Wednesday, 26 March 2014

ticket to IIT

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), which open an ocean of opportunities and produce well-trained engineers, are considered to be among the top engineering colleges in the world. They are credited with producing world-class engineers through a curriculum which is rigorous.
Declared as “institutions of national importance” by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 the IITs are the dream of every aspiring Indian engineer and scientist. There are 16 IITs spread out across the country.
The reasons for the IIT dream vary. “It opens unimaginable doors of opportunities, be it admissions in globally reputed B-schools and research organisations, or attractive company offers,” says Akash Bhat of IIT, Delhi. IITs go a long way in helping the students join their dream companies, research labs and universities to do their projects. The IITs have a good track record of placements. The world’s best and largest companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Mckinsey, Citigroup, and Sun Microsystems and most of the Fortune 500 companies go after an IITian.
Taking IIT-JEE
With just a year left for the examination (2015), students studying in the second PU should take stock of their strength and weaknesses on writing IIT-JEE (the Joint Entrance Examination). They must remember that only about one per cent of the exam-takers on an average get into the IITs. Hence, the IIT-JEE is considered to be one of world’s toughest exams.
In order to get admission into any one of the IITs in India you have to clear the IIT-JEE. The IIT-JEE Main consists of objective-type questions from Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics (total 360 marks) and the test is of three-hour duration. The eligibility to write the JEE-Advanced exam will be based on the performance in the JEE-Main examination.
More than 14 lakh students appeared for the Main examination in 2013. Only 1.5 lakh qualified to write the advanced test. While the CBSE conducts the Main examination in April, the IITs conduct the advanced test in June. Around 9,000 seats are available for admission in IITs. As a part of the preparation, students have to be 100 per cent thorough in 120 chapters of PCM, say experts
Anil Kumar, faculty of FIITJEE, Bangalore, said getting admission in IIT “is a big dream.” And big dreams are built on strong fundamentals.
With several coaching institutes have mushroomed across the country, students and parents should give serious thought while selecting a coaching institute. “Pressure handling, self-belief and commitment are important factors to do well in exams,” he says.
Transorms life
“IIT transforms life,” says H.N. Subramanaya, professor of BASE coaching institute of Bangalore. The biggest takeaway from the IIT is the ecosystem that nurtures confidence, problem-solving and team building skills. “What we learnt outside the classroom was as important as what we learnt inside the classroom,” the professor said.
Mr. Kumar says the preparation for the JEE is rigorous and one has to get into the skin of the JEE syllabus to get through. Consistent preparation is the key to succeeding in the JEE.
Avoiding watching TV and talking over the cellphone would save a lot of time, experts say. “The competition, the peer pressure, and the way you think, everything changes when you start preparing,” says Gaurav, who has joined the integrated (IIT-PU) course. “I was not serious initially, but the fever grips you eventually,” he says.
Believe in yourself. First, have a strong belief that you have got the ability to reach the IITs. Second, work hard. Someone has rightly said where there is a will there is a way. A good and experienced teacher or coaching institute will generally be of help. They are familiar with the pattern of the examination, and the kind of effort that a student needs to put in.
Revise
Revise whatever is being taught to you in college or in a tuition-based learning environment, once you’re back home. This will help you to keep in touch with all topics, since a lot needs to be covered in a short time. “You will have to work hard everyday till you reach your destination. The journey is not that easy but if you have strong determination you can do it with ease. Manage your time very efficiently, as the IIT-JEE requires a vast syllabus over a limited time period,” say BASE teachers.
Continuous practice, regular tests (both online and offline) and hard work and parents’ support are basic pre-requisites, professors say. Tutorial experts say “the student is not expected to conquer the question paper, but rather show his competence in a stipulated time.” Students are expected to solve a question in two-three minutes each. “The key is to abandon the question if it is taking more time,” say experts.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Taking an examination is always stressful for students, more so, if it is a competitive examination that defines his/her entry into a professional academic field and a future career path. Engineering entrance is one such examination which the students attempt after intense preparation of two or more years in highly competitive environment. Conducting authorities, counselors, parents and the student themselves strive to keep stress levels in control so that the performance in examination is not hampered. In the last two years CBSE has introduced major reforms by (1) introduction of online mode of examination in addition to the traditional mode in 2012 and (2) standardization of examination in 2013 to a two-tier structure (JEE Main & Advanced) for admissions to all reputed engineering institutions including the IITs and the NITs, IIITs, and other centrally-funded technical institutes.  
While I discussed in my previous post about the changing examination pattern, would now like to bring forth the advantages offered by online examination option vs. offline mode and address some common doubts that trouble the minds of the students regarding the online mode.
When the online mode was introduced in 2012 for AIEEE, in selected metro cities, it got mixed response from the students. Many students travelled out to take offline exam into nearby towns, if the offline option was not available in their cities. This action possibly stemmed from "fear of the unknown" and long familiarity and training in pen and paper mode of examination. This year, the number of such students has declined considerably according to CBSE officials. 
The online mode is currently available for Paper I of JEE Main but Paper II is offline as is JEE Advanced. CBSE is making imperative changes to drive greater number of students to online mode which not only makes the examination more transparent but also helps cut down on time and money spent to conduct the examination. 
  • While writing the examination, if there is any problem in a system, then buffers are available. The lost time will be recorded and it will be duly compensated.
  • The option for change of mode of examination to offline is available but once you have opted for a date that remains fixed.
  • There is no question booklet provided but the question paper will be mailed to you at the end of examination. The computer screen will display the instruction page for a fixed duration which will not form part of the examination time. 
  • Rough sheets are provided to work out the answers.
Next we come to the advantages that the computer-based examination offers over pen and paper-examination:
  • Any JEE Main aspirant would have to fill the application online. There is no provision to submit this in offline mode to a center. This step would inculcate the use of internet in students in smaller towns and rural areas. It indicates CBSE's intent to develop this examination in completely online mode.
  • The examinations center options for pen and paper based examination and the computer based examination has no city in common. The pen and paper option is not available in major cities, thus sending out CBSE's message that computer savvy aspirants in cities should opt for online mode.
  • The fee of the online examination mode has been kept lower than the offline mode.
  • It also offers multiple examination date options to students for taking the examination.
Let us first enlist the features of the online examination mode that will help clarify many of your fears related to it:
  • The level in all the examinations (both offline and online conducted on different days and slots) will be the same.
  • It is secure and uninterrupted since it is not dependent on internet. It is conducted using local area network (LAN).
  • Requires no more computer knowledge than operation of a mouse. Mock tests are available on JEE website to familiarize you with the actual exam.
  • Option of multiple dates to take the examination as against fixed date for offline mode. The examination is conducted in two shifts and the candidate can opt for a time slot of his choice.
  • Option to change the answer during exam duration, unlike in the OMR sheet.
  • Option to mark the question/answer for review if you are not sure of the answer.
  • User-friendly display screen that shows the questions: answered, left unanswered and marked for review at a glance.
  • The option of viewing the question in Hindi for better clarity is available, even if you have opted to attempt it in English.
  • Re-evaluation process is also faster as no physical files need to be dug up for the answer sheets of the students.
The aspirants and the users of the online examination also have encouraging views on computer-based examination:
  • Limits indulgence in malpractice such as cheating, copying or leakage of papers.
  • Evaluation is transparent and reliable.
  • Promotes sharp and quick thinking traits. Encourages faster understanding of the problem and smart elimination of incorrect options.
  • Inculcates better time management practices and quick responses.
  • Offers option to select a different answer to a question after review; rewriting not possible on OMR sheet.
  • Can choose dates that do not clash with other entrance examination scheduled.
  • Availability of offline paper before the online examination acquaints with the examination trends for the year. 
  • The regular practice on online mock tests, as part of preparation, increases familiarity with this mode and improves performance in actual examination.