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Subject-wise JEE Preparation Tips – Things I wish I had known!

Knowledge about the resources that can assist you in your preparation is half the battle. As far as JEE and other engineering entrance exams are concerned, NCERT is necessary but not sufficient. Through this article, I’d like to offer subject-wise JEE Main preparation tips which I wish someone had shared with me. To start off, here is the list of books which I found resourceful and which I would recommend. This article aims at offering you tips on subject-wise JEE preparation.

Books for Theory

Physics

  1. Both the volumes of Concepts of Physics by HC Verma (Highly recommended)
  2. ‘Fundamentals of Physics’ by Resnick and Halliday (optional)
  3. ‘Problems in General Physics’ by I. E. Irodov (Has thought provoking problems)
  4. ‘Physics for Scientists and Engineers’ by ‘Jewett and Serway’ (Didn’t use this much. But, it is an amazing book. Theory is explained really well.)

Chemistry

  1. ‘Organic Chemistry’ by Morrison and Boyd (for Organic)
  2. ‘Concise Inorganic Chemistry’ by J. D. Lee (for Inorganic and Physical Chemistry)
  3. ‘Modern Approach To Chemical Calculations’ by R. C. Mukherjee (The numerical problems are often clear-cut. It is an important book as it will give you the right insight into theoretical calculations.)
  4. ‘University Chemistry’ by ‘Bruce M. Mahan and Rollie J. Meyers’ (for Inorganic and Physical Chemistry)

Mathematics

I used the following books of Arihant series to prepare for different subdivisions:

  1. Vector and 3D Geometry
  2. Trigonometry
  3. Integral Calculus
  4. Differential Calculus
  5. Coordinate Geometry
  6. Algebra

Alternatively, the following books are recommended too:

  1. ‘Trigonometry’ by ‘S. L. Loney’
  2. ‘Coordinate Geometry’ by ‘S. L. Loney’
  3. ‘Higher Algebra’ by ‘Hall and Knight’
  4. ‘Problems in Calculus of One Variable’ by ‘I. A. Maron’

Books for Practice(chapter wise)

  • ’38 years of IIT JEE’ by Arihant Publications (a reliable source) in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.
  • ‘New Pattern Arihant’ in Physics.You can find similar ones in Mathematics(which, FYI, is quite huge) and Chemistry.

Subject-wise JEE Preparation Strategy

This demands a lot of dedication. You need to plan your time wisely. You must optimise and filter out the time available to you after you are done with school, coaching center, homework and assignments, daily chores and studying for board exams and make a time table. You need to fruitfully utilize this time.

Also, keep in mind that it is okay to make mistakes while practicing. It is only when you practice that you realize your strengths and weaknesses and the probable scenario wherein you might commit mistakes and comprehend your dynamics.

Jack of all trades, Master of none

There are 90 odd chapters you need to master in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics all put together. You can find the weightage for each chapter from previous years’ trends or on JEE website. If you don’t find time to  ace all the chapters, thoroughly prepare a few important chapters such that you will be capable of clearing the cut-off marks. So basically, whatever you study, do it thoroughly. 

Here are the  tips for meticulously mastering each chapter in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics:

Subject-wise JEE preparation: Select a chapter. Read the theory from the books suggested above. Thoroughly understand the concepts. Then immediately (within a span of one or two days) solve problems corresponding to the chapters you studied. Leaving a long gap between theory and practising problems might lead to forgetting the crucial concepts and would require a revision. Here’s how your subject-wise JEE preparation should go, with respect to practice.

Physics

Read theory from H. C. Verma (Highly Recommended). You can refer to ‘Resnick and Halliday’ and ‘Jewett and Serway’ too in case you have time. To begin with, solve problems at the end of the chapter in H. C. Verma (all of them). Additionally, you can solve problems from ‘Resnick and Halliday’, ‘Irodov’ and ‘Jewett and Serway’ too (If you have time). These problems enhance your theoretical perspective and understanding. From the perspective of JEE, you need to improve your problem-solving speed and skills. In order to acquire the skillset, you’ll need to solve a lot of problems. I recommend the books ’38 years of JEE’ and ‘New Pattern Arihant’ for this. You’ll need to take a sufficient number of self-tests. These books will have different categories of problems which you’ll find in JEE. So, include a specific number of questions from each category in each self-test. Allot a specific amount of time and check as to how much you are able to score. For eg. if the chapter has 30 MCQ questions, 10 ‘match the following’ questions, 10 Numerical questions, you can divide it into two self-tests, each containing 15 MCQ questions, 5 ‘match the following’ questions and 5 numerical questions. After the self-test check as to where you have gone wrong and try to solve those problems again. This way, you’ll know your strengths and you won’t repeat the same mistake again when it appears in the examination.

Typically each subject will carry 120 marks be it JEE Mains or JEE Advanced. After you have solved all the problems, make a summary sheet for the course. It is something similar to mind-mapping. It should have all the important formulae, theorems and some important problems you encountered. You might have experienced some hurdles while solving problems. You should include that. Since it’s a summary, every content must be as concise as possible. I have attached a summary sheet for your reference. This is the most important part. In future if you have an exam or if you want to revise this chapter you should look only at the summary sheet. You should be able to recall everything looking at the summary sheet within a span of half an hour because you have followed a rigorous procedure to learn it.

Calculus Summary Sheet

                                                                      (Image courtesy: Google)

Chemistry

For Organic Chemistry, study from Morrison and Boyd. For inorganic and physical chemistry refer to ‘J D Lee’. ‘Mahan and Meyers’ is also a good book for inorganic chemistry. ‘J D Lee’ is especially used for Physical Chemistry. For solving problems in Inorganic chemistry use R. C. Mukherjee (Highly Recommended). After this solve the problems in ’38 years of JEE’ and ‘New Pattern Arihant’ from the corresponding chapter followed by summary sheets. If you have enrolled yourself in a coaching center, you can refer to the materials provided by them for a better insight into solving problems in Chemistry.

Mathematics

This basically needs a lot of problem solving. You’ll need to have a good combination of theoretical understanding and problem-solving skills. For any given chapter refer to the corresponding chapter from the books I have suggested for theory. This followed by problems in ’38 years of JEE’ and ‘New Pattern Arihant’ followed by summary sheets.

It’s highly recommended that you begin your JEE preparation by class 11. Because, say, you’ll need a week’s time to thoroughly master a chapter, there’ll be roughly 100 weeks in a span of two years and around 90 chapters to learn. Apart from that, enrolling yourself in a coaching center is recommended if affordable because of the guidance and the expertise you would be subjected to. Any reputed JEE coaching center with highly qualified teachers is indeed a bliss for the kind of support and academic help that you might be able to seek. But, you also need to make sure that not much of your time gets used up in the classrooms and that you have sufficient time for comprehending what has been taught and self-assessment and learning. I had enrolled myself in a coaching center that held classes for three hours a day and three days a week. If there is any integrated program in your school in collaboration with any coaching institute, wherein you have a few hours of afternoon classes following your regular classes, you can save a lot of time enrolling for such a program. Nevertheless, if you think you are self-motivated enough to plan your preparation with the available resources, without counting on the coaching centers, that’s well and good too.

It’s also recommended that you spare about 30 mins – 1 hr every day in any kind of physical activity like sports or yoga to monitor your mental stability and handle the pressure.

Also, have some idea about the tie-breaking scheme. For example, when two students get the same score, the one with higher marks in Mathematics will get a better rank. If the Math score is the same, the person with greater marks in Physics will get a higher rank. So the order of priority is Math>Physics>Chemistry. There is a very good possibility for a lot of people to get the same score out of 360. So, keep this priority order in mind. Also, check with the latest regulations for deciding the rank on the JEE website. Knowledge about ranking scheme will help you plan and prepare accordingly.

I would like to emphasize here that, in the current scenario of counseling with respect to JEE, having a good rank helps you keep your options open with respect to the Branch of Engineering you would like to choose. In the gap of time between the rank announcement and document verification, a lot of IITs organize an ‘Open Day’ wherein, you can explore the campus, facilities and get an insight into the programs offered by different departments. Choose your department wisely. Don’t go for anything until and unless you are absolutely sure that you are passionate about it. If you don’t like engineering, then, forget JEE because it’s not meant for you.

More than anything, it is all about how bad you want it and how much you are willing to give it.

We hope the article offers effective subject-wise JEE preparation tips. Toppr wishes you find the right direction without which none of the subject-wise JEE preparation tips will be of much use.

For more such subject-wise JEE preparation & other tips click here.

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