You must have read innumerable articles related to ‘Preparation tips for competitive exams.’ But no matter how well-prepared you are, if you don’t have a strategy to solve the question paper smartly, then your preparations won’t amount to much. We see many examples of students who toil for years but are not able to give their best on the exam day. To steer you clear of any such disasters on the D-Day, we at Toppr, have come up with the best possible approach that you can adopt for the JEE Main Question Paper. So, please read the article carefully if you want to get the maximum benefit out of your JEE Main preparations.
Best Approach for JEE Question Paper
- Analyse the Paper:
First things first; as soon as you get the question paper, you must quickly glance through the entire paper to assess the overall difficulty level of questions. Next, you should select the questions wisely by filtering out all the easy and average problems and answering them first. Trust me; this will not only improve your score but also save a lot of heartburn if you run out of time and are not able to attempt the questions which are your strong points.
- Solve in Cycles:
JEE is a moderate-level examination. Hence, there will be many questions based on answer substitutions. Follow the order that you’ve decided and try to attempt such type of questions in all three subjects. As soon as you see a question, start solving, and if it’s taking more than a minute or two, skip it.
Always keep an eye on your watch. After one such cycle of solving problems, you would have solved most of the easy questions. Now start the second cycle and attempt other problems. After you have attempted all the questions at least once, you won’t see anything new in the subsequent cycles. Working in cycles makes the difficult problems easier as you are not attempting them all at once but in intervals.
- Subject Order:
Once you’re done with solving the relatively easier and average questions, you must decide an order to attempt the rest of the question paper. We recommend the following approach to address the question paper: solve your strongest subject first, followed by your weakest subject and in the end, solve the subject where you’re average. This tried-and-tested approach has multiple benefits.
Firstly, since you have solved the easiest subject first, a large number of questions are out of the way and you have also gained a lot of marks in a short period. At the same time, it gives you loads of confidence. Take my word; JEE Main also tests your temperament. The increased confidence then makes you sail through your weakest subject. After that, you can focus on the third subject.
- Play to Your Strengths:
Another approach to solving the JEE Main question paper is to attempt Chemistry first and then either Mathematics or Physics. This strategy also has its merits. Chemistry, as a subject, offers the highest scoring potential, even if it’s your weakest subject. It’s also a time-saver as it requires the least amount of computations and the answers are usually binary in nature: you either know the correct one or don’t know it. There’s no third alternative and hence, no wastage of time.
This approach leaves you time for computational problems in Mathematics and Physics. After finishing Chemistry, go for the subject where you are weaker among Mathematics and Physics, because of reasons we’ve already mentioned. We advise you to try both the approaches in practice tests and find out which suits you the best.
- Subject-Wise Strategy:
To an extent, the subject strategy would vary from person to person. However, there are a few tips that apply to everyone. Consider Chemistry; some people first attempt everything in Inorganic Chemistry. There are a few merits attached to this approach as well. Inorganic Chemistry is all about your ability to remember stuff (mostly). So, when you attempt them first and get them out of the way, you free your mind from the stress of remembering, which allows you to focus on other aspects of Chemistry (it worked for me!). The same applies to Physics and Mathematics.
- The Importance of Rough Work:
We tend to ignore the enormous role that rough work plays in paper-solving. Randomly scribbled rough work is very detrimental if you are aiming for a good score. First of all, use little space while doing rough work. It’s a good practice to keep large, vacant spaces in the paper because having backup space is crucial.
At the same time, mark your rough work. Write the question corresponding to the solution. When you are re-checking your answers, such meticulousness helps a lot. You’ll be able to go through the sheet much faster with fewer chances of mistakes. Trust me, I’ve saved almost 20-25 marks just through the habit of re-checking. Also, rough work doesn’t mean well-written answers. Just write the necessary steps. Work on skipping the small computational steps.
- Time- Management:
Now that we’ve understood how to attempt the question paper in a structured manner, let’s discuss Time-Management. If you follow the cycles of solving papers as explained above, each question in the first cycle should not take more than a minute or so. After the first cycle, keep a check on the time spent on each question.
In an examination like JEE, high attempt rates are crucial. Keep going through the cycles till you have about 30-35 minutes left. Stop the solving cycle and re-check all your answers. If you’ve followed the guideline on rough work, this will get over in 10 minutes. Assuming you take 15 minutes, you’d still have 20 minutes of buffer. By now, you would’ve attempted most of the questions you are capable of solving.
In this buffer time, address the questions which you are confident about solving within the time frame. You may still end up getting a few marks, and these few marks could be crucial rank-deciders. In the end, it’s about optimizing your time. This method ensures that you don’t end up solving a question for 15 minutes (answers to which may not even be correct) and leaving a very simple problem for the lack of time.
Finally, remember that speed & accuracy are of paramount importance in JEE Main. High speed with low accuracy is the most dangerous thing while solving the paper.
You must understand that each student might have a personal strategy. The approach that suits me might not work for you. So, solve as many papers as you can, get to know your comfort zones and strategize your moves accordingly.
In the end, it all boils down to the amount of tireless dedication and hours of practice that you put in.
You may also like our article on everything you need to know about JEE Main 2017.