The extracts from Govind Lahoti’s Interview as given to a leading National Portal…
Govind Lahoti JEE Advanced 2014 AIR 3 is a cool headed person, having spiritual inclinations and has his interests in reading, swimming and coding. This introvert boy, as he tags himself, has outshined a huge number of students who had aimed for a similar dream. The brilliant mind was kind enough to talk about the importance of self- study, role of coaching centres and benefits of online tests in cracking the JEE with a promising score.
1. Have you always been a topper and a hard working student?
Yes, mostly. I always tried to perform my best in school. Nothing is achieved without hard work. So yes, I have been a hard working student all through my schooling days.
2. What was your preparation strategy for JEE 2014?
I ensured that I had a really good hold on theory. Whenever I started preparing a new chapter, I would spend more time in getting the concepts perfect. I ensured that I cover every aspect of the topic so that whatever question came from it, I would be able to solve it. Practice does matter but without good hold on theory, you will keep making the same mistakes. I also ensured that there is no backlog and tried to finish chapters well in time.
3. What do you think worked in your favour?
My decision to move to Kota was the turning point. This is where my preparation picked up and I found the ‘real’ competition. I was surrounded by very intelligent students as well as great faculty. This ensured that I was updated about my real position in the competition. However, this was purely my personal experience, and this may not be favourable for every student.
4. While preparing for JEE what was the most difficult phase that you had to go through?
The initial month in Kota was challenging. I had to pick up things very fast. There was a lot of pressure to excel and the competition was intense. Also, when the test marks were not up to my expectations, my confidence would sway a bit.
5. When did you start preparing?
I started preparation right from class 10th. I started studying class 11th syllabus from class 10th itself because of which, I was able to get a head start when I reached class 11th.
6. What is the ideal time one should devote in the preparation?
One should start from class 10th itself. The syllabus is vast so one needs to start early. As you progress, your focus should intensify and reach its peak in class 12th. It you finish the syllabus in time, you will feel more confident. On an average, I used to devote 5-6 hours to self- study on a daily basis.
7. Do you think dropping a year for JEE preparation helps?
This is okay for people who marginally miss the desired rank. In such cases, there is a possibility that due to some unfavourable circumstances, the result was not as good as the candidate’s potential and hence he/she may want to give one more try. It doesn’t help students who are way off the JEE cut-off mark or were careless in class 11th and 12th and didn’t study at all in those two years.
8. Did you take coaching for JEE?
Yes, I took coaching in Allen Kota. I really think that the teachers made a lot of difference. I would like to thank my mentors there in helping me accomplish my goal.
9. What role do coaching classes play in preparing students for JEE? Do you feel these classes are necessary?
The syllabus is huge and you need refined guidance throughout those two years of rigorous preparation. Good coaching classes really make a difference as they did in my case. The teachers use their years of experience to guide the students.
10. Any other tool or technique helped you improve your marks?
I think test taking is a very important aspect of preparation. Time management for every question should be known. Silly mistakes should be noted which make the students careful for future tests. Also one comes to know which concepts are weak and need more work with these tests.
11. What engineering courses were the hot favourites this year?
Nothing has changed in terms of my favourite- computer science.
12. What are the mistakes students usually make while preparing for JEE? How can they be avoided?
- Students try to use too many books unnecessarily and try to get content from a lot many sources. I think this is a waste of time.
- Focus on a few good books and if you are taking coaching from a good institute, focus on what your teacher is saying.
- Have patience.
- Do not give up if things are not working out initially.
- Do not leave any backlog as that never gets completed.
- Do not let your confidence waiver a lot. Know your strong and weak chapters and use this information while attempting the paper.
- Do not make silly mistakes (wasted attempts).
- Keep your attempt strategy dynamic as the paper keeps changing its colour.
13. How is life at IIT? Tell us about your experience
There are lot of activities that take place here like music, sports etc. You can pursue anything you want. You are surrounded by smart people who help to structure your thoughts. Personality development is another thing that you see in a few months time. You get meet a lot of successful people – both academic and non-academic. Faculty here is awesome. Facilities are great, especially the 24 hours access to high speed internet.
14. Did you always dream of joining IIT?
There was never a thought of not joining IIT!
15. What will be your advice to candidates appearing for JEE 2015?
- Focus equally on every chapter.
- Do not take any of them lightly. For example: Error measurement had three questions this year which is not considered an important chapter. Students often end up ignoring it. Rotational Motion on the other hand, is considered important but had only one question this year.
- You should also take a hard look at your silly mistakes (wasted attempts) and avoid them.
- Don’t try to compare yourself to just your circle of friends..
- You should be looking at people who are doing better than you.
- Lastly, keep your benchmark really high, otherwise you will get a false notion on where you stand.
16. Can you list down 5 skills that are essential for individuals to crack JEE?
17. What are your career plans after you graduate?
I can go ahead with a start-up, higher studies or a job maybe. However, there is a long way to go before I really choose what to do.