In the final phase of preparing for your JEE examinations or any competitive exam for that matter, it is easy to miss out on topics because you are panicking & rushing through, out of anxiety. Of course you may have a month or two left for actual exam but it is common to get anxieties at this stage due to the fear of under-preparation. You may start to feel like the remaining time is not enough or worse – you may feel burnt out and feel the need to give up. The need to “just get over with it and never look back” as I call it.
It is integral to note that these are competitive exams. So, you aren’t the only one with these problems. Everyone faces them. It is merely something you have to overcome so that you can gain a competitive edge. One of the biggest mistakes in this phase is the tendency to merely do what you are the best at and perfect it, while leaving out topics which make you uncomfortable.
While coaching institutes indeed suggest you to polish your best topics and leave out the rest, you shouldn’t take it too far by focusing on just one subject. It is crucial to note that although the coaching institutes advise to focus on what you are best at, they do not ask you to ignore the rest. In other words, perfecting you best is definitely a key but you should also avoid leaving out topics.
To avoid leaving out topics, a few steps can be followed. First of all, you can maintain a checklist of all the topics. After this, you should try out practice problems from mixed topics. For the problems you are unable to answer, you should identify the topic which it belongs to. You should get yourself cleared in the concerned topic, or more specifically, the underlying concept. Next, you should build up your confidence on that concept or topic through further practice. Having done this on your weak areas, you should do a brief go-through of all the topics. This is again done by solving more problems in these topics. Should new doubts present themselves, you shall get them cleared too.
These are just preliminary steps- the steps required for practice. After this, you should attempt past year question papers or mock examinations. In these tests, if you are unable to figure out how to attempt certain questions, you should mark these and complete the remaining questions. At the end of the tests, you should then go through these questions and try to attempt them without any time limitations. If you are able to solve the questions eventually, you should try out more questions of that structure from the question bank to improve your speed. If you are still unable to, you should approach a teacher or a friend to understand the trick, if there’s any. Also you should review the concept and try attempting the problem. This will get you through the problem & if the same concept presents itself in some other form, you’d be ready.
After doing several of these tests, eventually you would have the loopholes and hence, most left out topics covered. However, it is important to note that certain topics or concepts might not have been tested out in the previous years and may appear in the forthcoming tests.
To ensure that these topics don’t pose a problem, you should sort the questions you have already answered based on their concepts. You should then cross check this with the checklist you had made earlier. From this, you will be able to find out the topics that have not been tested much. You can find problems based on these from question banks or study material and work on those to perfect yourself.
This method might sound tedious & time-taking, but this will certainly help you avoid leaving out topics & hence in beating the fear of under-preparation. After all, “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.”
Apart from the negligence towards some topics, here are many other mistakes which should be avoided during exam preparations.