24 Dec 2020 17:55 IST

What is the ideal age for IIT JEE preparation?

Ideally, when should one start preparing to take the IIT JEE? From which class onward should one enrol in a programme and how many years of study does it take to have a shot at the exam? - Sreya

In my opinion, two years is more than sufficient. Two years of sincere effort in Classes 11 and 12 is enough. But this works, if you have had a foundation course in Classes 8, 9 and 10. This foundation course will give you an orientation for going deeper into concepts, performing experiments, and getting a hands-on understanding for concepts. The three-year foundation course helps students in problem solving — understanding a question and converting it into a visual diagram format. The foundation course need not be aimed at JEE, but it helps to get the students to think in a particular way. That type of training, I would not call it as JEE preparation, but it lays a foundation for all kinds of learning. In cases where this training is not offered at school, it should be done outside. The important factor here is not to encourage rote learning or memorising but helping students to understand how to apply concepts that are learned in classrooms. Once the students start thinking along these lines in Classes 8, 9 and 10, then preparing for JEE in Classes 11 and 12 becomes easier.

In primary school, it is probably acceptable to study before an exam. By sixth standard, that habit starts to become ineffective. By ninth standard, that habit will not work. It becomes important for the student to switch from studying before exams to studying every day. It takes time to change that habit but if studying every day sets in the earlier classes, then the student’s orientation changes. If the student begins this practice in Class 11, then half of the year, or sometimes, the whole of Class 11 would be wasted. Therefore, the preparatory orientation in classes 8,9 and 10 will ensure that by the time the student is in Class 11, he/she will be able to hit the ground running.

(Answers by experts from Ahaguru, a coaching centre, www.ahaguru.com.)