By Zubair Ganaie
City of Kota is known as the education hub of India. It has one of the most prestigious and leading coaching institutes to train students for various competitive examinations. Every year thousands of students clear IIT-JEE and AIIMS exams from these reputed institutes.
I too had an opportunity to prepare for my entrance examination from Bansal Classes, one of the country’s premier institutes for IIT-JEE coaching. From the time of enrolment in one of the class programs at Bansal, life took a different turn. Life in Kota is quite different and equally daunting for students coming from valley. It was my first experience away from home. Two things which make it quite unusual viz-a-viz valley are its harsh weather and tasteless food. Besides, the cost of coaching and boarding is very high.
However, my motive of writing this article is to enlighten the students and parents about what scenario actually is and how these are not selling what they endorse at the first place i.e. to let them see the flipside of it. Since I am from engineering background, I will touch that aspect only.
Generally, we opt for IIT – JEE coaching, which is obvious. However, qualifying IIT is a hard nut to crack and only the lucky ones get through it. Now the second option is qualifying AIEEE which is a way easier than IIT-JEE.
Latest AIEEE pattern consists of two segments: one segment deals with the board marks that carry 40% weightage and the other with the AIEEE test marks that carries 60% weightage.
Here are a few experiences which I would like to share with you:
1 I was not lucky enough to qualify the coveted IIT. However, I did manage to get through AIEEE and that too at a good score. I got 161 points in AIEEE, quite enough to get a top branch in NIT Srinagar which did not happen. The reason being my schooling from Rajasthan! While evaluating AIEEE rank, CBSE considers candidate’s schooling, if one has done his 12th from Rajasthan School or from any other state whether RAJ Board, CBSE or ICSE, the rank will consist of two segments – State Rank and All India Rank. At 161 points, my state rank was 2463 and at this rank I got nothing in NIT Jaipur. Had I done my schooling from J&K, my state rank would have been in top 20 and I would have easily cleared the eligibility criteria for any branch of my choice. Thus the lesson learnt is whether you had your coaching from Kota, Delhi or wherever, do have schooling from J&K? There are schools in J&K which provide this facility i.e. dummy school.
2 While opting for engineering coaching one must have a strong base in Mathematics and Physics. In J&K, schools focus on theory part, which is going to help in writing board exams only. For IIT / AIEEE one needs a strong base in Maths and Physics. These being concept based need a rigorous practice through solving questions. That habit has to be developed in a student right from class Ninth.
3 For the students opting for engineering coaching in valley, it is better to focus on coaching part i.e. they should spend less time at school. It is my personal experience that schooling in 11th and 12th is not needed at all. One can easily study text books at home and focus more on the coaching part. The syllabus that is taught in coaching is the one that is going to be there in entrance exam.
4 For the students who are not used to solving coaching assignments, or for whom questions seems to be a hard nut, it is better to start from solved questions given in text books. This will make your base strong. Thus, first practice solved questions and then start solving coaching assignments.
Most of the students directly start solving questions from HC Verma Physics and end up with no question being able to solve. To solve HC Verma, one must have a strong base for it. My younger brother who is studying in IIT Kharagpur, used to practice solved problems in the first place and then practice HC Verma.
Remember: one who has solved entire coaching assignments is the one who is going to qualify entrance.
5 With new AIEEE pattern, it is mandatory to score good marks in board exams. Students should at least score above 85% in board exams. Its benefit is that if you end up scoring low marks in AIEEE still you could get a seat in NIT Srinagar.
One of my cousins scored 120 marks in AIEEE, but due to his high percentage in 12th board (91%). He is currently doing B Tech – EC from NIT Srinagar.
(The writer is final year engineering student at Thapar University Patiala in Punjab.)