Being a class 12 student in India comes along with great academic pressure. It can be challenging to balance board examinations with competitive tests because the complexity of the two sets of exams differs. Board exams require immense concentration and dedication. When a student is preparing for competitive exams like IIT JEE (Mains & Advanced) or NEET simultaneously, this requires equal attention. The last 4-5 months before exams are very important & critical for the same.
There is a lot of confusion & pressure in the minds of students who are in the 12th Class. There are boards then just near to boards JEE Mains & just after that there is JEE Advanced and also before boards, there are pre boards. Also, parents have their own expectations that kids have to do well on boards as well as in competitive exams.
One of the biggest challenges in preparing for competitive exams like JEE or NEET and board exams is that we have to do a lot of juggling. Students don't find time to study and prepare for their competitive exams because they are busy with their board exams. What ends up happening often is that our preparations don't get us high enough marks when it comes to the actual exams which results in disappointment. For example, if you have started preparing for your board exams and have not tried hard enough for JEE Mains, then you just might end up getting a disappointing score on both boards as well.
Let's backtrack the whole process seeing that the final aim is to get admitted into one of the best colleges in India. So students will usually have a reasonable target on a college which they want to get into and based on this they know their prime preparation is JEE Mains or JEE advanced. If your prime preparation is JEE Advanced then JEE Mains is an exam where you just have to clear the cutoff.
Here are some tips, which students should keep in mind before they get started with JEE/NEET and Board Exams preparation:
- Many students get confused when preparing for the secondary board exams & JEE/NEET. There is a common problem as the two exams differ in many aspects. Some students feel that they should both be prepared at the same level, which is not possible. While competitive exams are about practice, board exams are about theory. Students have to articulate the theory and concepts they have learned rather than applying them to many questions. Until you have a good grasp of theory & concepts you can do well while practicing for JEE/NEET.
- Every Sunday take a JEE/NEET paper even if you have not completed much. You can calculate your percentage scores based on what you have completed. For example, if you score 40 out of 360 marks on a paper but you have only covered your syllabus of 100 marks then calculate the percentage as 40/100. I call it a “covered score”.
- One month prior to your pre-boards start doing 3 hours of paper writing practice every night from 9 pm to 11:59 pm. When you reach your board you can change the schedule to 10 am to 1 pm. Schools will be closed and the syllabus will be over by then.
- For JEE/NEET keep a “mistakes copy” where you store all your mistakes and wrong questions from previous tests. This will be your major factor of success. The better you manage, the higher your scores will be. In your last month, this will be the most important resource for you. I have seen many students doing wonderful only due to this.
- For boards, I suggest students start looking at long-type questions from previous year's papers from the beginning of the 12th session. Most of them will be about memorizing. This will help you complete your syllabus faster than anyone.
- Additional subjects like English & Hindi are coverable in the last month of the board exam. However, I used to spend my Sundays in English and Hindi because I liked the stories. You can target in the early months also and later use your last moments for high-pressure subjects.
- If you have prepared well for competitive exams since the beginning of the year then the last 2 months of preparation are enough for boards. You just need to practice the writing part.
- A structured and detailed plan will not just help you focus but will also enable you to see the entire syllabus in one go and then break it down piece by piece. Here, you should be extremely careful not to exaggerate your abilities to complete topics, but rather look at all the topics separately.
- Make a preparation of board and JEE/NEET as one whole. Don't leave any topics out. Review each topic thoroughly and make notes about them. As much as possible, try to stay away from distractions when studying. Make sure that you have enough time to study the syllabus without missing anything in the process.
- Having the psyche for competitive exams is a must, but not having enough confidence about it can be a problem. This year, prepare for JEE/NEET in your own way. Get to understand your weak points and revise them from the previous year's test material. Also, memorize all that you come across with the test series offered online.
Simply put, get your act together. Focus on your goal and don't stress too much over things that you have no control over (like other people's marks). Play your best, see where it takes you, and be prepared to deal with the results (both good and bad) when they roll in. Since both the JEE/NEET & Board Exams are conducted in the same period of time, it's quite important for students to prepare for both simultaneously. Implementing this strategy will give you ample time to prepare for JEE/NEET once the board exams are over, ensuring that you do well on boards as well.