Free Press Journal

“Towards the end of merit list even one mark can make a difference’’, says R L Trikha


R L Trikha, Director – FIITJEE, answers a few concerns on competitive entrance exams and training and studying for them

How important is it to recognise talent and ability at a very young age?

Exams like IIT entrance exam are highly competitive. If inclination and ability are recognised at early young age, more time is available for preparation and honing of desired skills.

Why is coaching necessary to crack the IIT JEE well?

Building blocks for IIT JEE foundation are concepts taught and learnt in school but what is lacking is their application. Now a days prestigious examination like IIT JEE is more of a rejection rather than selection. Number of aspirants are far more than the number of seats available. Towards the end of merit list even one mark can make a difference. Thus students, who have walked through the fire of systematic preparation in a reputed coaching institute, are able to develop the right examination temperament and analytical skills to answer the questions with speed and accuracy. These students definitely have winning edge over others.

Do students feel stressed and when they are studying for JEE? How can a coaching class like FIITJEE help students to calm down and focus on studies rather than feel much stressed?

The syllabus of JEE exams is practically same as class XI and XII of prominent boards. Concepts taught in school in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics serve as the building blocks. In JEE the emphasis is on in-depth understanding of concepts and their application. Questions differ significantly from board examination and seek to test the in-depth knowledge of concepts and analytical reasoning of students. Questions are not difficult. They are different requiring different approach and mind set. Students have to develop parallel thinking processes by solving problems from initial principles and by more than one method. Only then the student will be able to crack any new question, since unlike board, questions are always new in IIT JEE.

If a student prepares all three subjects with well planned time table, chapter wise, subject wise making concise notes which will prove handy for quick revision later and tests the learning with help of regular quizzes and mock tests to identify weak areas and overcoming them, it will lead to relatively stress free preparation.

Some students do well in the JEE, but there are thousands of others who do not make it. What is your advice to such students that they can make proper career decision?

Let them not lose hope. They have a chance to qualify for around top 24,000 seats in NIT’s/ IIIT’s/ CFTI’s if they have done well in JEE Main and have scored qualifying marks 75% or top twenty percentile of respective board. In case their desire of joining IIT’s/ IIIT’s/ CFTI’s is very keen then to fulfil their dream if they have one more chance left, then with focussed and intense preparation they may think of reappearing in next year.
They have also a third option of joining one of the top Universities in USA if they have resources – own and/or loan and/or scholarship abroad.

Children have immense capabilities and parents should not have any doubts. Planning and scheduling of single most important resource time is arena of successful study for highly competitive examination IITJEE.

When you conduct different target recognising competitions what difference do you see between students from urban area and students from rural areas?

Infrastructure and facilities in rural areas are poor. Exposure to information technology is less in students of rural areas. Communication skills are also relatively less in students from rural areas. Grooming of raw talent found in the students from villages along with personality development result in some of them doing even better than students in urban area.

Parents play a huge part in lives of quite young students. What are some of concerns that parents have on their children and their education.

Young students have advantage of adaptability and absorption of new lessons taught since their mind is relatively clean slate.

Parents have mainly following major concerns.

One – Whether our child will be able to bear the stress of school and coaching.

Second – What if our child is not able to make it.

Third is time loss in commuting, if the school, home and coaching institute are located far apart.

Our advice is that parents should only be facilitators and should not act like police. Children have immense capabilities and parents should not have any doubts. Planning and scheduling of single most important resource time is arena of successful study for highly competitive examination IITJEE.

Parents should lead by example. They should cut on their T.V. time. They should not insist on their children to accompany them in social events/functions. They should eat healthy food and encourage their children to do the same. Students should gainfully utilise their time in study of lessons learnt in school/coaching with brief intermittent periods of rest/pursuing their creative hobbies/yoga/ relaxation exercises. Remember that one who does hundred things will surely have time to do hundred first thing but one who has nothing to do and is bent upon wasting time in useless pursuits is always busy.

What arenas are open to students who miss the JEE score but still are very very bright in their studies? What could be their next best option?

IIT JEE is a prestigious engineering examination – a cherished dream of all aspiring students. More than 12 lakh students appear in the first stage JEE Main. Top 2,20,000 candidates of JEE Main are eligible to appear in JEE Advanced to fight for one of 11032 seats in 23 prestigious IIT’s.

However there is a way out. Several options are available.

First if desire for IIT is too strong to resist and is cherished dream of student, he/she can reappear with focussed directed preparation. Candidate in any case must be in top twenty percentile of respective board or should score minimum 75% marks in his/her board examination for both IIT’s and NIT’s/IIIT’s/CFTI’s.

Second option is that candidate can settle for engineering branch of his/her choices in one of NIT’s/IIIT’s/CFTI’s for over 24000 seats since admission to IIT’s and NIT’s/IIIT’s/CFTI’s is through Centralised Allocation Process. Students from these institutes are also doing well both in terms of prestige and money.

In case student is not sure of seat in IIT even in second attempt and overall performance in board and JEE Main does not warrant a seat in NIT/IIIT/ reasonable good CFTI, the third option is to join even low ranked recognised engineering college in branch of choice. Besides employment through campus recruitment/advertisements, one can explore ideas of growing as entrepreneur in field of one’s liking. If one pursues the plan passionately, new door of success may open.

What do you think about the interest in the students to study for IIT? What can be done so that child’s interest is taken care of, if not interested in Science but excellent in studies?

There are large number of professions besides engineering and medical which do not need the child to master science. Now-a-days there are specific I.Q. cum aptitude tests with scientifically designed questions to test the temperament, potential and inclination of student. Parents therefore should encourage their child in the field of his/her interest. By focus, determination and right direction and planned preparation child can do extremely well in the area of interest.

However if the child is reasonably good in Science and Mathematics, his/her interest can be further cultivated under a good coaching institute, which provides mentorship and makes the child realise his/her cherished dream through planning and scheduling of single most important resource-time.

When the students are coached in doing well at the entrance exam how do you also make sure that they develop knowledge also.

We cultivate learning attitude vis-à-vis sheer grade improvement the students strive at in schools. We make students imbibe conceptual knowledge of Science and Mathematics vis-à-vis rota learning. Students apply concepts to day-to-day occurrences and phenomenon. They solve problems by analytical reasoning from fundamental initial principles.

I.Q. is raised naturally without stress of fear of failure which is so very necessary for highly competitive examinations like IIT JEE. Their mind is trained to achi-eve the target by progressively attaining even higher and higher analytical reasoning powers and in depth conceptual understanding and knowledge till they reach the goal with systematic relatively pressure less preparation.

What should students look for in themselves if they want to start coaching for IIT JEE? What qualities and abilities should they have?

Students should have interest in the three main subjects Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. They should learn to apply concepts in day-to-day phenomenon and problems. They should have focus, tenacity and will to pursue their goal(s). By solving various types of problems and regular practice, deep conceptual understanding and analytical reasoning should be acquired. By taking quizzes and mock tests at regular intervals speed, accuracy and examination temperament should be developed. These abilities can definitely be nurtured over a period of time with constant regular practice, focus and determination.