One cannot state the importance of time enough, especially when talking of exam preparations. Let me attempt it for you.
Gone are those days, when success was defined in terms of ‘number of hours’ spent preparing. Frankly speaking, take away the practice equivalence from ‘no. of hours’, it becomes an overrated entity. Smart work was and will always be the key to excel. Time management has a major play not only during preparation, but also on the ‘Big Day’. One poor decision in time, on the day, can take you ranks away from your dream. Most of the students spend years trying to make up for this mistake. Although there’s cure to every bad decision, prevention is always better. This is what separates ‘smart work’ from ‘just hard work‘!
Talking Broadly, Preparation time = Practice Time + Concept Building Time
‘Practice time’ is when you solve problems. ‘Concept building time’ consists of ‘First time reference’ as well as ‘Doubt clearing sessions’.
Be Fair: Each one of you has a favorite JEE subject which you can study all day long; stop right there! Don’t skip the ones you don’t like. You won’t have this privilege on the judgment day. You need to be fair to all your subjects. So, you have to divide the practice time fairly between Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics. Subject needing more attention will resurface during concept building time (in the form of doubts).
Be Smart: You’d assume great pride if you are amongst the few who could crack a really difficult JEE problem. If you’re able to solve it in max 10-12 minutes, hats off!! Anything more than 10-15 minutes is simply a waste of time, however. After all, this real tricky problem is going to fetch you the same score as a rather simpler one. Only the simpler one does it faster!
Devote Time: Respect the questions you are unable to solve at the first go. Keeping them as a doubt for later reference would be a smart move. This will be critical for building concepts. Doubts can be your best friends as well as worst enemies, depending on how you deal with them. Enemy or Friend, they will always find you.
Improvise: There are many right ways to reach the result. Obviously, staying ahead is the key. Always try and find the shortest robust solution to a problem, especially when you’ve solved it comfortably. This can be done through peer discussions & looking up study material.
Experiment: A very frequently asked question is what should be the sequence of attempting the question paper. Best way to work this out is by experimentation. Through this, you can discover your most comfortable sequence. Stick to the same sequence on the day of exam.
Stay Fit: A healthy ‘Biological Clock’ is of utmost importance during any test preparation. Try not to stay up too late; examinations are always conducted in broad daylight. Never sleep during odd times. Keep physically fit through a balanced diet.
There are two kinds of test takers: those who have enough time & those who never do. You know best!