The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), formerly the India Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) is a standardized test used for admission to engineering programs in India. The JEE, which replaced the IIT-JEE in 2013, is comprised of multiple-choice questions that test the applicant’s knowledge in several engineering-related fields. The JEE is offered at two levels: JEE Main and JEE Advanced, the latter being required for certain selective programs. Like with any serious academic test, thorough preparation is key to earn a good score on the JEE.
A) Understand the structure of the Main exam. –
The JEE Main lasts three hours and consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. The exam consists of three sections: Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. Each section contains 30 questions. All sections are weighed equally.
For each question answered correctly, four points are awarded. For each incorrect answer, one point is deducted. No points are awarded or deducted for unanswered questions.
B) Understand the structure of the Advanced exam. –
The JEE Advanced is structured differently than the main exam. The advanced exam covers the same three topics: Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. However, unlike the main exam, the advanced exam is divided into two three-hour long papers, each divided into three sections (one for each topic). The papers are organized as follows:
Paper One: Each section contains 10 multiple choice questions with one correct answer, five multiple choice questions with one or more correct answers, and five questions that require the test taker to provide a single-digit answer.
Paper Two: Each section contains eight multiple choice questions with one correct answer, eight questions that require responding to a reading passage, and several “matching list”-type questions.
C) Know the topics covered by each test. –
Though both the JEE Main and JEE Advanced cover the same three subjects (physics, chemistry, and mathematics), the precise topics covered and the difficulty of the individual questions will vary between the two tests.To gain a sense for the topics you may be expected to know for each test, consult the official test syllabi for the Main and Advanced exams, both of which are available in free PDF form from official test resources online. Below are just a few examples of the topics you may encounter on the test — these lists are by no means complete or definitive:
Physics: Kinematics, laws of motion, gravity, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, electronic devices.
Chemistry: States of matter, atomic structure, redox reactions, chemical kinetics, environmental chemistry, periodic groups, basic organic chemistry principles.
Mathematics: Quadratic equations, mathematical induction, sequences and series, matrices, integral calculus, differential equations, coordinate geometry.
D) Use mock tests. –
The simplest, most effective way to prepare for the JEE is simply to do the test itself. Mock tests are available for free from the official JEE website. These tests mirror the actual JEE in terms of structure, format, and content and can be accessed entirely through your computer — no physical testing materials are required. Completing mock tests gives you the valuable experience of working through the JEE (and, in the process, finding your strengths and weaknesses) in advance of the actual exam.
Note that while mock tests mimic computer-based versions of the JEE almost perfectly, paper-based versions of the JEE will require you to record your answers by hand on an official answer sheet — for obvious reasons, online mock tests can’t replicate this part of the testing experience.
E) Use question papers from past exams. –
Another important resource for applicants looking to pass the JEE are the question papers from past tests (freely available on the official JEE website). Unlike the mock tests, which have questions specifically made for them, JEE question papers contain the exact questions included on past exams, making them a very valuable resource.
Because the JEE is relatively new (the exam replaced the old IIT-JEE in 2013), only question papers from 2014 are available. However, since the test is offered multiple times per year, as of late 2014, eight papers have been published, offering plenty of practice material. In addition, question papers for the old IIT-JEE (also available online) will cover most of the same topics.
F) Keep up-to-date with official bulletins. –
Over time, the JEE can (and has) changed. Tests may be rescheduled, results may be re-interpreted, and the topics covered may change. To ensure that you have the absolute best chance of doing well on the JEE, stay up to speed with official JEE bulletins, which are published as they are released on the official JEE website.
As an example of the sort of valuable information that may be released in a JEE bulletin, one recent bulletin contained important information on test takers’ eligibility for admission to various Indian engineering and architectural programs.
G) Spend the most time studying your weakest topics.-
As you study for the JEE, you’ll want to devote some time to every topic, even if you’re already confident that you know some of them very well. However, to get the best score possible, you’ll want to devote the majority of your time to the topics that you’re not confident in. Doing this ensures you get the biggest improvement possible from your studying effort.
If you’re not sure how to allocate your time, try reviewing your grades from school — spend your most time studying the subjects that you get the poorest marks in.
H) Eliminate your personal distractions as you study. –
In the months before the JEE, you want to make the most of your time — you don’t want to waste an hour (or more) fooling around for every hour you spend studying. To avoid distractions like TV, video games, and other forms of digital entertainment, remove them from your life temporarily. For instance, if you’re having a hard time giving up your video games, you may want to try leaving your game system at a friend’s house until the test is over.
Try to use the internet only for study purposes. Don’t waste your study time on games or social networking until the exams are over. If you can’t seem to overcome these online distractions, try downloading and installing a productivity app (most browsers will have these available for free in the browser store).
I) Time yourself as you take practice tests.–
When you practice individual problems in preparation for the JEE, a good rule of thumb is to take as long as you need to fully understand the problem and answer it correctly. However, when you take entire JEE practice tests, it’s a smart idea to give yourself the same 180-minute time limit you would normally have to finish the test. Doing prepares you to account for the time limit when it will actually matter.
You don’t necessarily need to be able to complete the entire test within the time limit the first time you try to do so, but you should work to increase your speed so that you’re able to finish the whole test in 180 minutes (with as few questions skipped as possible) by the date of the test.
J) Take care of your physical needs on test day.–
Past a certain point, additional studying prior to the JEE can actually be harmful. If you have to give up eating or sleeping properly in the days prior to the JEE to squeeze in last-minute studying, you’re probably hurting your chances of getting the best grade that you can. Neglecting these basic physical functions can leave you drowsy and distracted on the day of the exam, making it tricky or even impossible to do your best. Take the time to relax, eat normally, and get plenty of sleep in the days before your test — if you’ve been studying all along, it’s almost certainly the smartest thing to do.
This advice isn’t unique to the JEE. Neglecting your physical needs (especially sleep) before any test has been demonstrated to lower your score on average.