Manan Agarwal, a resident of Sonepat, Haryana secured the 14th rank in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced 2019. Having obtained 302 marks out of 372, Manan is the state topper as well. A very diligent student, Manan has performed well in academics all through his school scoring 95 per cent in his grade 12 board examination.
In this article, The Better India, spoke to Manan to find out what strategy he adopted while preparing for the JEE, the resource material he used, and tips to follow right before attempting the examination. Manan wrote a novella during his grade 8 about his and his friends’ lives at school and became a published author in grade 9.
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I asked him about the routine he followed during his preparation to which he replied, “My day would begin early, around 6 a.m. and I either went out for a walk or worked out for some time at the gym.”
I would then start studying after breakfast and put about three to four hours of studying, taking an hourly break, he shares.
He would, on an average, study for 12 hours each day.
Manan also enrolled at FIITJEE in West Delhi, which consumed three hours each day thrice a week.
He says, I came for three days for the class and it helped me a great deal. These classes helped in clearing my doubts and attempting mock papers.
For Manan, attempting and clearing competitive examinations, isn’t new. He qualified the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), stage 1 and 2 and also cleared the prestigious exam for Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana, a scholarship programme funded by the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India.
Not just this, the studious teen also cleared the National Standard Examination in Physics (NSEP), National Standard Examination in Chemistry (NSEC), and National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA), the Olympiads in physics, chemistry, and astronomy respectively.
“I enjoy studying physics and mathematics. In particular I like to understand and learn about electromagnetism and mechanics, which are two topics that I find very interesting.” It was in grade 10 that Manan decided he would attempt the JEE and he says that he started preparing for it around that time.
So dedicated and focussed was Manan on cracking the examination that he stayed away from social media. “I joined Facebook only after I cleared the examinations, until then my only source of entertainment were the breaks that I would take in-between the preparation,” he says.
What resource materials did you use?
Manan extensively used the FIITJEE modules, their home assignments also helped him a great deal. For physics, Manan relied on two resources– one by H C Verma and the other by D C Pandey. For math, he extensively used Vikas Gupta books and J D Lee’s Inorganic Chemistry and Peter Syke’s Mechanism in Organic Chemistry for his chemistry preparation.
Manan mentions here that it is imperative for aspirants to attempt as many mock tests as possible. “It helps understand at what level of preparedness one is. In fact for the last two months I would attempt almost two mock tests a day,” he says.
I ask him what an aspirant must focus on a week prior to the examination, and he replies that mock tests, and concentrating on topics where they feel they are least prepared.
“Revising them will help when they are finally attempting the paper,” he shares.
In conclusion, he leaves students preparing for IIT-JEE exams with these tips to remember while at the examination centre:
1. There are two parts to this examination and Manan says that after attempting part 1, one should refrain from looking at the question paper and discussing it with others during the break. Use this time to stay focussed and prepare for the part 2 of the examination.
2. Use the break to just relax and eat something substantial since you will have another few hours of writing and thinking to do.
3. Be prepared as the second test might be more tiring than the first part.
Manan will be joining the prestigious IIT-Bombay where he will be studying Computer Science.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)