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Which subject to focus on is the question to life, the universe and everything for most, if not all JEE candidates. The JEE being the complex animal it is, utilising a strategy best suited to your strengths is most advisable to optimise performance. Let’s look at how you can score better by maximising your impact in each subject.


Most students have a soft spot for one out of Physics, Chemistry, Maths, where they derive a lot of pleasure from solving those really hard problems. Some might love sitting all night solving those Irodov problems, some might get excited about that convoluted reaction process in Paula Bruice, and, err, let’s face it, nobody likes Maths.

Anyway, what candidates should realise is that JEE is a competition of 3 subjects. However much you love or are interested in a subject, in the end, it is going to be your ability to balance all three subjects together to make the most of your abilities. This is not to say that you must ignore your interests. Enjoying what you do is one of the most underrated metrics for successful preparation for the JEE. The best way out of this conundrum is too balance out the attention you give to each subject, and try to attain total mastery of that one subject, which in turn gives you extra time to tackle the other subjects in the exam. We’ll look at this time factor in detail later on.

Strength vs. Time

The JEE is after all, a 6 hour race against the clock and with 6 lakh other students. The key to winning this race is to maximise your output in those 6 hours. On face value, it seems like dividing time equally for each subject is a good idea. However, one should understand that the dynamics of solving each subject is different for each student.  For example, a very frequent situation is that students find solving, say the maths section, very stimulating and enjoyable, but not, say the chemistry section. However, their marks in chemistry are still way better than those in maths.  The way out of this dilemma is to focus on building up on your chemistry, ensuring that you finish that subject in as little time as possible, so that you get more time for maths. A very effective way to figure out your best possible strategy is to solve as many mock papers as you can. Solving mock papers gives you the opportunity to the test different strategies and fine tune them to optimise your potential.

Some ground rules

Find topics that are easy to score, per unit time spent on them. For example, Inorganic and Organic chemistry constitute almost 50-60 percent of the Chemistry section. With even a moderate level of preparation, it is possible to correctly solve each of these questions in about a minute or so, compared to the average time available for each question, which is 2 minutes. Realize that you have secured almost 20 percent of the total in about 20 to 30 mins, which is a very good statistic, when you place it in perspective with the fact that a 50 percent score almost certainly ensures you of an AIR of 6000.

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