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There is much to discuss here.
Regarding routine and schedule:
1) Try to set aside about 5 hours on working days and about 12 hours on non-work days.
2) The optimal schedule for me is an afternoon nap for about 2 hours. If you have been working since the morning (at school or at home), you tend to be less productive in the afternoon. You better take a nap and study late at night.
3) When you take a break from school (fall break, break before and after class), try getting fewer hours of sleep – 6 hours worked fine for me. My usual schedule was to get up at 7 am, work until afternoon, take a nap from 3 pm to 5 pm, work until 3 am and sleep from 3 am to 7 am.
Do not sleep until late in the morning. Sleep 2-3 times a night to avoid feeling tired the next day.
Change the habit of napping this afternoon close to the exam (about a week).
4) Try to use school time: CBSE requires 75% attendance. Unless you really learn a lot in the lessons, you don’t need to go any further than that. You can skip going to school when there are fewer lessons. Use your free time at school to study. Do not waste unnecessary time completing practical files – complete them as soon as possible.
5) Take a 20-30 minute walk/run/bike ride to refresh yourself in the evening.
Some general tips:
1) Avoid working in bed: You tend to be more lethargic in bed.
2) Keep your phone (if any) a few meters away from you while studying.
I recommend the Four Step Approach suggested by Manmohan Gupta (math teacher at VMC):
Stage 1 – Learning Stage
What you need to do at this stage
(a) Try the problem. Do not jump to the solution immediately. Try for at least 5-20 minutes. 5 minutes if you do not understand the question correctly, 20 minutes if you get an idea or almost solve it. In other words, the average time spent on each question should be around 10-15 minutes. If you have solutions, look at them, otherwise tick them and see the solutions later.
(b) Mark the levels. After reviewing the solutions, you need to decide on the level of the problem and mark it with each question. There can be 4 levels.
Easy: If you can fix the problem in less than 5 minutes (even without looking at the solution), the problem is easy.
Average: If you can solve it just by looking at the solution, the problem is average. In less than 1 minute you look at the solution and get the idea. Or you can do it yourself by working hard and spending more time solving it.
Difficult : The problem is difficult if you can’t do it yourself (after spending a lot of time) and you spend more time on each step to understand the solution and have some difficulty in understanding the steps. But in the end he was able to understand the solution very well.
Very Difficult: If you do not understand the question, or if the question is clear but you think the solution is almost impossible to understand, or if you think the question is wrong or the solution is wrong, mark the problem as very difficult. Do not waste your time with such questions. Maybe you can deal with them later when you have time. But at this stage they are useless and drag your confidence down.
This phase ends after the leveling is done. This is a Learning phase where you learn ideas/tricks to solve questions that you cannot do on your own.
Stage 2: Holding Stage
At this stage you need to appear for a test. The questions of the test will be average and difficult questions that you marked in step 1. Count only the questions you marked as average or difficult. Assuming they are X, the test time should be 60x/25 minutes. If the time is more than 210 minutes, you can divide the questions equally and solve 2 tests.
You should take the test very seriously. It should be like the tests you see at the center. Taking these tests will improve your skills below.
Speed: Since you know the ideas of most of the questions, try to be a little quick, especially when solving questions that you know who you are going to solve. This will increase your fast typing speed.
Accuracy/perfection: Try to be as accurate as possible. There is no room for calculation errors. If you find that you made a mistake in more than 5% of the questions, focus on that and say “NO ERRORS!!” before taking the test. Make a strong recommendation. If you make your perfection a goal, you will start to see results after a few tests.
Concentration: There is a concentration difference when you study normally or take an exam. Your concentration level is much higher when testing. So these tests will help you improve your concentration regularly. So while doing these tests, make an environment that should resemble the environment you encounter in the test center (I know it’s possible to the limit, but try to do it as much as you can). Don’t answer the phone, don’t answer the doorbell, don’t stand up for water, don’t listen to what others are talking about in the house, no music, and don’t daydream (live in your thoughts).
Sitting habit: Everyone is very restless in today’s world. Do you know why? Lots of events around us. Therefore, it is very difficult to stay on one thing for long, like sitting at a desk and a chair and studying for hours. If you practice FPA, it will help you develop your potential to sit and work long hours.
Stage 3: Empowerment Stage
After finishing phase 2, where you take an exam based on selected questions, you should review your performance. If you are unable to solve more than 85-90% of the questions, you should repeat what you did in Stage 2 to strengthen your preparation. This is stage 3 where you will take the test again. Do it after 4-5 days break. You can even change some of the scores before you take the test, like you can re-mark some average questions as easy or hard questions as average or averagely hard. This phase will further improve your preparation and understanding of the subject.
In fact, if any subject is not important or your time is limited, you can skip this step.
Stage 4 : Finishing Stage
The Closing Stage is a very important stage as it makes the final act. This is the fourth and final stage where you verbally review all questions. This phase should come 4-8 days after the strengthening phase.
Let’s say you have 50 marked questions (average and hard) that you want to review. Wait 30 seconds for each question. So you can spare 25 minutes for 50 questions. Go through each question and try to remember the trick/steps/concepts you used to solve that question. If you can’t remember within 15 seconds, tick the question and move on to the next question. You do not need to use a pen at this stage. Just verbally remembering tricks/concepts from your mind. Repeat this for all questions. After all the questions are finished, look at the solutions to see the marked questions and try to learn their ideas.
You should be able to remember the ideas of 90% of the problems. If less, you need to repeat this step after a few days.
Now this can be difficult and time consuming to follow, so I propose a modified version of this:
Stage 1: Learning stage
This remains the same as above. Instead of marking questions at more than one level, you can mark questions that you think require repetition. (For very difficult problems, follow as suggested in the original approach.) Mark the questions using a pencil, as you will need to change the signs as you continue.
Stage 2: Hold/Strengthen stage
Timed testing is not always necessary. Take a test sometimes timed, sometimes indefinitely – whatever suits you. Do only marked issues. Change the flags: If you can easily fix a flagged problem, uncheck it. In your next exercise, you should not do this problem again.
Repeat this step until you feel comfortable with most of the questions.
Stage 3: Finishing stage
same as before
Note that it is the learning phase that takes the most time: If the learning phase takes 20 hours, the other two phases can be completed in less than 10 hours.
More about the learning phase:
For each issue, do the following:
1) Read and understand the problem completely. Try to understand the intuition – draw a figure or visualize the scenario.
2) Try to find out which equations/concepts are related to the problem. You can start by listing all the ideas and formulas discussed in a chapter, and once you understand the problem, scan the list and for each item on the list ask yourself if the problem is related to the current problem. Next, you shouldn’t use the list, and you should be able to recall the necessary results from memory: Because your brain does a random search using a list instead of a linear search, it’s much harder to remember from memory than using a checklist.
3) For each item (from list or memory), try using it for the problem at hand. See if you can use it to fix the problem. Most of the time, you can’t fix the problem using a single idea:
You may have knowledge of A, but the formula requires knowledge of B and another knowledge of C – which is the solution. So for the remaining formulas, you should not only try to go directly from A to C, but also see if you can get from A to B, because then that result will get you from B to C.
Similarly, it can get you from A to B while you need C. Then in the remaining formulas, you should check directly from A to C in addition to B to C.
4) At the end of the above process, you either successfully solved the problem or you couldn’t. But in any case, you have a reasonable understanding of the problem. If you couldn’t solve it, you should go to the solution: Skip the solution only when you have tried all the formulas in the list and cannot see a clear way to continue. (If you’ve tried all the formulas and have some ideas that might work, don’t read the solution. If you haven’t tried them all, keep trying these ideas.)
Understand all the ideas used in the solution. Now most students move on to the next problem. THIS IS WRONG. You need to spend some time analyzing the solution.
– If you couldn’t solve the problem, see where you got stuck. You must be missing some information that the solution somehow gets. Observe this carefully.
– If you have solved the problem but the answer is wrong, see why the formula you are using gives the wrong answer: Often, formulas are valid under certain conditions and students tend to use them when they are not applicable. Make sure you can find the error. Otherwise, discuss it with your friends or teachers (or post on some online forum like Quora).
When you analyze the solution in this way, you get to know the concepts in more detail and know when to use it when you see a similar scenario in the future.
This is a complete process for solving a problem. This can take significant time for some problems and less time for other problems (mainly dependent on the number of relevant formulas in the list). But the good thing is that you don’t have to sit by the book all this time. Many of these steps, such as analyzing the problem, thinking about what ideas might be useful for a problem, analyzing the solution, are doing less constructive work.
Again, you may need to tweak this a bit if it takes too long, but you’ll need to roughly follow this up to hone your problem-solving skills.
I wouldn’t recommend skipping any less important topics. Review (and practice) everything at least once, and then focus more on the important ones. If you skip topics, you may not be able to solve a very simple question from a not so important topic in the exam. Or some problems may require a little insight into something trivial that you cannot.
Choose a few good books with many issues. Solve these problems: both subjective and multiple choice.
Subjective problems will help you build your concepts, while practicing MCQs will help you learn smart tricks that are useful in the exam. As you practice MCQs, try to develop this smart thinking skill: see if you can quickly eliminate a few options or get the right answer straight away without actually solving the problem.
Thoroughly build the VMC modules you have.
For physics, HC Verma is recommended by most (although I have no experience with it), so stick with it. Another problem-solving book is New Pattern IIT JEE by DC Pandey.
For inorganic chemistry, I found OP Aggarwal quite nice, although he has a lot of additional information, but the concepts are explained correctly, which helps you remember facts more easily.
Stick to the reactions in the VMC modules for Organic Chemistry. Other references have much more non-significant reactions. Don’t study Morrison-Boyd: IIT is not targeted for JEE. You will end up wasting some of your time.
You can also apply Physical and Organic Chemistry from OP Aggarwal.
I don’t know of a specific reference for math. Choose from the standard refresher or question sets of some coaching institutes.