What is preparation without putting your knowledge to test? For every examination, be it entrance exams for engineering such as JEE-Main and JEE-Advanced, or the Board examinations or even NTSE, you can never truly be sure of your level of preparation until you put yourself through a test series beforehand.
Since Board examinations will hit next year during March followed by JEE, you need to start optimizing your process of study and revision along with testing your thoroughness on the previously prepared subject matter as early as you can. While preparing for JEE, students are required to prepare for both standard 11th and 12th subject contents. It so happens that students tend to forget the concepts that they had learnt early on in standard 11th as they reach the end of standard 12. This is a result of lack of regular revision and absence of constantly putting yourself to test. But this happens too often and is very easy to tackle once you pull up your socks!
Basically, the motives behind test series are:
- covering maximum diverse topics in a few set of questions
- providing you with a mock question paper and special types of question format
- testing your speed of solving problems
Speaking from my personal experience, I would like to assure you that without attempting mock question papers beforehand, you are only half prepared for the examination. The exam question paper will seem alien to you and you would never have practised special types of problems such as ‘More than one option correct’ or ‘Matrix match’ problems in JEE.
We now tackle the above mentioned 3 points. It is a very clear and established fact that no two questions are from the same topic in a JEE question paper. That is the level of diversity you find and solving test series regularly helps you realize the loopholes in your preparation. You get to know your weaknesses and specific section/chapters/concepts you always fail to score in. Take a note of these topics, go through the solution of the mock question paper and understand where your concept lagged.
Practising at least 2 test papers a week early on and at least 4 when the exams are a few months away is the winning mantra. Gradually, you need to balance your preparation and test series on parallel roads.
The best and most important factor is time management and there is no better ruler in this kingdom than test series. Boards and JEE demand more number of problems solved correctly in lesser time, that is, your accuracy. Always solve mock test papers on a set clock. As suggested by most instructors, the time distribution within the 3 hour span of the exam should be:
Physics: 1 hr
Chemistry: ½ hr
Mathematics: 1½ hr
This is done because Chemistry questions are more objective and have fewer calculations compared to Physics and obviously Mathematics. However, you can bend these boundaries based on your strengths and weaknesses. The final aim is to be able to attempt all questions with perfect accuracy. When you constantly attempt test series, you also get to know your growth with the scores you get. Don’t get disheartened by a few failed scores, but ensure your graph of performance increases overall.
Be true to yourself. No one can know your weaknesses better than you and hence no one can tackle them better than you. All the best!