by Subodh Sharma
What would it feel like to become the very first student from your locality to crack the most prestigious entrance exam in the country? Well, that really sounds great, right?
I did have that very proud moment to cherish last year when I was enrolled into IIT Roorkee as an undergraduate B.tech student. It was my dream since the time I came to know about IIT and the honour of being there. I often came across people saying IITians are the most fertile brains the country has and I even read about so many innovative works done in IITs. All this instilled in me a very strong urge to get into an IIT.
My journey to IIT started in Sri Chaitanya Education Institution Visakhapatnam, which was a Coaching cum Schooling Institute for CBSE students. I was from ICSE boards and had done quite well in the board exam (94%). But having taken no pre-foundation courses on JEE preparation, I did face problems to cope up with some classmates who had taken such classes.
I felt syllabus was running fast. I couldn’t grasp things quickly. Work was accumulating. Other students’ replies and performances in class made me nervous. All these things were pulling me into a state of depression. And the worst part was that I already had a migraine problem. I discussed all this with one of my friends, and then with one of our teachers. I really felt better after they consoled and motivated me.
Hope and interest emerged again and then came the confidence booster, the first monthly test where I was in top 20 among 1500-odd students. It felt really good. Now that I gained some confidence I planned to stick with the basic and understand the concepts well. I knew I could accelerate once I was clear with the technical concepts. I kept interacting with teachers and batch mates. Books like H C Verma and NCERT really helped a lot. I was not that good at planning study hours, but whenever I studied, I did it effectively.
Apart from this, I played table tennis in the evening and practiced yoga early morning. These kept me fit, calm and a lot more in control over my migraine problem. I did go for one or two motivation classes organized in our institute, but the best motivation was always within me. My passion to get into an IIT and those thoughts of my dad’s blissful smile always filled in me immense drive to work hard. All these kept me focused and on track, even in times when I used to get exhausted and slightly demotivated.
This continued for about 18 months or so with periodic tests. At times, we prepared for board exam and my performance in boards was also quite satisfactory with 88%. Then came the JEE mains which went well as well. Just after our mains, I appeared for hundreds of mock tests for JEE Advanced and practiced a lot. All this prepared me well for JEE Advanced. But maybe I missed out something, maybe there was something more I could have done. I missed an IIT seat by a very small margin. I was going through a very tough time. It was my dad who gave me great support then. He never forced anything on me. Going to an IIT was my choice and the passion had not yet faded. I decided to give it another try.
I went to FIITJEE Indore, where I spent another long year preparing. Now for me it was more of patience, than hard work. Doing the same thing again was quite boring sometimes. But again that same ‘motivation within me’ took me through all these obstacles. I cleared JEE Mains with much better marks this time and appeared for JEE Advanced again. I was really very confident when I entered the exam hall. But, the question pattern was really unexpected last year and even I fell prey to nervousness and fear. I was quite disappointed with my performance, like most of the students. That hit my JEE ranks, but I still managed to make it to an IIT, despite that setback. Now I’m in IIT Roorkee and pursuing B.tech in Biotechnology. I’m happy and that is what ultimately matters!
My advice to all JEE aspirants this year:
I would only say that have faith in yourself. If you work hard the result will show up some or the other way. But yeah, don’t overwork. Have proper rest. Plan your study session properly and give time for each subjects. Play games at times. This will certainly keep you fit and keep your interests afresh. Lastly, maintain your calm and stay cheerful always. And, expect the unexpected at the exams – don’t get jolted!
ALL THE BEST!
Subodh Sharma is a 1st year B.Tech. student at IIT Roorkee.
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