Boards vs JEE (or any other entrance exam) is a major battle that every devoted engineering aspirant faces. How can one juggle successfully between preparing for these important exams?
An important thing to remember is that the syllabus of any board exam is the subset of the IIT JEE syllabus. If you are preparing well for your JEE, then it's a given that you will do well in your board exam as well.
Having said that, what are some good ways to utilize time to study for school and entrance exams without getting stressed out by your daily schedule?
The Importance Of Time Management
- Revise notes: Revising what is taught as soon as you reach home after coaching (or on your way home from coaching) gives you a better understanding of the topic.
Ideal revision time: 30 minutes for each subject
- Practising problems daily: This is an important exercise which will tell you about your shortcomings and will improve your problem solving abilities. Working on your problem solving strategy is crucial as you generally do not have more than a minute to solve any problem during the JEE.
Start with basic problems first and try to analyze them. Ask as many doubts as you can, this helps you to understand the concept better. You can increase the difficulty level of the questions as and when your basic problem solving skills for a topic improve.
Tip: Solving a problem and confused about how to proceed further? Ask an IITian tutor to help you out immediately.
Ideal practice time: Around 3-4 hours, this time will yield more results once you get better at managing time while solving problems.
- Read theory: Especially for Physics and Chemistry, but if you have enough time, it is important to read Math theory as well!
Reading about the theory behind any concept gives you a lot more insight about how these problems and questions exist in the real world. Deciding on how much time should you spend on any particular topic is crucial. It depends on the utility of topic in future chapters and its importance as a topic in JEE or boards.
Nonetheless, you should develop a curiosity for all topics and read as much as you can!
Ideal reading time: It's good to spend at least an hour every day reading about these diverse topics to keep your learning spark alive
Can I use my class notes to prepare for JEE?
Reading from your class notes and school books has an added advantage - you can answer any board exam theory questions using the same vocabulary as the prescribed textbooks, which definitely helps to do better in your school exams!
Listening to some good music, watching some fun TV shows (they're pretty short - 25-30 minutes long) or watching highlights from a not-so-crucial football or cricket match are all great ways to unwind. Some of us are also comfortable solving problems or revising notes while watching TV, which gives you a slight edge to take productive breaks.
However, most of us are not great at multitasking (short attention spans to blame), and therefore it is best to study for 25 minutes and take a 5 minute break at the end. It's called the Pomodoro technique, and is proven to be extremely useful.
How to pinpoint topics to focus on
Set yourself to a timeline, like try to complete your syllabus by September, so that when you take any test series/mock exams etc., you know your weaknesses and can work on it. It is better in the earlier months to solve more topic-specific questions rather than solving everything at once, so that you can focus on understanding every topic well enough to deal with questions of any difficulty level.
The month of January and February is generally the time for pre-boards, which gives you a rough idea about your preparation for board exams. Attempting this well will prepare you for the pattern of the board exams & make you feel less worried about the upcoming exams.