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Competitive exams expect a student to have a thorough and deep insight of the topic at hand. Half-baked knowledge about a concept is not likely to give an aspirant any credit in the actual exams, thereby demanding that one be very well-versed with the little details of every topic. In such situations, the infallible guides of aspirants act as reference books, as they not only provide conceptual ground but also improve problem-solving skills. In view of this, here’s a short yet comprehensive piece on ‘Resnick Halliday’, a name well revered when it comes to Physics, from a JEE (Main) and (Advanced) perspective.

Resnick Halliday is one of the top books recommended for JEE

‘Comfort’ Reading

  • It is general consensus that while the books of HC Verma teach you, those of Resnick Halliday talk to you. For a student who is not the fastest in the race, Resnick Halliday actually lays down the concepts for all the minds there are so that all can grab the concepts.
  • Makes learning the concepts actually comforting for students as they don’t have to revisit the text to understand it.

Topic Coverage

A reference book must always serve two purposes, theory practice and problem solving.

  • Resnick Halliday covers almost all areas of physics at an undergraduate level, at least from the perspective of JEE. It stays fairly within limits so as to not feel very advanced for an undergraduate course but at the same time isn’t too dilute to be of no use for a JEE aspirant.
  • The book has a sound conceptual background with a lucid yet comprehensive explanation of all the concepts involved.
  • The examples are very illustrative and help in visualisation of abstract principles of physics, which goes a long way when it comes to competitive exams.


One strong point in favour of Resnick Halliday is its analogies.

  • An analogy is an important understanding tool because it is much more than a mere example. It draws parallels between a given situation and a real-world counterpart, something that we may have encountered in everyday life.
  • It also draws a comparative between different chapters. Like how an electrostatic concept be used in a sum involving friction. Such awareness of interconnected chapters proves invaluable in a competitive exam, which tests your application power.

Problem Solving

  • Resnick Halliday has a large collection of questions which tests the concepts elucidated in the book, including objective and subjective type questions.
  • Some questions are quite helpful, but the general difficulty level is quite low for a general JEE (Advanced) aspirant at least, if not a JEE Mains aspirant as well. An aspirant may solve these questions just after studying to get a basic foothold but they turn redundant as you start growing as a problem solver.
  • However, one type of questions that deserves mention is the ‘Thought’ questions. These questions are more of an open-ended type with no fixed answer. These will generally have multiple ways of interpretation and will require more of thinking than solving. These will improve your understanding of the chapter and give you a deeper insight into the topic.

Resnick Halliday is a gem when it comes to theoretical and conceptual understanding but lacks a bit in the problem-solving arena. Aspirants should start off a topic with Resnick Halliday for fundamental understanding and basic problem-solving. However, once you gain some proficiency, it’s best to move to better avenues for solving skills.

Lastly, it’s imperative that you make the best of every reference book. Instead of criticising the shortcomings, try to wring out the benefits from any reference book. Keep this in mind that any book will be as good for you.

Resnick Halliday is one of the most conceptual books you’ll find in the market. Read about similar books that you should definitely read, but don’t end up reading due to JEE, in this article.

All the very best! I’ll be happy to answer any queries in the comments section 🙂

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