It is a concern for many students: How will I be able to perform well in the board exams along with acing the JEE? Should I focus on preparation for board exams in March, or the JEE in April? Is it even possible to ace in both? Well, yes it is. All you need is a strategy.
This article focuses more on CBSE boards and JEE, but it might be helpful for students of other boards as well, since it discusses an effective approach to prepare for any examination.
Having gone through the phase, I can tell that the syllabus for both JEE and CBSE consists of same topics in the core subjects: Physics, Chemistry and Maths. The other two subjects might have English and other optional subject you might have chosen. Moreover, the syllabus of CBSE exams is a smaller subset of the syllabus for JEE in terms of the breadth of the topics. It really is not a big deal if you think about it. Preparing for CBSE would be like warming up for the JEE.
Also, you need not focus on the board examinations for the entire week you get in between two consecutive exam days. You can take out time for revising your JEE topics, take self-assessment tests, strengthen your weak topics, while studying for the boards (which is essentially the revision of your JEE topics and concepts at a basic level).
Here are a few things to help you come up with a strategy of your own for preparation:
A) Confidence: The most important ingredient for the recipe of success is the belief: “yes, I can”. If you cannot even convince yourself about it, how can you achieve it? Be careful though; confidence without practice, preparation or a plan is of no use.
B) Motivation: You got to be motivated enough towards your goal. Ask yourself these simple questions: ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’ Before jumping to ‘How?’ If you feel that you want it as badly as you want to breathe, go ahead and find out the answer to ‘How?’. But, moving towards a goal without any sense of motivation won’t take you anywhere.
C) Planning: Okay, so you have got to prepare for JEE, Boards, and do what not. How will you do that? Time management is the key. Divide your day (non-sleeping hours) into 3 parts: the ones in which you are most effective, least effective and moderately effective in studying. Pick your topics for preparation accordingly.
Your weak topics (JEE) in the hours you are most effective
Solve NCERT book’s exercise in the hours you are moderately effective
Take breaks and revise your strong topics in the identified least effective slot
D) Plan your week ahead: draw timelines and impose deadlines for yourself. Analyse at the end of the week, if you need to speed up or slow down.
E) The 3-pool formula: Divide your topics in three different categories (for all your subjects)
While planning your day/week, pick topics from these pools of topics such that you aim at transferring topics from ‘not-so-strong’ to ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ to ‘not-so-strong’. Try hard to empty your ‘weak’. Do it for both JEE and CBSE separately, because the extent of a topic tested in NCERT might be different from that in JEE, and it might be covering only the easier portion of the topic. So, a topic in ‘weak’ for JEE might be in ‘strong’ for CBSE boards.
F) Power ‘breaks’: The way human brain functions requires small breaks to increase the efficiency of your efforts. Give your brain little rest by any recreational activity you enjoy, e.g. music, games, sleep. 10-20 minute breaks are sufficient enough to recharge and gear up for more work!
G) Concepts: If you want to master a topic, you have to understand the concept before even trying to start practicing it. Because, if you are clear with the concepts, it is easier to understand how to attack a question, the solution simply makes more sense to you. Discuss any topic you are not very clear about with your peers, ask questions to your teachers, but do not move ahead without getting it crystal clear, else doubts will pile up and eventually choke your progress.
H) While planning a week, make sure your study plans include topics from all three subjects. Do not load up on only one subject. Further, switch subjects when you feel that you are unable to focus fully on your current subject.
I) Previous papers: Solve previous year papers to get a gist of what kind of questions are asked, observe a pattern, especially in CBSE board examinations, there is always a pattern and a pool of questions from where the long questions are asked.
J) Self-assessment: Well, how do you know if you are strong in a topic? Take timed tests, honestly. Then look at the answers and solutions, and analyse your mistakes.
You will know, which topic you are weak at and what mistakes you generally make
It will prepare you to be able to sit focused for so long on your exam day
Timed test taking is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the entire preparation; it builds stamina for the big day! If you don’t prepare yourself to sit and focus well in a stressed (time constrained) situation, how can you expect to do well on the test/exam day.
JEE preparations, Board preparations, Study plan, CBSE, Exam Strategy