Focused hard work is real key to success.John Carmack
Recognize your child’s potential
Every parent dreams that their child should crack IIT, but please don’t try to force your child into fulfilling your dreams that they do not want. If your child has keen interest in maths then it can be cakewalk for your child to crack IIT JEE. Maths is a very important skill for IITJEE and requires perseverance to develop.
I want to share my experience on how I helped my son in building a solid foundation for IIT JEE starting from primary school.
Primary School :
We used to stay in a rural area and even though we had access to textbooks, we did not have easy access to any extra study material. When my daughter was in class 6, I got her the infamous RD Sharma. Whenever my husband taught my daughter, Shrey used to just sit and listen. He also used to try to solve her questions and used to get a lot of them right. This just bolstered my hypothesis that my son had indeed developed a mathematical aptitude. He used to try and emulate his father right from the way he dressed to the subjects he liked. He used to say that he wanted to be an engineer and work in a cement factory, just like his Dad.
Class 5 to 7
We moved to Saudi Arabia as my husband got very good offer from Saudi Cement Co. My children got admission in Dammam International school which is a CBSE school. Their English communication skill got boosted which was not possible in rural school. My son has to study Arabic language because Arabic is compulsory upto class 5. He learned the language and performed excellently in his exam. For three years we were in Saudi Arabia. Then again we moved to India.
Upto class 9 :
During Shrey’s class 7 and 8, our kids were studying in a DAV school in Karnataka. DAV conducts a board exam for class 8 as well. Kids at that age usually are easily distracted and generally do not like studying. I felt that I needed to monitor him while studying and had him read out loud at the dining table while I was cooking. Small things like this not just help in developing concentration, but also ensures that the child understands things well. Shrey never made notes in class, he would always try to focus on whatever is being taught. A lot of teachers complained about this, but I asked them to let him be. Every person is different in the way they learn and understand things. We should let children find these methods on their own, else when the syllabus increases a lot, children feel lost and are not able to cope with it.
Class 9-10 :
My husband and I felt that the quality of education in the rural schools that our children were studying in was possibly not up to the mark for the entrances that they would have to face soon. My daughter had just finished class 10 and we decided that to cement their future, I should shift to Delhi with the children. In India 90% of Mothers sacrifices her career for making the future of her child.
Getting admission in a Delhi school is very hard. Based on Ijya’s(my daughter) 10th pre board scores and Shrey’s admission test score, they were given admission in Amity International. I distinctly remember Shrey saying that he didn’t like the school because they had a very small playground. Soon after their admission, DPS RK Puram put out an announcement for their admission test and I enrolled Shrey for it, even though the number of vacancies was very less. Shrey secured 5th rank in the test and was able to get admission there. Ijya also scored a perfect GPA in her 10th boards and was given admission to DPS RK Puram.
As usual, Shrey was more interested in his sister’s syllabus and used to keep trying to her questions for the portions that were relevant to both 9th and 11th. Shrey always hated going by the rules and would often study whatever he wanted to and not follow any coaching institute as such. He joined FIITJEE in class 9th, but shifted to VMC in class 10th. He just used to listen carefully in class and was always very confident of his knowledge and would never care about exam results, be it good or bad. I had to force him to study for class 10 boards because I knew the importance of that result which he was taking very lightly.
Class 11 :
Shrey used to play TT a lot and he was quite good at it too. I did not want him to stop doing everything just for JEE. He used to go to play TT at a nearby sports complex everyday for around 2-3 hours in the evening. It was only later when he was too exhausted to study after school and playing TT that I asked him to stop and surprisingly, he agreed.
At this time, most of the tests conducted by coaching institutes were on a few chapters and Shrey never scored particularly high in them, but he was very sure of himself and would never doubt himself, a quality in him that I admire. He finished the mathematics syllabus for class 11 and 12 during 11th itself and had a very strong base in Physics from all the questions he solved with his sister. He did not study a lot during 11th, but made sure that all his concepts were clear.
Class 12 :
Come class 12, he started having doubts about his coaching centre and decided to shift to Pace. Pace had started a special (Zenith) batch for just a select few students under Mr Sandeep Singhal, who presently leads StepApp. When he first went there, Mr Singhal invited him and me to his office and asked him what was his favourite subject to which Shrey replied Rotation. I was shell shocked as this was a topic that he complained during class 11 and I made him solve all questions from HC Verma and the coaching materials. He had never yet accepted that it was now a string topic for him. This just goes to show that where things aren’t easy, we can power through and get good at it. There is no point in trying to leave an entire chapter especially when you have the time to work on it.
Once he started going to class with the Zenith batch, he started showing a lot of improvement, which was mostly due to the peer group that he had there. The teachers were also of top quality and since the batch had only 7 students, the teacher was able to focus on each and every child. They had the freedom to schedule doubt clearing sessions and even give tests from the centre.
Shrey was very serious about how he studied and since he had to give the exam in May, he would always study without a fan or AC to emulate exam conditions as best as he could. He always said that it is best not to leave things to chance. Soon, I started to see improvements in his test scores. In the first VMC JEE Adv pattern test, he secured a 600ish rank among barely 3,000 students. From there, the first Fiitjee AITS that he gave, he secured rank 35. It was the first glimpse of what was to come.
He finished his entire syllabus before the school winter vacations ended and started solving questions from various sources like Irodov and other Olympiad papers. Even though his teachers advised him that questions of such difficulty no longer come in the JEE paper, he said that if my concepts are clear enough to solve these, I will feel more confident about the way I solve problems in the exam.
Another very interesting thing that I found out after JEE was that he was very very good at eliminating options. All his friends in the Zenith batch said that he could tell the answer of the question just by looking at the options.
KVPY(Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana)
My son has also cleared KVPY with good rank and entitled for scholarship if he had joined Indian Institute of Science Bangalore which is a premium institute of India.
Soon, the time for board exams started approaching and just like class X, Shrey was ignoring the long term impact that this score might have on his life. He started saying that board exams were going to be his relaxing time right before the final stretch of preparation before JEE Advance. I had to literally force him to study for the exams. After his Maths board exam, he said to me that the paper was rubbish because most of it came from NCERT and hence everyone would score well.
He scored 96.2% in his board exams.
Shrey refused to study topics that were not in JEE Adv syllabus but were in JEE Mains syllabus even after repeated reminders. Even during the boards, whenever he had a long break, he would solve JEE Advance level questions/papers. He scored 276/360 in his JEE Mains and even though he wanted to score 300+, he was fine with it.
The build up to JEE Advance was a very tense time for me as all he did was solve papers from as many institutes as I could arrange for him. he would solve two full papers in a day. Yes, two full 6 hours papers in 4 sessions of 2-2.5 hours each. Even though he registered for various exams like VIT and Manipal, he refused to give them and only under pressure from his father did he go and give the Manipal exam in which he secured Rank 28.
Everything seemed to unfold like a dream, every exam that he gave, he would score very well and rank among the toppers. I initially hoped that he would rank among the top 10 but now it started seeming like a reality. He would take photographs of things that he would need help remembering and would revise them whenever he felt tired or before going to sleep.
3 days before the exam, he declaerd that he was done preparing and started watching movies and TV Shows on the laptop. He was always very eccentric and very sure of himself. Lated I got to know that whenever he used to get a question wrong, he would first doubt the answer key and then only would he doubt himself.
On the day of the exam, he was not visibly nervous. He looked calm and was talking very easily. He was very sure of himself and he knew that he had prepared well for the exam. Now there was nothing else he could do. Even after the first paper, he seemed normal, slightly happy if anything. He didn’t say anything at that time but he knew that he had done pretty well in the paper. The second paper is where disaster struck, atleast according to hum. He messed up in filling in 8 questions in the OMR in a row out of which only 2 were filled with the correct answer. This shook him up but I believe that having a calm state of mind and having the experience of giving so many tests, he was able to pull through somewhat.
He secured a rank of 610 in JEE Advance. He scored 144/180 in the first paper and 97/180 in the second. In contrast, his friend who secured AIR 21 scored 147 in the first paper and 160 in the second paper.
For the full video, please visit : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcebpPvlKyU
Success is sweet but the secret is sweat.John Carmack
Polite Advice to Parents
If possible don’t send your child to hostel for preparations because at this stage your child needs your support more. At least mother should stay with him or her.
A few tips that I would like to share with you which is going to benefit the aspirant:
- Basic Concepts should be clear. This is the key for cracking JEE Advance.
- Listen carefully to your teacher in the class.
- Work hard consistently.
- Do focused study.
- Take breaks when studying for long durations.
- Keep your child away from social media.
- Have close check of your child’s friend circle.
- Always take feedback from your child’s teacher in school and coaching institute.
- There is no shortcut to success so do consistent hard work.
Hope you will like this blog. If anyone of you have any doubt please feel to ask me. Please give feedback about my experience. Do share your experience about your child’s preparations or achievements.