IISERs are the best institutes in India for those students who like pure science and are interested in Research. There are three ways to get admitted to IISERs- JEE Advanced, KVPY and IISER Aptitude Test. Let’s see how to prepare for IISER aptitude test.
Only those students who have scored more than the cut off marks will be eligible for writing the aptitude test. So first of all, you should study well for your board exam.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR IISER?
1. Have an Idea About The Question Pattern
IISER Aptitude Test is long way different from IIT JEE. JEE is based on your ability to solve numerals while IISER Aptitude Test is based on your knowledge in concept and your ability to apply concepts in problems. So, you should give more importance to NCERT Text Books than MCQ Books when you prepare for IISER.
My Analysis of the Question Paper:
There are 60 questions in the question paper of IISER Aptitude Test, 15 each from Biology, Chemistry, Maths, and Physics. You will get 180 minutes for answering the question paper, 3 minutes for each question. So one thing you should conclude from this is that speed and time doesn’t matter at all, for IISER aptitude test.
In the case of Biology, you must learn the NCERT Text Book completely. You can answer all the 15 questions from Biology if you have learned the Textbook well. Remember, they will ask even from the examples given in the NCERT. So use some MCQBooks having questions from NCERT ONLY.
In the case of Chemistry, you should stick to organic chemistry than physical and inorganic chemistry. That doesn’t mean you can leave those topics. It means, more questions are asked from organic chemistry- about 3-4 questions, all of them are from the Reactions of Organic compounds.
You can expect three simple numerical problems from chemistry, and maximum seven. All others are concept based questions.
In the case of physics, I must say you should have very very deep and sharp knowledge of the concepts. There will be 5-10 numerical and also there will be enough questions to confuse you with the concepts itself. The options for the questions will look identical, differentiating between them and choosing the right answer is really difficult.
Coming to Mathematics, it is moderate level when comparing with other exams. Again, around 12 problems will be there. Some of the questions in the model question paper are found to be IIT JEE questions of previous years, probably before 2000.
The common trend is that you should know the concept clearly and should be able to solve moderate level questions in each subject to crack IISER aptitude test.
2. Forget About Speed
IISER Aptitude Test is not about your problem-solving skill. It is about your knowledge in concept and hence they don’t check your problem-solving skills in the Test. They just want to know if you have a good base in the concepts and if you have a research mind. That is what I understand from analyzing the question paper.
You have 180 minutes for 60 questions. What I saw in the exam hall was so funny. Most of the students had completed their exam by 2 hours. In fact, a student can complete the exam in less than 2 hours. Expression and concept based questions do not need much time to solve. But you will get 3 minutes for a single question because it is IISER- where future scientists are raised up, and not engineers.
So forget about your speed. Take your time and try if you can solve the problem when you prepare for IISER. You will get enough time to review your question paper.
3. Refer Some Concept Based MCQ Books
Learning the NCERT by heart may not be enough to solve all the questions. So you have to refer some extra MCQ books when you prepare for IISER aptitude test. Go to a library or bookstall and find the book matching the criteria. Buying JEE based books for Physics, Chemistry and Maths would be a better choice. And remember, a book which does not have divided the questions into topics is better than which have divided, though they are rare in number.
4. Studying in Early Morning Is Better Than Late Nights
Early morning is better than late nights, psychologists say. Cause your mind is fresh and you don’t have any other thoughts in your brain going on, and the only one would be the exam preparation. So if you don’t have any idea when to study, early morning is a good choice. But if you know your best time, study at that time whether it is midnight or afternoon.
Try to sleep for a few minutes after studying. A recent study reveals that the students who sleep after studying can remember what they have learned 20% more than those who didn’t sleep! So, be scientific a little, you are a student of science!
5. Make Short Notes
Since you have a lot to learn, it would be difficult to remember everything and refresh what you have learned. Short notes will help you much here. Let it be very short- just words and not sentences. The short notes should be made in such a way that it will make you remember all the points when you see one or two words. You must prepare short notes for Chemistry and Biology since they are too broad. For physics, you should know all the equations. Solving more expression based problems will make a solid base.
6. Refresh Your Memory
Do not let your brain forget what you have learned once. Refresh your memory frequently. You have many chapters to remember and so you have to be so strict about refreshing what you have learned.
Read the short notes you prepared for a week on the weekend days. Spend 4-6 hours for this. And additionally, read the short notes you prepared for a month on the last day of the month. Spend a day or half a day for this. You should do it in a good planning so that none of the topics you learned once are forgotten later.
7. Do Something That Inspires You When You Feel Bored
When you feel bored, or when you are feeling lazy, do something that inspires you. It can be anything- the facilities in IISERs, inspirational speeches, dreams about future etc. Or, simply search the web about IISERs.
8. Refer Some Model Question Papers
To get an idea about the exam and to evaluate yourself, solve some model question papers or previous year question papers when you prepare for IISER. There are no model question papers available on the internet now, but there are previous year question papers.
You may also refer NISER entrance test called NEST, or National Entrance cum Screening Test’s previous year question papers too because they are similar in many ways. Both of them are for 5 years integrated BS-MS program, both of them have 60 questions, 15 from each subject. You can leave the GENERAL section of NEST question papers during your IISER preparation since they are not a part of IISER Aptitude Test
9. Be Confident, the Exam is Easy
Comparing with other exams, IISER Aptitude Test is easier. There are 1200 seats in IISERs all together, and the number of students applying for this course is comparatively less. And most of the students who get selected to IISERs don’t go for this course because they don’t like research. Probably they don’t know its value.
Answering 50 out of 60 right will ensure your seat in IISER. Around 40 right answers may be enough, but not sure. It won’t be enough for the coming years. The number of students applying for this course is doubling or tripling each year.
If you really love IISERs and you study well, you don’t have to fear of anything. Your seats are assured. But a little lagging or laziness may collapse your dreams.
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