Saturday, March 5, 2016

PLAN Of Study for IIT-Entrance (PART-3)

AUTHOR- J.P.Sinha.Teacher of physics and maths for IIT-JEE (JEE-Advanced)
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Now in this PART-3 of my article, I will be discussing a study PLAN that in my opinion is good. This study plan is meant for fresh 11th class science stream students who plan to prepare for IIT-Entrance/Medical Entrance. But again I will repeat, read my Plan, take hints from it and then make your your personal Plan that suits you the best.

A 11th class student should divide the work of IIT/PMT preparation into two stages.


Initially students should simply concentrate on the basic NCERT books. NCERT books are very good for basic concept building. Few students complain that the language of the NCERT books is not very easy. And they therefore prefer private publication books in comparison to the NCERT books.
Private publication books are meant to be used as reference material only. They are not text books. Only NCERT books are text books (for CBSE students). Studying exclusively from private publication books is little risky. Because the presentation of the subject matter in these private books is done in a very lengthy manner. So finishing the syllabus even ONCE will be a big achievement if you exclusively study from a private book. A student who studies from private books never gets any time to revise. And I must tell you very clearly, if you do not revise the-already-studied-stuffs regularly and repeatedly on the weekly basis, then by the time you will reach the 7th or 8th chapter of your book you will have already forgotten the 1st chapter. (Read my article on General Study Techniques for understanding the importance of REVISION). [ Also read NOTE-1 below in this context]

If you do not understand a subject well through your school teacher’s lecture and by reading from NCERT text books, then please understand that you do not need to buy more or better books, you need the help of some good teacher.

Buying lots of books in every subject and converting your house into a library is the biggest mistake that you can do. Most often, you only need atmost two books (one NCERT plus one reference book) in every subject when you are studying the basic 11th / 12th class syllabus for the first time in STAGE-1 of your study. NCERT also publishes a supplementary question book called Exemplar Problem, this book may also be used in your daily revision routine for sourcing few questions from it for the chapter being revised.

So if you are facing problems in managing a subject, then get personal tuition from a good teacher if you can afford that (because only in personal tuition you can get the personalised attention of your teacher), else search for some good teacher taking group classes in your locality. A teacher is good in my opinion if he teaches the concepts of the subject in detail. A good teacher will often teach extempore. He will have his own personal framework of ideas by which he will teach a chapter as if he is creating a picture in your mind. After listening to his lecture when you will read from NCERT, you will find that it is an easy book to read. [ Also read NOTE-2 below in this context]

(In PART-2 of this Article I have examined the relevance of IIT-Coaching-Institutes for a fresh 11th class science student in his overall preparation scheme, I will advise the reader to read that to reach an informed decision )

So I am saying, you should focus mainly on the NCERT books initially. And if you can get the help of a good teacher at this stage then your life will be very easy. A good teacher will help you get a smooth beginning of your studies of the 11th class. 

With the help of a good teacher, and if you work hard in a sustained manner, you can finish the entire 11th class syllabus of PCM in 5 to 6 months. It may be sounding difficult..."How can someone finish the entire syllabus of 1 year in less than 6 months?!", you may be wondering...but it is very easy if you follow the above way of study. (Read my article on  General Study Techniques also in this connection).

I do this with many of my students who understand my logic and cooperate. I teach them at the rate of 6 hours per week and this way I finish the whole maths and physics syllabus of 11th class in around 6 months. And remember, I believe in in-depth conceptual teaching ! So when I can achieve this with my students, why can't you can also do this with the help of a good teacher?.

Now after finishing the basic 11th class syllabus in the first 6 month, please don't stop. You should immediately start studying the 12th syllabus. And in the next 7 to 8 months you can finish the 12th syllabus as well ( I said, 7 to 8 months for 11th class syllabus, because during this phase you will also have to handle the 11th class final exam... otherwise 12th syllabus can also be finished in 6 months).

Thus, you see, within 14 months of entering the 11th  class your entire syllabus of both the 11th and the 12th class is over. Plus if you revised as per the plan written in my article on  General Study Techniques then you also must have developed quite a good problem solving skill in all the three subjects. This way you have now completed the STAGE-1 of your JEE-Advanced ( IIT-Entrance) preparation. 

NOTE 1: Private publication books are meant to be used as reference source only, we should never use them as text book. For example, you can use these books as a source of questions from various entrance exams in the past. That way you can sharpen your problem solving skills when you periodically solve few entrance type questions (abundantly given in these books !) every day, as part of your revision routine. Many teachers, who can not teach extempore, often encourage students to study from private publication books and not use NCERT at all. Actually these teachers can not teach anything on their own. They simply copy what is written in the book. And for such teachers, teaching from private publication books is very convenient. Private publication books are written in the style of a GUIDE, so copying derivations etc from them is very easy for such teachers. Many Delhi school going students must have seen their school teachers doing this in the class room. So please don’t get influenced into using these private books as text books because some incompetent teacher is inspiring you to do that.

In maths, few topics are very superficially given in the NCERT maths text book. For such topics you may use some other book as a compulsory supplement. 

This way the STAGE-1 of your preparation for the IIT-Entrance exam is over. And congratulations, you are also well prepared for the CBSE Board exam. And your 12 th class has just begun !... so now you have full one year to exclusively prepare for IIT-Entrance (JEE-Advanced) without worrying about school tests and the Board Exam

Note 2:  The syllabus of 11th is such that, if you try to understand everything on your own by reading from a book (even if you use private books!), you will face a lot of difficulties in understanding. Let me give you an example:
Take Physics for example, in physics from the 3rd chapter onwards, you will be required to possess the knowledge of the many topics in maths, like Function, Trigonometry, Straight Lines (coordinate geometry), Graphs, Differentiation, Integration…etc. In maths, you will take few months to cover all these topics, and one topic (Integration) is taught in the 12th class in maths. But in physics you can not even begin without understanding these topics of maths. So you need a good teacher in physics because only a good physics teacher will teach you these topics of maths as part of his physics teaching, so that you may be able to understand physics. When I say, the physics teacher will teach you these topics in maths, please take me literally…I do not mean that he will only give you a list of formulas, he will actually teach you these topics (especially differentiation and integration!) with logic. My students often say that since I had explained them differentiation and integration in physics thoroughly, so later when they studied these topics in maths they felt that their understanding is better because they could better understand the real purpose of studying integration and differentiation for a beginning level student. They knew for example that “How differentiation can measure the rate-of-change of something at an instant that generally changes non-uniformly with time?”… because knowing this fact is one thing, but knowing and understanding the real mechanism and the logic behind this fact is the main thing that really matters.

Read my article on the Problem Solving Skills in Maths and Physics
List of all my articles :  CLICK HERE to read the other articles written by me

Those students who are desirous of studying Physics and Maths from me can click here.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

PLAN Of Study for IIT-Entrance (PART-2)

How a Fresh 11th Class Science Student should Begin to Study ( if his plan is to crack IIT-Advanced after 12th ) ?

 AUTHOR- J.P.Sinha.Teacher of physics and maths for IIT-JEE (JEE-Advanced)

The beginning stage is most crucial. If you get proper guidance and a good teaching support from able teachers at this stage then your life will be a smooth sail throughout.

First make a plan: Preparation for IIT-Entrance is not done in a day. You need to study sincerely with a well executed plan-of-study for the next two years to be able to clear the IIT JEE-Advanced after 12th class.

There can be no one successful plan that will work for every body. So you need to make your own personal PLAN and work religiously according to it, to actually clear an entrance exam like JEE-Advanced with good rank. Making of your personal plan will be easier if you seek advice from your teachers, seniors and parents to make the plan. Discuss with them that how you should study and then think over the ideas that you get from them, then with the help of some trusted elder (who, in your views, is academically capable enough) you should make your own personal plan. Because without a plan-of-study you will not know where you are heading towards, when you are in the middle of your preparation.

 Only a well made plan, that is best suited for you, can guide you, that how you are going to use the various supports available (like personal teachers, IIT-Coaching institute…etc), and when you are going to use them, during your preparation journey that spreads over the next two years ( 11th class + 12th class).

 Here I am giving a plan-of-study that is good in my opinion. You may take hints from it also, but I will not advise you to follow it blindly unless you and your parents are convinced that it is good for you

FIRST the most important question:


Joining a coaching institute for IIT Entrance preparation has become a popular trend now. Almost every science student of 11th class joins some or the other IIT-Coaching these days. These Coaching Institutes have created such a picture (with the help of big advertisement campaigns that they run every year) that now the general public thinks that without joining a coaching a student can not clear the IIT Entrance exam. Consequently students are under immense social pressure to join a coaching (some big coaching) if they are opting for science stream in the 11th class. These coachings also conduct scholarship tests around December or January every year, to attract the new set of students who are going to enter into the 11th class in March.

But how do they teach in a Coaching Institute? This is the most important question that a student must explore before deciding to join an Institute. In most of the coaching institutes, in the name of advanced preparation, only blind problem solving is promoted. The institute teachers seldom teach the basic concepts of any subject properly, most often they only discuss a list of formulae in a chapter as part of the theory teaching of that chapter. Then right away, they start solving tough questions of the types asked in entrance exams on the board, to illustrate to the students that how to use the formulas to solve questions. These questions generally pass over the head of most students because they have no understanding of the concepts behind those formulas, and also because they do not know the derivations of those formulas. The teacher solves those questions in the class or sometimes students are given printed solutions of the assignments from the institute. Students try to learn those solutions without learning the art that "How to solve a new question by applying a systematic thinking to it with the help of basic concepts?".

These institute teachers do not understand one thing: learning problem solving is important but not developing the understanding of concepts is a blunder.

Thus I will advise a fresh 11th class student not to join a IIT coaching institute in the beginning of 11th class. Because as I wrote above, in coachings, they do not teach the concepts properly and only direct the students towards blind problem solving. This will prevent a student from developing a proper understanding of his subjects. And consequently the student may stop enjoying his studies. Many coaching going students are silently suffering this syndrome because they are under tremendous pressure to perform from all quarters, and they know from inside that they do not even have a proper understanding of the basic ideas of the subjects. These students perform badly in both school exams and also in the tests conducted at the institute. Parents wonder that what has happened to their child - “He was so good at studies till 10th class, now God Knows why he is not performing well?” I have seen many parents asking this question in frustration in front of me. Few students who are successfully seen to be managing both the school and the coaching, actually take personal tuitions from good teachers at home and actually learn the concepts in personal tuition class. These are highly labourious students who work really very hard to manage the studies at three fronts ( the school, the personal tuition and the coaching) simultaneously.    


I am not saying that joining a coaching institute is not helpful at all, I am only saying that joining a coaching is useless in the beginning of the 11th class. One should join a coaching institute only after first finishing the basic 11th and 12th syllabus on his own (with the help of a personal tuition if required). This can be easily done in ONE year only. After this the student will know all the concepts, and then if he joins a coaching he will face no problem there. He will rather enjoy the coaching class. And he will easily sharpen his problem solving skills if he sincerely attends the classes at the coaching. I will be writing more on this in the PART - 3 of this article.

 ....this article will continue in PART-3
..... feel like reading the PART-1 of this article ? Click Here

List of all my articles : CLICK HERE to read the other articles written by me

Those students who are desirous of studying Physics and Maths from me can click here.
FOR any help or query contact me (J.P.Sinha)on my mobile +91 9871 222 426 (it is a New Delhi mobile number).

PLAN Of Study for IIT-Entrance (PART-1)

What a fresh 11th class science student must know?
 AUTHOR- J.P.Sinha.Teacher of physics and maths for IIT-JEE (JEE-Advanced)
It is March again. Like every year in India, a new set of students are about to pass out from the junior school, and they will soon be entering into the 11th class now. This article is aimed at those students (under the Indian system of education) who are going to opt for the science stream in their 11th class and are also planning to prepare for IIT Entrance or Medical Entrance. 

For science students, the time spent during the 11th and 12th classes, is the most important phase of their academic life. Because the knowledge and skills that they gain in the 11th and 12th classes, that completely decide their academic future after these classes. All the Engineering and Medical Entrance exams are based on the combined syllabus of 11th and 12th class. Those aiming for a career in pure science also, can not take the studies of 11th and 12th class lightly.
The four core subjects of science (Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology) actually make their first organized beginning in the 11th class. Till 10th class, these subjects are taught like a course in general-knowledge (except to some extent, Maths).
The conceptual foundations of all the science subjects are actually made in the minds of students during their 11th and 12th class studies only. And therefore the structure of any college level course in Engineering, Medicine or Pure Science is totally based on the foundation of knowledge created in the 11th and 12th class syllabus. So if you do not thoroughly study (and develop deep understanding of) the 11th and 12th class syllabus in science and maths, then you will face problem in any course of science or engineering that you may join in college.

Till 10th class, all the science subjects are mainly taught as a collection of facts that a student needs to learn (without asking for any logic behind those facts). That is why I said above that science syllabus till 10th class is like a course in general knowledge.
But now from 11th class onwards, the nature of each science subject will undergo a drastic change. Now there will be a great emphasis on understanding the concepts and logic, and in seeing the logical interconnections and interdependence between various facts. For example, we know liquids exert buoyancy , but liquids exerts buoyancy only when placed in gravity – inside a space ship where there is no gravity any liquid can not show buoyancy. Thus we see, buoyancy is not an isolated property of a liquid, it depends upon gravity. What connects the buoyancy with gravity? If you ask this question, then you will have to explore the relationship between the compression of a liquid and the pressure that the liquid exerts due to that. This will lead you to the world of molecules - How intermolecular forces between liquid molecules depend upon their separation?... and so on.
So now, only learning isolated facts will not help at all. You need to understand the concepts of science more. You will now be expected to make continuous serious efforts to understand the logic behind the scientific facts. And now you need to ask “WHY?” and “HOW?” very often while learning science.
 In 11th class science syllabus, in the beginning of any subject (say, physics), first it will be discussed that what is the scope of Physics, and why do we study Physics. Then the initial chapters will try to build the basic foundation of knowledge in Physics. Then as we progress to later chapters, we will be introduced with wider and wider spectrum of concepts belonging to various branches of Physics. And during the whole course, the aim will be to enable a student to see that how the concepts and ideas of various branches in Physics are logically interconnected and interdependent, and similarly how Physics is also connected with the other science subjects.
Many students do not realize that from 11th class, they now need to take a logical approach of study in science and maths. They continue to keep studying science like the way they did till 10th class. Consequently science syllabus becomes a burden for them. The huge number of facts present in any science book, are impossible to learn without understanding the concepts behind those facts.
Plus, if after following this faulty way of study in science in the 11th and 12th class, you manage to take admission in an engineering course in college ( some private engineering college !, because you can not get admission in an IIT with the faulty study method) then managing your studies in college will become a daily torture for you.

 ....this article will continue in PART-2

 List of all my articles : CLICK HERE to read the other articles written by me

Those students who are desirous of studying Physics and Maths from me can click here.
FOR any help or query contact me (J.P.Sinha)on my mobile +91 9871 222 426 (it is a New Delhi mobile number).