Cracking Engineering Entrance Examinations – 10 pointers

Cracking Engineering Entrance Examinations – 10 pointers

In a country which produces approximately 1.5 million Engineers every year, it won’t be wrong to state that Engineering is one of the most sought after professions. There are a total of 10396 engineering colleges that are approved by AICTE, each with only a limited number of seats but a humongous number of aspirants. Thus, the pressure of getting a reputed college is high amongst all the candidates. Be it for undergraduate courses or post graduate courses, the competition is always stiff in this field; after all, this is the platform that will launch the candidate into the professional world. So, it is of utmost importance that the aspirants work arduously to enter an educational institute which ranks high in the performance graph.

Below are 10 points that one must keep in mind while preparing for the entrances.

  1. Understand the type of entrance exam

The entrance examinations that are conducted in India can be categorized into 3 sections - Central, State and Private. Both central and state entrances provide a chance for candidates to study in Government colleges while Private entrances are usually conducted by the respective private institutes for getting admission into the colleges affiliated to them. At times, privates engineering colleges admit students based on the Central and State examinations score. So, every engineering aspirant cannot afford to miss out on the central and state level examinations. The centralized engineering examination for undergraduate courses conducted in India is the JEE (Joint Entrance Examination), which is divided into 2 levels - JEE Mains and JEE Advanced. GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is the entrance for post-graduate courses. A few state level entrances include WBJEE (West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination), UPSEE (Uttar Pradesh State Entrance Examination), etc. A few popular private entrance examinations include VITEEE/VITPGEE (for Vellore Institute of technology), MUOET (for Manipal Institute of Technology), SRMJEEE and SRMPGEE (For SRM Institute of Science and Technology), etc. 

  1. Check the prerequisites for the course

Before proceeding any further, once a candidate has decided that engineering is the field he or she wants to proceed with, they should be a 100% clear about the prerequisites of the course. Though majority of the core engineering courses demand that a student clear his or her HS with Physics, Chemistry and Maths as their primary papers, a few courses demand a different prerequisite. A bio-science field demands that a candidate also have biology or biotechnology. At times certain engineering courses require the candidate to either have Biology/ Biotechnology/ Chemistry as their optional paper. Post this, one should also make a note of the minimum percentage or aggregate the course demands. A fundamental mistake that candidates seem to make is that they focus on the engineering entrances so much that they neglect the board exams. If a candidate does not have the minimum aggregate, he or she won’t get admission regardless of their score in the entrance exam. The same is applied for post graduate entrances.

  1. Being aware of the dates

It would be the biggest irony if one were to miss out on the application deadline after all the painful hard work. Candidates should keep browsing entrance exam sites regularly to stay updated regarding any notification. Applications for certain exams like JEE Mains 2018 opened in the month of November and the closes in January 2018, while applications for UPSEE 2018 and BITSAT 2018 opens in January and ends in March 2018. 

                                         Find the list and deadlines for Tests 2018 here.
  1. Time Management

This is something that every student should follow but it is also true that only a few are capable of mastering it. One cannot give enough stress on the importance of this point. Time is of the essence, so there is never a good time to start organizing and preparing, than NOW. There are essentially 3 steps that every toppers follow, and this is - Organize, prepare and revise. Only after this can one start attempting tests. Without a sound preparation, no one can perform well in the exam. The key points to remember to manage time efficiently are mentioned below.

  1. Know the syllabus

Usually, in the undergraduate level, the syllabus for entrances is same. The primary subjects that a candidate should be thorough in for clearing the entrances are Maths, Physics and Chemistry (MPC). If a candidate is applying for bio-based engineering courses then they should be thorough with Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCB). Though, most of the central and state engineering entrances, regardless of field the candidate is interested to join, require candidates to be thorough in MPC rather than PCB, as the question paper comprises of no biology section. A few private institutes that offer engineering degrees in Bio-sciences will have a separate Biology section instead of a Mathematics section or Chemistry Section. Most of the time, only a few sections are given more importance to and certain other sections are omitted. So, based on the field of interest, the candidates should be clear about the sections and syllabus. The syllabus is usually at par with the syllabus for Board exams, so the candidate should not find much difficulty in preparing for both. For post graduate courses, GATE is the entrance students should focus on. If one successfully prepares for gate, it is equivalent to preparing for other home institute entrances. The syllabus is usually available on their websites and certain topics that a candidate studies in his or her bachelors are completely omitted in the exam. By doing so, one can cut down on spending time on studying unnecessary topics. Find the syllabus for IITs here.

  1. Collect past question papers

This is a very vital step in preparing for entrances as it shows the candidates the trend in questioning. This, just like understanding the syllabus, helps cut down time. By going through the question papers one can clearly note the questions that are repeated or topics that are repeated. The candidate can than focus on those topics more than the others. Certain small topics such as Vectors, is also a topic that is extensively repeated and only one or two questions are from this topic. These small topics are where the candidate can score marks without working too hard.

  1. Understanding and studying interrelated topics

Another advantage of studying small topics such as vectors is that it incorporates a bit of Matrices. This way, the students can understand that even Matrices is another important topic like vectors. Combine both the concepts, the basics of linear algebra gets covered. Similarly, students should make note of inter related topics. Students might make a mistake of leaving behind a topic which is actually the base of understanding another broader topic. Thus, these things should also be noted. 

  1. Following a routine or a Time Table

The biggest advantage of following a time table is that a candidate does not feel lost at any point in his or her preparation. They are required to abide by it and time, being a constraint, helps keep the candidates rooted to their books. Allowing break time is extremely important. It is important that parents understand this as much as the students as there is only a limited amount of time one can stay fixated on the book. Breaks help the brain recover from the stress and allows build more space for the intake of information. Usually its advised that a student study for 1hr minimum at a stretch and then take a break of no more than 5-10 minutes. This should be repeated twice, followed by a longer break of 30 minutes. This helps the candidate retain most of the information and not get tired. Every day, one should revise the topic they covered that day. This helps in maximum retention. “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.” This proverb is extremely apt as aspirants tend to overlook their health often in the route to success. This will only cause harm and retard the students preparation. Thus, it should be noted that games/ exercises/ yoga should definitely be a part of this routine. 

  1. Mock Test Series

Finally, when the exam season is close by, it is advised that students appear for multiple test series. This will hone the candidate’s precision. This also gives an additional sense of confidence by getting rid of exam phobia. Another advantage of appearing for mock tests is that the aspirants can analyze their performance and note the areas where they lack. They can then focus on those sections to try to perfect their score.

  1. Check Colleges and courses offered. Is there a Plan B?

Finally, check the courses offered by the colleges and map your preferences. Ideal situation may be that you get your preference of course in your preferred college. But what if the situation is not perfect and not as per your plan? 

Example : You may want to go for Computer Science in one of the top IITs but it may so happen that you may have cracked one of the IITs but you are not offered Computer Science in that/those colleges, whereas you are being offered Computer Science in one of the top NITs. You may want to stay in IIT or select NIT.

Would you give preference to the courses and select the college or select the college and then accept the courses you are being offered.

The goal should be clear for the aspirants to ace their exams. At the end, it is a mix of hard work in the beginning and smart work at the end.


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