When is the right time to prepare for JEE or NEET?

September 27, 2019
Exam Advice

While quite a huge number of youngsters continue to remain clueless about what they really want to pursue in their life, the other half seems to be very sure of what they are really passionate about and have clear-cut goals in their minds. For the students aspiring to step into the STEM or medical field, there are the JEE and NEET exams respectively. Every year, lakhs and lakhs of students sit for either exam and some sit for both in hopes of securing a seat in the prestigious engineering or medical colleges. While hopes and dreams may come in golden caskets, manifesting them into reality is not as easy.

As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day. Preparing for an entrance exam as important as JEE or NEET requires patience and effort which cannot be achieved with only a few months of rushed preparation. People say that the syllabi of class 9th and 11th are similar in quite a few ways. Compared to 10th or 11th, a student has more free time after his regular classes. However, he only has preliminary knowledge of the subject matter that he would have to grind for the entrance exams. This raises a question in one’s mind. So, when exactly should one start preparing for JEE or NEET? Is 9th too early to be worrying about entrance exams and colleges? Is 11th too late to be starting your preparation?

There are pros and cons to starting as early as 9th or from your 11th. However, starting while you are in grade 9 gives you an edge over your peers in certain aspects. Think about the story of the hare and the tortoise. While the hare had everything going in its favour, it decided to procrastinate and sleep instead of completing the race which eventually, led to his loss. Procrastinating is never beneficial. While it is not necessary to deprive one of his childhood by sending them to coaching centres right from the ages of 10-12, it is important to make sure that they receive proper training for a strong foundation at the right time. The pros of starting in 9th definitely outweigh the cons. Read on to find out more about it:

Career Choice

Starting early can be useful in helping students understand the curriculum better and let them decide fully what they would like to devote the majority of their lives to. Even though they do not have much knowledge or experience with entrance exams at this age, they cannot just remain clueless about how much work and patience is needed to ace the test. If they start early, they will be in a better position in a later phase of their preparation as they would be better acquainted with the patter and procedure of the paper.

Edge over peers

Students shy away from approaching subject matter that they are not currently being taught in their regular classes. It could be that they are intimidated or simply, feel like they are not ready to advance onto more complex concepts. However, if you work on your schedule and allot some time to go through some topics, you will find that some of the concepts and formulae are familiar or you might have already studied them. You don’t have to research in-depth but try to grasp the concept. Doing so will familiarise you with the topic and later on, you will find that you have an easier time understanding and solving problems better than your classmates.

Syllabus Strategy

A lot of the concepts in these exams are taught as early as grade 9. However, only preliminary knowledge is taught which might not seem to be of much use. These topics can be very important. It is not a good practice on the student’s part to neglect them and let them all pile up. The important thing here is to talk to the instructors if the student finds any kind of difficulty in any of the concepts. Being acquainted with the topic helps the student in case he wants to do some research on his own and try to solve more complex problems and papers. Learning the basic concepts right from the beginning helps a student gain insight into the actual syllabus of the exams.

Workload Division

Students may opt for coaching centres in their 10+2 so as to get a better grasp of concepts compared to studying by themselves. Soon enough, the pressure gets to them and they realise that it is not the easiest task to juggle regular as well as coaching classes, having to complete the homework and practice papers. It just feels like there is not enough time to cover them all. The syllabus of JEE and NEET is taught in-depth mostly during 11th and 12th. So students should complete revising the entire syllabus of the exams within 2 years. Now, this can be difficult considering the little time one is left with after regular classes. Compared to 11th, a student has more free time which can be utilised in getting some work done in advance. This can considerably divide the workload between 4 years instead of 2 years and hence, will be able to have an easier time while revising.


Practice makes a man perfect. A student starting his preparation right from class 9 will definitely be more well-versed in the concepts than someone starting in 11th if he uses his time effectively. The key to cracking these entrance exams is being able to solve a set number of problems within the allotted time. Practising as many paper and problems and referring to proper informative books is very important to do well. This will also help in increasing the confidence of the student as he would be well acquainted with the pattern of the paper.

The most important point to keep in mind is to always reach out for help if you are stuck with something regardless of whenever you start preparing for your exam. If you are not vocal about your problems, then no one can help you. Revise, review, repeat. This will definitely help you do well in your tests.

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