How To Balance School And JEE Preparation

11th and 12th Grade is an exhausting time, especially if you have your heart set on cracking JEE. The rigorous JEE portion leaves you at wits' end, and school-work annoyingly plays at the back of your mind. Aspirants run from pillar to post, trying to juggle between school and the tedious JEE preparation.

Do not despair! This article will help you strike a balance between both aspects of your hectic life.

Pay Attention In Class

You win half the battle when you give whatever you are learning your hundred percent attention. Be it a challenging JEE lecture, or a relatively mundane topic, or a crucial lab session, commit yourself to it. When you are thus involved, you automatically retain more information for longer.

Do not switch off, by any means. The very things you consider trivial come back and bite you in crunch situations.

A direct consequence of giving your undivided attention in class is that you do not have to spend hours learning the concept again. You need not fret as a test approaches, because your foundation is rock solid. You can use the time you save constructively later on!

Be Regular With Your Attendance

With a packed schedule, it is often tempting to skip classes. However, in this lapse, you don't realize that every lecture logically follows from the previous. You miss one, and then you're clueless during the next. All of a sudden, you find yourself deciding to bunk a series of lectures.

You think you'll cover up and you tend to procrastinate. In the end, even if you do get back on track, it is at the cost of your sleep and mental well-being. You choose your battles in life; fighting backlog isn't a particularly good choice.

When you attend classes regularly, you naturally find yourself on par with the course. You push yourself to work hard. You feel a sense of security and confidence, and there's no room for negative thoughts when you're busy.

Enjoy Yourself At School

Your life revolves around school and JEE classes, so you barely spend any time at home. If you don't live in a hostel, you lose time in your daily commute as well!

You need some recreation and a platform to express yourself. School can give you just that. Don't be a bookworm at school: JEE classes demand that anyways! Exploit the fact that the school curriculum is less demanding. Sing, dance, organize stuff: participate in an activity.

You'll feel much more self-assured when academic pressure from other fronts bogs you down.

Keep Reading Your Textbooks

This exercise kills two birds with one stone. Being thorough with the textbook equips you for not only the Board Examinations but also JEE Mains. Acquainting yourself with a bit of prose will help you effortlessly write precise, to the point answers in subjective tests.

Besides, JEE Mains examiners comb every corner of the NCERT textbook to set questions. There's only one way to ensure that you haven't left anything out. Familiarize yourself with the NCERT textbook!

Do NOT Take School Tests Lightly!

The school conducts tests for a reason. The tests are a stimulus to keep yourself in touch with the subjective mode. Some topics which are a part of the school syllabus do not appear in the JEE. School tests serve as a motivation to study these 'extra' topics.

You may think that you can learn these topics just before the Boards. While this is indeed achievable, it isn't a good strategy.

JEE preparation needs you to be in a constant rhythm: solving problems and refreshing your theory concepts every day. The rhythm becomes all the more crucial as JEE approaches.

If you embark on a new, alien topic just before Boards, you run the risk of breaking the rhythm. Moreover, you will find yourself under tremendous pressure. The environment is far from the relaxed setting that is conducive to grasp a concept. You'll probably end up mugging a bunch of formulae and being unsure of yourself.

Plan Proactively!

You need to have a pulse of what's going on. In this way, you can anticipate upcoming assignments and make time for them. When a plan is in place, a sudden load doesn't take you by surprise.

As far as possible, try to avoid carrying work forward. "What you can do tomorrow, do today. What you can do today, do now!"

Be Street Smart!

By far, the most important advice! Most of what the article has described thus far is an ideal scenario. The above points are guidelines. A lot depends on the school: some schools are very accepting of coaching classes; some vehemently disapprove. You need to identify your situation and plan accordingly.

Sometimes, it's perfectly alright to let school work take a backseat for a while as you catch up with your coaching assignments. Just ensure you have an eye on the school front, lest it gets out of hand.

You need to steal time smartly. Read on your commute if possible, think over your doubts in the shower.

If you feel that school lectures are being repetitive, take judicious leaves and use the time you gained more productively.

It's important to do well consistently in tests as this tends to give you more freedom.

To conclude, all the detailed battle plans go for a toss once you brave the first bullet. However, the proactive and resourceful commander always stands a greater chance of victory.

You are the commander. You've got two fronts to secure. Keep the general guidelines in mind. It's alright to bend the rules once you master them: a little compromise is sometimes necessary. Try to think ahead. Be ingenious when you plan your time.

Whatever you do, give it your 100%. You've got this. Good luck!

Harshita Srivastava
IIT Kanpur
13 September 2019