Tapas Jana is one of the toppers of IIT JAM 2019 with AIR-4. He pursued B.Sc Hons form Ramkrishna Mission College situated at Kolkata. He believes that regular practice, studying books and taking mock tests can lead you to success. Check out the interview and know what helped him the most and what were the challenges he faced while preparing for IIT JAM.
Collegedunia’s Exclusive Interaction with Topper Tapas Jana
Ques. How your graduation syllabus helped you in tackling Chemistry which has such a huge syllabus?
Ans. When I was in my second year I was revising the topics of the previous semester because the syllabus is almost similar. Barely I missed any classes and my teachers helped me a lot. I also took coaching for the exam and took a lot of online tests. I followed books like IIT JAM Chemistry by Arihant. Basically, organic Chemistry was a bit tough and I was facing difficulties in it. The only solution I found to tackle it was to solve previous year questions of Chemistry. Also, from our college every year almost 5-6 students clears IIT JAM with prestigious rank. This is no less than an inspiration that if our seniors can clear the exam then why can’t we.
Ques.Which coaching institute did you join for the exam?
Ans. I joined Career Endeavour which provided me with the right guidance. The study material that I received from the coaching was very helpful and it was sufficient for the exam. It also provided me with the platform to take a lot of online tests which is necessary for proper practice. The test series were divided in sections which were similar to the main exam pattern. I recommend every aspirant to practice more and more online mock tests.
Ques. Which books would you recommend for the aspirants?
Ans. There is no exact source that I can recommend. I studied with my study material of graduation along with the one provided by the coaching center. Specifically, for inorganic chemistry I studied A K Sarkar. The topics in which I found difficulties I took help from youtube and google. There are many free lectures available on youtube that really help. Apart from this I would recommend Organic Chemistry by Jonathan Clayden, Concise inorganic chemistry by JD Lee and Physical Chemistry by Castellan.
Ques. When did you start preparing for the exam and how did you manage the time?
Ans. I started preparing from third year and initially I was revising the syllabus of previous semesters of my graduation program. I started with the revision and then I joined the coaching center. From the very beginning I was practicing previous year questions along with online mock tests. I would say that online test practice and study shall go hand in hand.
Ques. What were your strong and weak points during preparation?
Ans. I was very good at physical chemistry as I liked the subject very much. The topics are easy to understand and solving the questions didn't take much effort. I was worried about organic chemistry as I found some difficulties in solving the questions. The only thing which helped me in that was to practice previous year questions. I solved a lot of previous questions of Organic chemistry and established a command over the subject. It took much effort but at the end I was confident about the subject and solved it properly in the exam. Guidance of teachers in the coaching helped me to cope up with the difficulties in this subject.
Ques. Why did you choose IIT JAM and not other similar exams?
Ans. From the very beginning I was focussed about IIT JAM as I can explore much at good IITs. I never thought of other exams because I was determined for my career in research with IIT. I did appear for other exams but neither I cleared nor I was interested or worried about its result. I was confident about my preparation for IIT JAM. It's already known that one can get good exposure in IITs and in context to research it was the prime concern to get the top IIT. As far as IIT Bombay is concerned I think I will be able to explore a number of opportunites in the field of research.
Ques. What is your upcoming aspiration?
Ans. I want to appear for GRE(Graduate Record Examination) and want to secure a better score. Through this I can explore opportunities in the universities at USA.
Ques. Can you suggest some tips for other aspirants?
Ans. Studying books is one of the primary tips that I would like to suggest. Further, along with the preparation keep taking online tests. Don't plan that you will complete the syllabus and then you will start the mock test session. It should go parallely and don't worry if you are scoring less in the online test at the beginning. Analyse the weak points, time taken on one question, questions with less effort and more marks etc. For example if you got an answer with upto three decimal points then don't put the same as you wont get marks. Put the answer with upto two decimal points and that will be accepted only. Online test habit is a must as IIT JAM is conducted online and practice will give you fluency. .