Most efficient way to plan the Engineering exam preparation

Focused and Efficient Exam Preparation

When we talk about pursuing Engineering in India the first institute which comes across our mind is the ‘IITs’.
It is completely fine to think to get into IITs but it needs a certain level of dedication, guidance, planning and hardwork to crack the exam. Sometimes even after doing everything correctly students do not get selected to IITs. Not because they are not capable but because they are destined for something bigger and better. There are many other good colleges in the country which have great faculty and offer good placement to students.

Most efficient way to plan your exam preparation is to keep your preparation focused and narrow in such a way that it covers multiple colleges. The focused exam preparation always yield better results when compared to a confused one. Let us get to the point. In this post we are going to discuss the ways to shortlist the colleges. So that you can plan your strategy efficiently and aim multiple colleges with same level of exam preparation. Our first task is to make different groups. One must keep colleges conducting exams with similar pattern in one group. Once you complete it you can gauge your exam preparation and aim the suitable group of colleges.

In India we can divide colleges majorly in four different groups on the basis of the exams they conduct.

exam preparation

Group A – Top Private Colleges

Colleges such as VIT, SRM, Manipal conduct exams with almost similar pattern. We researched a bit about the pattern. Lets consider pattern of the exam conducted by VIT :-

Pattern for VITEEE

– Question paper comprises of 4 parts
1.Physics 2.Chemistry 3.Mathematics 4.English
-Each part has 40 questions but English has just 5 questions. Total 125 questions.
-No negative marking

Pattern for SRMJEE

-Test comprises of three parts
1.Physics 2.Chemistry 3.Mathematics
-Each part will have 35 questions. Total 105 questions.
-No negative marking for wrong answers

Pattern for Manipal Entrance Test

-Test comprises of four parts
1.Physics 2.Mathematics 3.Chemistry 4.English and General Aptitude
– Physics and Chemistry consists of 50 questions each while Mathematics has 70 questions and English together with Aptitude has 30 questions. Total 200 questions.
-No negative marking for wrong answers

All the three exams above has more or less similar pattern. While number of questions and the sections might differ a bit but the approach to prepare for the exams remain largely similar. These types of tests check students on below parameters:-
1.Turnaround time to resolve a question
2.Accuracy and aptitude
3.Clarity on basic concepts atleast at 12th level or little more than that.

What these tests do not check is :-
1. Understanding of concepts much higher than the level of 12th standard,
2. Strategy to approach exam when there is negative marking,
3. Mind of a researcher

DIY – Do it yourself

You can research and add more colleges to this list so that you can have more options at your disposal. This approach will make your preparation more focused and efficient and once you get good results you will gain more confidence to take better decisions with good planning in your life ahead. In the post How to select correct study material the study material of Level 1, Level 2(a), Level 3 would be sufficient to take on these exams. But the entire preparation might still vary from student to student depending upon some personal choices and preferences.

Group B – State Technical Universities

Now let us move on to the next set of colleges. These are the ones which participate in exams conducted by State Technical Universities.Very obvious that you would like to write exam of the technical university of the state where you reside. But if the Group A is at the center of your exam preparation then do not change your strategy to suit the State Technical University Exam. If you are good at concepts and possess a good turnaround time to resolve the question then State Technical University Exam should not be a problem. Let us have a look at how the pattern of different State Technical University Exams look like:-

UPSEE – Uttar Pradesh State Entrance Exam

-Test comprises of three parts
1.Physics 2.Chemistry 3.Mathematics
-Each section consists of 50 questions. Total 150 questions and 600 marks
-No negative marking

WBJEE – West Bengal Joint Entrance Exam

-Test comprises of two parts
1. Maths 2. Physics & Chemistry combined
-Questions are divided into three categories for each section

Mathematics

Category-1 –> No. of Questions 50, but only one option is correct, Each question 1 mark
Category-2 –> No. of Questions 15, but only one option is correct, Each question 2 mark
Category-3 –> No. of Questions 10, but two options are correct, Each question 2 mark

Physics

Category-1 –> No. of Questions 30, but only one option is correct, Each question 1 mark
Category-2 –> No. of Questions 5, but only one option is correct, Each question 2 mark
Category-3 –> No. of Questions 5, but two options are correct, Each question 2 mark

Chemistry

Category-1 –> No. of Questions 30, but only one option is correct, Each question 1 mark
Category-2 –> No. of Questions 5, but only one option is correct, Each question 2 mark
Category-3 –> No. of Questions 5, but two options are correct, Each question 2 mark

MHT CET – Maharashtra Common Entrance Test

-Test comprises of two papers
1.Mathematics, 2.Physics and Chemistry
-Math section carries 10 question from class XI while 40 from class XII. Each question carries 2 marks
-Physics and Chemistry carries 10 question from class XI while 40 from class XII each(total 100 questions). Each question carries 1 mark.

KCET – Karnataka Common Entrance Test

-Test comprises of three papers
1.Mathematics, 2.Physics, 3.Chemistry
-Each section consists of 60 marks

After looking at the above State Technical University Exam pattern we can easily understand that Group A and Group B colleges exams are quite similar in pattern. Hence if Group A is the one you are targeting you should be able to manage Group B as well or vice versa also holds good.

Group C – NIITs/IIITs/BITs

Next group of Institutes are the ones which participate in JEE-Mains and other similar exams. Let us have a look at the pattern of these exams. These exams are little different in pattern and in difficulty level from Group A and B. So for these exams you would need a one up preparation from Group A & B colleges.:-

JEE-Main

-Test comprises of three sections
1.Mathematics, 2.Physics, 3.Chemistry
-Each section consists of 30 questions
-One negative mark for wrong answer and 4 marks for correct answer

BITS, Pilani

-Test comprises of four sections
1.Mathematics, 2.Physics, 3.Chemistry, 4. English Proficiency and Logical Reasoning
– 40 questions in Physics and Chemistry each, 45 questions in Mathematics, 15 questions in English Proficiency and 10 in Logical Reasoning
-Each correct answer carries 3 marks
-Each wrong answer carries -1 mark

These two entrance tests have negative markings and their preparation would also demand more or less the similar strategy. But you can add more colleges to this group with similar pattern.

Group D – IITs

Last group consist of colleges which participate in JEE-Advance. These colleges are the IITs. But let us first discuss the pattern of the JEE-Advance exam.
-Test comprises of two parts , Paper-1 and Paper-2
-Each part comprises of three sections Physics, Chemistry and Maths

Paper 1

1. Section 1 has no. of questions = 5, total marks=15, max marks per question=3, but negative marking = -1
2. Section 2 has no. of questions = 8, total marks=32, max marks per question=4, but negative marking = -2
3. Section 3 has no. of questions = 5, total marks=15, max marks per question=3, but negative marking = -1

Paper 2

1. Section 1 has no. of questions = 6, total marks=18, max marks per question=3, but negative marking = -1
2. Section 2 has no. of questions = 8, total marks=32, max marks per question=4, but negative marking = -2
3. Section 3 has no. of questions = 4, total marks=12, max marks per question=3, but negative marking = 0

What IITs look in a student?

1. Researcher’s mind
2. High clarity on concepts

Serious Talk

So, broadly we divided the colleges into four groups. Each group comprises of colleges which conduct exams with more or less similar pattern. Most of the times student remain confused with the exam preparation. Students tend to buy those books which are most popular then they plan to write exams which are most popular. But this approach does not lead you to success. You must identify the colleges you want to get into then make a list of other colleges which conducts more or less similar exams. This way you will have more colleges to aim with a very focused exam preparation.
Buy only those books which are worth reading and fits into your scheme of things. Like ‘Irodov’ is not at all required if you are aiming to get into any of the Group A,B,C colleges. If you do so it will just kill your time instead you can practice some more previous years question papers. Read post How to select correct study material if you haven’t already.

Hence a smart and focused preparation is far better than a confused one.

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