‘Waking up earlier than 3am might have been a little too much!’
My IIT- JEE Experience
I was first introduced to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at school in Hyderabad in 2010, when I was 11 years old. At that time, it felt like one of those mysterious institutes which everybody kept talking about. My school offered Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry, courses which were of a higher level than the standard I was studying in. Being the science enthusiast I am, I opted to take those courses, which constituted something called 'IIT Foundation' at the school level, starting from class 8. During that time, it was very easy going. The teachers of the foundation courses were not bad either. So, I stuck to that course for two years. It was discontinued in class 10 because we had board exams then.
During the summer vacation after class 10, my parents and I decided that I would study class 11 and 12, at the Narayana College cum coaching institutions, in Hyderabad. I absolutely despised the idea of staying in a hostel for coaching, so I joined in a day-scholar campus. I used to travel everyday to the college, which was around 15 kms away from my home. Here, it is worth noting that I did not have any special interest towards studying at the IITs then, so I enjoyed a carefree summer vacation in 2014 for about a month. Just when my family and I had guessed a week was left for the college to start, the people from the coaching called and said that the classes would start from the next day itself, even before the completion of the summer vacation. Since we were in a different city then, I decided to miss the first week of classes and go from the first week of June.
Finally, I started attending the classes. They were initially for half a day in June, but then it became from 8am to 6pm on all weekdays. Funnily enough, I got to know from my friends that nothing significant had happened the week I was absent. This went on for some time and it took a while for our Mathematics subject to get started. Once everything was settled, the teaching went into full swing, with two and a half hour classes on each subject. There were three exams conducted per week, with the exams eating up our Sundays too, and we were evaluated based on the performance in those. I initially performed very badly in those and got extremely disheartened and demotivated because the lecturers gave high importance to the weekly exams. In spite of this, I managed to get promoted into a 'higher' section where all the good performers are placed. The same weekly routine was followed, and it pretty much stuck throughout the two years.
Ironically, it was during this period that I actually developed an interest to study in the IITs. Maybe it was due to my affection towards the Science / Engineering, or it might have been the result of continuously writing JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) model exams every week. From this point, I keenly developed a positive outlook towards the JEE and started to take positive stress, hoping for a good outcome in return for all the hard work I put in. The lecturers were very helpful and gave constructive feedback after every one of my performances, giving me tips on how to become successful in the actual JEE exam. The level of the weekend exams also went very high, sometimes higher than the JEE level. In spite of that, I tried to give my best in each exam.
Whenever I used to feel demotivated, I used to watch videos on the IITs and life in the IITs. It used to work like a charm and I always used to get back into focus. My classmates who also had a strong determination to succeed became my great friends. Thus, I managed to spend two years, even though the college and its system tested my endurance to the limits, and despite me having to sacrifice my other interests, my free-time, and time spent with family. There were days I woke up earlier than 3 am, but in retrospect, I feel it might have been a little too much!
I wrote my board exams well, and all the credit goes to self-study. I worked extra hard during the stretch before JEE Main and took daily intensive practice tests. At last, I wrote my JEE Main. It didn't go as well as planned, but I was confident I would get an above-average rank. For JEE Advanced, I followed almost the same routine as the stretch before JEE Main. I covered the topics which were important from the Advanced point of view, and worked up on my weak areas extensively. On the day of my JEE Advanced exam, I went with an almost relaxed mind along with my family, and wrote the two papers of the exam calmly. After that, I just talked to my friends and lecturers regarding my performance. I could've done better, but I was pretty satisfied with what I did. I checked up on some answer keys, but each answer key indicated a different total. Flustered, I just kept the question paper aside and relaxed.
I then had the most peaceful vacation in 2 years. I didn't care about my JEE rank anymore. Anyway, on the day of the results, I got to know that I secured a pretty decent rank in JEE Advanced.
I also got a moderately good rank in JEE Main.I finally succeeded in achieving my target. I am studying now at IIT Bombay, first year in Chemical Engineering (an awesome branch, I must say!). All the hard work put into JEE was totally worth it.
A. S. V. KIREETI
JEE-ADV 2016 AIR 1261