Thursday, 14 July 2022

Best books for JEE preparation

Note: this is a pinned post
Other new posts will appear below this post
Books for Olympiads can be found here

Here is a comprehensive list of ALL the books. Don't get overwhelmed seeing this long list. You should decide which one suits you.
Also, I will not appreciate questions like "which edition to buy", because I am adding appropriate links below of the editions which I have myself used and are definitely worth purchasing.
Note that I did not use all of the books below. Some of them are famous but I did not use them because some other book was sufficient. So, you need not buy them all.

Past year JEE papers: very very very very very important. Solve each and every question earnestly and make sure to learn from the questions which you weren't able to solve. Also note that you should always refer to the solution of the book even if you correctly got the answer yourself. This helps you to cross check your solution as well as learn some (possibly) new solution given in the book. The below past year papers contain more or less the same content. You can choose any of them.





            

             

Guidebook: The book below is authored by my friend and senior Arpit Agarwal, who was AIR 1 in JEE 2012. Arpit is currently a fourth year undergraduate at IIT Delhi. Arpit helped me a lot during the last 2 months of JEE by clearing a number of non academic doubts and helping me to develop the required examination temperament. I have never seen such a humble and down to earth person.
As a JEE aspirant, I did not get a chance to read his book because it was published after JEE was over. But I myself bought this book after giving JEE and enjoyed a read. It will show you what distinguishes a JEE top ranker from a dreamer. A must buy book indeed :)
The other book is by Nitin Jain, AIR 1, JEE 2009. I read this book and this book shows you how AIR 1 differs from the rest of the JEE rankers. This book was available online somewhere buy I am not able to find it now.

Nitin Jain's book on JEE guidance is one of the best selling books

   


Coming to the books of individual subjects:

Physics:



          

          

Chemistry:



             

Mathematics:



            

            

   

Others:

         

Exemplar Problems: These are the solutions to the exemplar problems prescribed by CBSE. These are must for those who are aiming a good rank in JEE Main and JEE Advanced. Note that the problems aren't highly conceptual or something, but they really are useful for competitive exams and you can surely find some lifted question in JEE Main

        


        




In this link you can find some really good books that are most commonly used by JEE aspirants

Note: Brilliant YG files and Akash's Success Magnet (I did not find a link to it) are really good. Also, the material provided by Resonance is excellent and that's why I have added its link here on this page under the others section.

If you like this, you might also like our guide to get a top 50 rank in JEE

Monday, 5 December 2016

Tackling Examinations

Hello readers, it's been a long time since we've connected. Here is a great news for you - we have on board Mukesh Pareek, AIR 3 in JEE Advanced 2015. Mukesh scored 325/360 in JEE Main 2015. He is presently studying Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay and is in his second year.

Mukesh would like to share some of his experiences in this article:


Hi, I am Mukesh, a student of Computer Science Engineering at IIT Bombay. I have seen many students complaint about examination stress, that “I am not able to perform during the examination” or “I screw up tests” or “I knew this question but it didn't occur to me in the exam-hall” and other stuff that I am sure we have used time and again to justify our failures.
I myself remember whining about these things during my school days. But thanks to some wonderful advices from my teachers and the efforts I put in I was able to overcome this humungous problem. And I realized with time that all my efforts finally paid off. My best performance used to come out in the Exam-hours. And that's the best, one can wish for.
We must start with realizing the reasons of examination stress. I am going to list the most common ones, the ones I faced during my preparation.

   Silly mistakes! Really?
   Distractions and lack of concentration!
   Result Expectations
   Lack of Speed
   Under-Confidence (sometimes Over-Confidence)

       Silly Mistakes -
The first thing you should understand is that silly mistakes are not really silly; they do have a logic. I remember one of my teacher told me that no one has the cure for silly mistakes, the best we can do is to minimize them. If you are one of those who screw up their score due to these so called silly mistakes, this is high time you start looking up for the logics behind these mistakes.

I used to maintain a note-book for my ‘Silly Mistakes’ and update it after every mock-test I took.  This might look like an unnecessary time waste on the top of your already hectic schedule. But this is an effort giving time to. You can maintain what kind of silly mistakes you make, for example: ‘Calculation mistake’, ‘Missed some information’, ‘Misread the data’ and so on.  Keep the track of the mistakes you make repeatedly.
These small details are always at the back of our mind but this will definitely help you be more careful while solving questions. If 50% of your silly mistakes are due to misreading the details in the question, you better check the details twice before starting to solve the problem and likewise for other categories. As says the quote - “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” Well, this is the best way to know the devil known as Silly Mistakes.

       Distractions -
It’s hard to maintain concentration continuously for 3 hours and more so when you are in an examination where every second matters. The best way is to realize the importance of the examination. Before your mind wanders somewhere else, keep in mind that everything you have done boils down to those exam-hours. Make it clear that the only thing that matters is how you make use of those 3 hours. The perfect way is to live that time in a way you never regret later, do nothing which you later think shouldn’t have been done. You must enjoy the problems to realize distraction free examination. Forget about anything else and concentrate on the paper. I remember I used to take 2 tests at a stretch every day for getting used to sitting for long hours. I started this some 4-5 month before the final JEE and was almost regular. This is the kind of planning you need to do for getting top rank in JEE. You have to start early and be consistent. That’s the only way to get rid of persistent problems.

       Result Expectations -
That’s another big problem good student face during their exams. The pressure to perform well. Sometimes we expect too much from ourselves. And that takes a toll on our performance. It’s good to expect good result from yourself. but that is the last thing you should be worried about during the exam.
I remember during my JEE Advanced, It was the first paper. I attempted maths in the end. I had almost one and a half hour left when I started with it. I had to leave the 5 questions in a row in Math section, either they seemed lengthy or didn’t strike at that moment. Since I was expecting a rank under 100, it was kind of depressing. If I would have done calculations of my marks then, there is a high chance I could have gone under pressure. But I knew that whatever I had expected became immaterial once the exam commenced. It was just that paper and me, and what I did in that paper would determine my score not the rank I expected.
I suggest you forget what your teachers told you about your potential, what your parents expect from you and even what you think you can get. Everything matters till the last point of your preparation. And inside the Exam-hall everybody starts from a 0, and each question you do increases your score, that’s it. I never thought, What’s going to happen now? I won’t get under 100 rank, My marks will be very less and other things like that. And I am happy that I didn’t. I kept on doing questions that clicked and increasing my score, and in the end I had enough time to come back and successfully attempt those questions. Phew, Happy Ending!

       Lack of Speed -
That’s one hell of a problem and that too with no easy solution. The best you can do is plan your strategy well and do a lot of practice. You should take up enough number of tests to experiment all the possible sequences of attempting the paper and choose the one that suits you best. After having taken so many tests I realized Physics was my strength, boosted my confidence and didn't take much time, so, that was my first section to start with. Chemistry was not my strongest point, but I could do that in very less time, so it came second. And maths required a little more time and effort so it used to be the last.
Everyone can have his or her strategy but that should be well tested before going for the final examination. Also remember that it’s better to have a strategy but don't panic if things don't go as planned. I generally spent some 45min-1hr on physics, 30 min on chemistry and the rest for Maths and revision. But our JEE Main had quite good level of physics and it took me almost 75-80 mins just for the physics section.
Many students got stressed out and screwed up the exam, but guess what!? Maths was lot easier and I was done with both Chemistry and Maths within an hour left with plenty of time to go through the paper again. These are the conditions which test your exam-temperament. Keep your cool and never let your brain take up extra stress. You will end up in a win-win situation!

       Under or Over-Confidence -
Another thorn in the way to success. The balance in confidence is extremely important. A little lack of it or a bit over the required can ruin your hard-work. Your motto should be - “Expect the least and work for the best.” The perfect rule of thumb. Keeping your expectations low will ensure you are never over-confident. Those who are filled with confidence over the brim are surely going to over-estimate their potential and their expectations shoot up high.
Whereas working for the best ensures you give your 100% and that is enough to gain the required confidence. You might not score well in some mock-tests. You might be weak in some topics, but then since you are working your level best, there is nothing to be worried about. Better efforts should lead to more confidence rather than better score.
I can guarantee, keeping this in mind will fetch you the best rank you deserve. And since your 100% efforts will lead you to the score you deserve, nothing should lower your confidence. This makes exams more easier and fun to deal with!

Feel free to add up to this list and find similar solutions for all your problems. Exams won't be this much stress once you are done dealing with these devils!

I would be happy to help you with your doubts in the comments section :)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

The right approach to tackle JEE problems of kinematics

A large number of you have asked me about my approach to solve various problems. The million dollar question to answer is - how to think?
It is really hard to explain the thinking methodology in a blog post and so, I thought it'd be a good idea to rather make a video about it. I believe that you learn when you see things happen and so, instead of giving generic 'tips', I have taken concrete examples of 3 problems on kinematics and converted them to a video in which I have explained the right approach to solve them.
The goal is to not teach you kinematics. The goal is to teach you how to hit the problem from the very basic fundamentals.




Link: The video is also available here

I hope it will help you. Feel free to comment on the video or on the blog post.
Also, I would request you guys to please bear with me because I am not a professional video maker :)

Saturday, 17 September 2016

A guide for parents to help their child do his/her best

Every parent has an aim to see their child succeed in life. Sometimes, they fail to understand that instead of binding their expectations to their children, they rather enforce their expectations. Having spoken to a lot of parents, I feel that there was a need of an article to guide the parents.

Note: in this article, I will assume a child to be a male. I am not being gender biased. I am doing that simply to avoid the article looking ugly. Imagine I am writing ‘he/she’ everywhere. I tried that and that looked ugly and so, I am writing this disclaimer. Please don’t take it to your heart.

How a typical Indian parent’s mind works

India is in itself a huge society. These days, most people care about showing-off.
Oh, I own that fantastic jewelry that my cousin brought from USA
Oh, I went to a trip to Laddakh with my friends
Oh, my son is a topper in his school, which is the best school of the city
Oh, my son studies at IIT Bombay. Where does your son study? Private college? mmm…

We want to prove our supremacy. We want to show others that we are the best. Our aim is to prove to our neighbor that we have better amenities as compared to them.

I have spoken to several parents. I have seen that most of them simply want their son to crack IIT JEE and be an IITian. They want their son to be the topper of the class. They expect their son to follow as they (parents) say.

They fail to ask what the son wants to do. They never sit with their child and discuss what he likes. Dear parents, have you ever heard from your child about his likes/dislikes? Is he really interested in engineering? Is he enthusiastic about learning Physics, chemistry and maths? Does he see himself at an IIT in the near future? Does he want to be a guitarist? Author?

How happy are you to hear this from your son – mummy, I want to write books. I want to write poems. I want to write. I don’t want to be an engineer.

If the first thought that comes to your mind after hearing the above thing is – ‘what will society say? What will relatives say?’. Then dear ma’am/sir, you are not doing it the right way.

As a parent, your primary concern should be to understand the desires of your child. You know your child better than I do. You know what his potential is. I totally accept that. But, you should also listen to his likes and dislikes. Don’t, I repeat don’t enforce your expectations on him. He is barely 15 years old. Let him make a choice. I understand that he is not much aware of the best career choices. But that doesn’t mean you can enforce it on him. As a parent, it’s your duty to guide him make a better career choice. Ask him to speak to people in that industry. I am sure you have contacts who are engineers or doctors or whatever. Let him know the pros and cons – money vs happiness vs job security.

I seriously feel that there is a lack of communication between parents and children when it comes to academics. Students want to enjoy life. Parents want him to study and get better grades. The whole process is very unidirectional because in most cases, eventually the parents win and students have to bear it.

I am not being harsh. I am trying to lay the fact as they are.

You don’t have a right to enforce a career choice on your son. You rather have a duty to help him make an informed decision.

Educated vs not-so educated parents

I feel very sad to say that I have seen that no-so educated parents are apparently better than educated parents. I have observed that in most cases, educated parents are the ones who tend to enforce a career choice on their child.
My parents are among the no-so educated category of parents. They haven’t completed even graduation. In fact, my father couldn’t complete his schooling due to financial problems. But I proudly say that they are the best parents. They never forced me into engineering. They never burdened me with any career choice. They always supported me in whatever I wanted to do.

You don’t have a right to enforce a career choice on your son – They did the right thing of leaving it on me. They trusted me and they didn’t care if I could earn or not. My happiness was more important for them than telling the neighbor that their son earns 2 crores a year.

You rather have a duty to help him make an informed decision – My parents were not-so educated. Still, my father used to suggest me various options – ‘Aman, how about a chartered accountant? These days they are in high demand. You can consider this option’. ‘Aman, you can try being a neurosurgeon. Medical science is an excellent field; you will learn a lot.’

We are from a middle class family. Still, they never wanted me to earn a lot of money. They always told me – ‘be happy. We don’t need money. We are happy seeing your happiness.’

Expectations, expectations and expectations

I have seen that once the child starts his JEE preparation, all their parents want is that their son should be an IITian anyhow. They want nothing less than the IIT tag.

My question to all the parents is – why? Why do you want that IIT tag for your son? What’s wrong with a private college? Are all the successful people out their IITians? Is Satya Nadella an IITian? Are YOU an IITian?
Your duty should be to motivate your son to crack JEE and become an IITian. But simply forcing him to crack JEE by hook or by crook is wrong. That’s wrong parenting! You are simply injecting poison for your own self in his mind. I have talked to so many students who have started hating their parents because their parents are mad about IIT tag.

Why do students commit suicide? It’s because of your expectations ma’am. It’s because of you. It’s because your son loves you and he feels ashamed that he wasn’t able to meet your expectations.

Read the above paragraph once again.

It’s the time to wake up and understand that your son’s happiness is way more important than that IIT tag which you are mad about.

Motivate. Inspire. Help him become an IITian. Listen to that 15-year-old soul about his wishes. He will be happier to see you as a friend.

In the end, I would like to thank my parents for being by my side during all times of my life.
I remember how my father (who is an extremely short-tempered person) listened to all those sarcastic remarks from my school’s principal only for me. Believe me, he is just class 7th pass but he is more educated than you.

Let’s make this society an expectation-free society. Let’s teach our students how to learn. Let’s teach them how to compete with themselves. Let’s teach them that the best way to succeed is to be a better person than what you were yesterday. Let’s make this society a suicide-free society.

If any of you needs any guidance in this regard, feel free to contact me. I can try my best to give a deep insight into engineering and help you decide if engineering is the right career choice for your son or not.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Live Q/A session

UPDATE: Due to an examination rescheduling at the last minute, I won't be able to take the session at the time we decided. I will update you guys with the new time later.

Hello readers,
We will be conducting a live Q/A session on Thursday, 8th of September 2016 in which I will be available to answer all your queries. The session will start at 6.00 PM and end at 7.00 PM.

What do you get?
During this session, any (non-conceptual) doubt you post as a comment on this post will be answered by me. You can ask as many doubts as possible, but ask 1 doubt at a time. I will try to get more top JEE rankers if possible!

What are you waiting for? Start making a list of doubts now!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Experience of a Computer Science and Engineering student at IIT Bombay

I recently started a blog in which I will be writing about my experience at CSE, IITB
Here is the link: https://cseiitb.wordpress.com/

It won't contain any JEE related fundae. Lots of students approach me about off campus internships, IITB CSE curriculum, my projects and other guidance. So, I thought it would be a good idea to convert it to a blog.

Anyone interested is welcome to see it :)

The internship experience

I interned at Rubrik Inc., Palo Alto, CA, USA for the summers 2016.

What is an internship?
Not sure if you people are familiar with this term (I remember asking a senior after JEE got over). An internship is like a training period during which you work for a company. The internships are paid and company has to take care of you just like any other employee. So, an intern is like an employee, but for a short time. During the internship, the company judges the intern on his/her capabilities of being a part of the company in the long term and if everything turns out to be good, the company extends a full time offer.

What is Rubrik? What do they do?
Rubrik is a cloud storage company. A lot of you must be using Windows as your operating system, right? When Microsoft develops the Windows operating system, they have no idea about the configuration of your Lenovo/Dell/HP/Asus/etc laptop. So, Microsoft has to design Windows frugally because they have to support as many machines as possible. They have to cater to machines with 1 GB RAM and pentium processor. They are also supposed to support high end machines with several processor cores. But the point is that they have to minimize their resource usage. What about Apple? Apple manufactures both hardware and software and so, they are well aware of the configuration of the machine for which they are building the software (the operating system). So, they don't have to be frugal because they don't have to support that low configuration machine.
Rubrik is the Apple of backup and storage. All of the other backup and storage softwares don't manufacture hardware and so, they have to remain frugal like Microsoft. Rubrik wins the game by manufacturing 'briks' which is a backup hardware that runs software designed by Rubrik.

Let's talk about the internship now!

Getting there:

My friend Karan and I booked Emirates flight tickets from Mumbai to San Francisco via Dubai and Seattle. It was a long flight - about 27 hours. All that kept us awake was the smell of the food :P
Karan is my friend from IIT Bombay. He was AIR 12 in JEE 2013 and is presently in 4th year, B.Tech, CSE.
The stay:
Bay area was an awesome place, full of diverse people. They follow rules and regulations strictly. The shocking thing was that pedestrians have the right of way. If a pedestrian is crossing the road, the car will wait!
We visited Stanford
Computer Science museum at Google HQ
Biked across the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco
San Francisco city as seen from a ferry to Alcatraz island
Driving to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas
The city of Las Vegas
Casinos ;)
Eiffel Tower Casino in Las Vegas :D
New York Casino in Vegas
People are nice and helpful. Food is great. I faced a lot of problem in finding vegetarian food in my Germany intern last year. But, Bay area is full of Indian restaurants that serve both vegetarian and non vegetarian food.
Grand Canyon!
107th floor :D
The Bay area is insanely expensive. A 2 mile travel in the local train is as expensive as $6, which is about Rs. 400. I paid $1,300 per month as rent for my cosy little room in Palo Alto. Mark Zuckerberg stays in Palo Alto. Can you expect the prices to be cheaper than that?
The internship experience:
I worked with the awesome filesystem team to research about our existing file metadata store and I ported our distributed filesystem from database X to database Y (not sure if I'm allowed to disclose the information in a public forum).
At Rubrik, there is special emphasis on code quality. We try our best to ensure that the code that is checked-in is near perfect, both in terms of its performance as well as in terms of its understandability. We use many different programming languages.
I learnt lots of new things about C++ 11 during my internship.
My machine
The team:
The filesystem team has 4 super smart people. My mentor was from IIT Bombay (+ masters from UC Berkeley). My pseudo mentor was from Stanford. Rubrik team is made up of some real badass programmers.
I really enjoyed working at Rubrik. Many people are crazy about big tech companies. I feel that the bigger your company is, the smaller the fish will you be. At Rubrik, my work mattered. It was new and I didn't feel like I was just an intern. Working at a startup (that pays you more than Google ;) ) is fun!

How did I get selected at Rubrik?
I had to appear for 3 interviews, each lasting for about an hour. The interviews were all focused on my programming and problem solving abilities.

I cannot deny that a key factor in my selection was the fact that I was from IIT Bombay, CSE department. Rubrik team consists of several IITians. About half of the team is comprised of Indians and 90% of the Indians are IITians. So, there is an inherent bias towards IITians. This is not the case with just Rubrik. Any new Indian engineer you will meet in Silicon valley is probably an IITian. I met lots of people from different IITs in the Bay area via mutual connections. If you also want that silicon valley dream job of yours, work hard now. Be assured, it will pay off later.

PS: Return offer from Rubrik, yay!!