What is your score in the exam?
I scored 319 marks out of a total of 376 marks that made a percentile of 99.9899.
When did you start your preparation? Tell us something about your preparation strategy and daily routine?
I started preparing in class 11th. My preparation strategy was very simple to crack the exam with flying colours. I used to come back from home and relax for two or three hours. After that I used to go to Pratham for my regular classes and learnt new tricks to solve the questions and time management as well. Mock tests, and discussion classes to solve queries at Pratham helped me a lot to achieve this milestone.
Did you take coaching? What are the benefits of coaching according to you?’
Yes, I enrolled myself in the two year endurance program. Coaching is extremely beneficial since it helps you understand the way in which a question is to be approached in a competitive exam.
Mock tests and sample papers – how extensively did you practise with the help of these? Do you think practising from the previous year papers help and how?
I feel that mocks are the key to crack this exam. I did not practice the last year exams because there was a different agency that was conducting the exam so the chances of changes were quite high. But yes I did a lot of mocks which is around more than 50.
Are there any special books that you feel have helped during your preparation?
I prepared from the assignments. In addition to that I referred to Pearson’s book for practice in maths section.
Any tips for next year applicants?
Firstly if one is conceptually strong in mathematics (that is well versed with CBSE syllabi 9-12) half of the job is done. In two-three months period, after the boards (when I actually started studying) one can build up on the knowledge by doing MCQs of various question banks or the material provided by the coaching centres. Same principle holds good for logical reasoning section.
Coming to English- again if you are fond of reading books and regularly scan national dailies or listen to English news channel, then this section is not too tough. Of course, you need to practice a lot of questions, do at least 10 words of vocabulary every-day and revise them regularly, learn idioms and phrases and be well versed with the rules of grammar.
Thirdly, coming to GK, which was mine and I guess everyone’s Achilles’ heel.
You need to do at least 50-80 questions of GK every-day, followed by repeated revisions. Coaching centres provide monthly compendium, which are more or less enough. Finally, your parents are your biggest support!