanasi’s Ishan Raj has got 99.96 percentile score in JEE Main 2021 held in February this year. He is ahead of lakhs of students who appeared in the engineering entrance exam, however, Raj is not resting on his laurels. He claims that his current score is enough to get him a set in a good NIT but his dream is to take admission in IIT-Bombay; that too in one of the most sort after course - computer science engineering. Thus, Raj has already started preparing for JEE Advanced.
The IIT entrance — JEE Advanced — was scheduled to be held on June 3 has been postponed indefinitely. Maintaining focus during lockdown with both schools and coaching institutes being shut is one of the key issues faced by many aspirants. Raj, however, has shifted his mode of learning.
JEE is a test of one’s understanding of concepts, claims Raj. “The problems given in the exam are complicated, especially weaving 2-3 concepts together to bring out the best talent," he said emphasizing on needs to have conceptual clarity before appearing for the entrance test.
In his February exam, Raj had obtained the highest score in physics with 99.96 percentile followed by chemistry at 99.92, and Mathematics at 99.61 percentile.
“With the current rank, I think I will make it to NITs, hence the struggle is one to make it to IIT Bombay, Delhi, or Madras. I am hoping for a good rank in JEE Advanced. My most preferred branch will be Computer Science Engineering (CSE) in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay," he said.
Like many students, Raj began his preparation for the entrance exams from class 10 onwards, however, he had decided to become an engineer right from class 8. “Since class 8th I decided to go for engineering. I started my research for competitive exams and learned about JEE Advanced and Mains from my school seniors. The journey has been long and full of hard work to achieve this feat," said the 16-year-old.
“The lockdown phase made me realize the real importance of time," said the IIT aspirant who enrolled for BYJU’s three-year preparation programme to shift his preparation online. He said, “I used to study around 8-10 hours a day for exam preparation. I made it a point to study in schedules with proper breaks. A common practice was to ensure that I do not study a subject for more than two hours. Followed by small breaks and further studying the other subject."
“Now, I spend 2 hours on each subject starting with physics, followed by maths and then chemistry. My major focus has always been towards JEE Advanced and the preparation was planned accordingly. I prepared for JEE Advanced throughout the year and focussed on JEE Main preparation about a month ago. Before the exam, I revised the entire JEE main syllabus of all three subjects and tried to solve past years’ question papers to avoid silly mistakes during the exam. I also used to solve a lot of question papers which helped in improving my writing speed as well as boosting my confidence," he said.
Student of Dalimss Sunbeam School & Hostel, Raj is a son of a teacher mother and a businessman father. During long hours of study at home, he says that his parents, encouraged him to walk for at least 45 days daily in the evening to stay physically and mentally fit.
Recalling his exam attempting strategy he said, “I had a simple strategy to attempt simpler ones first followed by difficult or lengthy questions. For JEE Mains, I started first with chemistry, physics, and then mathematics. I kept 30-40 minutes in the end for solving Chemistry equations, as it was my weak area. I further planned to revise all answers in the end. For JEE Advanced, I need to focus more on the preparation of mathematics as there is a big difference between the levels of questions asked in Advanced and JEE Main," he said.