The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has reduced the syllabus for the academic year 2020-21 for students in grades 9 to 12 by almost 30 per cent. The announcement has made things a bit difficult for students preparing for competitive examinations like JEE and NEET.
We talked to Taran Singh, IIT-Madras alumni and the founder of Melvano, an online app that provides coaching for JEE aspirants who spoke about how students can continue preparing for these competitive examinations.
“Many aspirants rely on classroom teaching alone and use that as a base for the preparation. With the syllabus being reduced, it is causing some amount of anxiety amongst these students,” says Taran.
A large part of the deleted syllabus forms a crucial part of the competitive examinations and while this will aid the teachers in completing the syllabus considering the lockdown induced restrictions, it puts the students at a back foot.
Since there has been no announcement yet from the National Testing Agency, or the Ministry of Human Resource Development on the plans for JEE Main and NEET 2021, students preparing for these exams will have to continue studying the deleted portions.
Some of the deleted portions in Mathematics include — Portions of Matrices & Determinants, Continuity & Differentiability, Integration & Vectors &3D.
In Physics — Laws of Motion (complete), Alternating current, Optics, & Modern physics. In Chemistry — Electrochemistry, Metallurgy (complete), P block elements, Bio-molecules & polymers (complete).
How to Prepare for the Deleted Portions?
1. Fall back on tried and tested textbooks
All the deleted portions are available in the NCERT textbooks and Taran urges students to continue studying these to ensure that their foundation is strong. Pick up the books that most schools recommend for students and only those who are studying for the advanced stage need to study from books that have more questions. “The standard book list that is prescribed by schools, if thoroughly studied, is good,” says Taran.
For Math: R S Agarwal’s books for foundational level preparation and books by R D Sharma for an advanced level work
For Chemistry: P Bahadur (Physical) and Morrison Boyd (Organic). All concepts can be gathered from these two books.
For Physics: H C Verma and if one is looking for something with more questions than D C Pandey’s book can help students.
2. Make use of free online resources
“Various portals are now offering free online classes for doubt clearing, foundational courses and even mock tests. Students must explore such portals that work for them,” says Taran.
For students who are able to assimilate and understand better in a classroom environment, portals like Khan Academy may help.
Taran also urges students to go through topical videos on YouTube to help students understand the basic concepts. If you are looking for a foundational course then you may use the Melvano app.
3. Do not Leave the Deleted Portions for a Later Date
Taran advises against completing the current school syllabus and then moving on to the deleted portion.
“When you start preparation, include the deleted portions as well. Leaving it for a later date might not help in any way. Attempt a mock paper when you complete a topic to clear concepts, ” he says.
On average, practice 300 questions for each topic. “Only then will you feel confident enough to attempt the examination. It may seem like an uphill task now but develop a good strategy and plan things out. It will help in the long run,” he says.
Sakshi Kumari, a medical student, who herself cleared the AIIMS Medical exams in 2018 says, “The NEET exam syllabus is largely based on what is covered in class XI and XII. Some of the topics that CBSE has deleted from Class 11 Biology syllabus include chapters on anatomy and morphology of flowering plants. These are important chapters from which many questions are usually asked in the NEET paper.”
She continues, “Even in physics, the deleted syllabus contains many of the popular and often asked topics like – Doppler’s effect, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Kepler’s Law of planetary motion, chemical substances — metals and non-metals.”
She also says that since most of the concepts in physics are interrelated, removing one might lead to students facing a huge challenge. Citing an example,she says, “Newton’s Laws of Motion(NLM) has been removed from the syllabus and this will create difficulty in solving the questions from topics like Inertia, Momentum, Torque, etc. because they all include the concepts of NLM.” While this is an example for physics,the deleted syllabus is causing concern amongst other subjects as well.
She says, “Since a majority of students who appear for NEET and JEE are from the CBSE board, addressing this huge gap in the syllabus is of paramount importance.”
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)