As far as engineering entrances go, JEE is the holy grail of them all. While earlier AIEEE and IIT-JEE used to be different set of entrances, CBSE thought it prudent to merge the two so as to save the time and effort of the participating students. Thus was formed the JEE exam pattern as we see today.

What is the pattern for JEE exams?

  • The JEE exams are divided into JEE Mains and JEE Advanced. Both are conducted by the CBSE.
  • JEE Mains is a replacement for AIEEE and students clearing it will be eligible for admission in Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), National Institute of Technology (NITs), centrally funded technical institutes and State funded technical institutes. JEE Mains also serves as eligibility test/prelims for JEE Advanced.
  • JEE Advanced is the replacement for what used to be IIT-JEE. Any student wishing to get admissions in any of the IIT’s throughout the country must appear for JEE Mains and on clearing it becomes eligible for appearing in JEE Advanced.
  • No weightage will be given to the 12th boards’ marks for the ranking in JEE Mains. However, students should have scored at least 75% marks (65% for category students) in order to qualify for admissions.

JEE Mains

JEE Mains comprises of two parts, Paper 1 and Paper 2. Students can choose to appear for both of them or choose either one. Paper 1 is for B.E/B.Tech courses (both online and offline). It will be a 3 hour paper which will consist of questions from Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.

Paper 2 is for B.Arch/B.Planning courses (only offline).  This paper will also be for the duration of 3 hours and the will comprise of questions from Mathematics, Aptitude and Drawing.

JEE Advanced

This exam will comprise of 2 papers, both consisting of questions from Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Both the papers will be of 3 hours. The marking scheme will be slightly different from the Mains as these papers will have the concept of partial marks, full marks, negative marks and zero marks.

Preparing for JEE is different than preparing for your boards, even if most of the topics seem to overlap. The concepts and types of questions differ a lot, thus a student needs to make sure their preparation is not one dimensional.

Subject wise preparation tips – To get better understanding and control of the paper



If we look at the past 3 year physics papers of JEE, the topics which had the maximum number of questions were:

  • Modern Physics
  • EMI, AC/EM waves and Communication
  • Magnetic effects
  • Current Electricity
  • Electrostatics
  • Heat and Thermodynamics
  • Ray and wave optics
  • Gravitation and rotational mechanics

However, this does not mean that the other topics could be overlooked, as the JEE papers are known to change focus from time to time. It is advisable to have a clear understanding of the rest of the topics too.

Pay attention to the numerical from all the sections as they fetch most of the marks. 20% weight-age will be given to the practical aspects of physics, so it’s not something to pass over lightly.

Focus on the concepts and use them to solve problems of varying difficulty levels. Use every mode available to you, be it books, online reading/visual material, or coaching.

Make flash cards of the derivations, experiments and formulas and use them every day for revision. It’s a hassle free way of remembering even the most complex things.

Important books to refer for physics

  1. NCERT books 1 and 2
  2. Concepts of Physics by H.C.Verma
  3. Problems in General Physics by I.E.Irodov
  4. Arihant Physics/IIT-JEE Physics by D.C.Pandey
  5. Fundamentals of Physics by Resnick, Halliday and Walker


Chemistry - Test Tubes

If we look at the past 3 year question papers, the topics that had the maximum number of questions were:

  • Biomolecules
  • Organic chemistry
  • Functional groups
  • Chemistry of representative elements
  • Transition elements

These however, are trends which could change too. So it safer to not focus all your energies into these few topics.

It is important for the student to divide their attention between all three parts-Physical, Inorganic and Organic chemistry. Physical chemistry constitutes the majority of the questions, followed by Organic and then Inorganic.

It goes without saying that the Periodic tables, reactions and formulas should be revised regularly, so that you don’t have to struggle for remembering them during questions which race against time.

As with physics, use every mode of education and help possible. Prudent use of the internet will bring forth many useful platforms which provide interesting ways to learn, including visual aid.

Practice questions from different sources every day. Make sure to not get stuck in a rut of solving the same type of questions throughout, switch between topics and pay attention to questions related to atomic structure and chemical bonding as they have regular appearance in the papers.

Important books to refer for Chemistry

  1. NCERT books 1 and 2
  2. Physical and Organic chemistry by O.P. Tandon
  3. Numerical Chemistry by P. Bahadur
  4. Concise Inorganic Chemistry by J.D.Lee


Mathematics - Derivatives

The past 3 year question papers show the following topics having the biggest share in the questions:

  • Matrices and determinants
  • 3-D Coordinate geometry
  • Quadratic equations
  • Inequalities
  • Progressions
  • Conics
  • Indefinite and definite integrals and area under the curve
  • Applications of derivatives
  • Limits, continuity and differentiability

Mathematics is considered to be the toughest part of JEE, which could only be won by constant practice that increases speed and accuracy. Along with the correctness of the answer, it is equally important how fast you do it.

Algebra, trigonometry, coordinate geometry and calculus are considered to be some of the important, recurring topics in JEE. Lay special emphasis on learning these from scratch, making your concepts clear.

Mock tests are the easiest ways to show where you lack and what your strong points are. Make them a regular habit along with your preparation.

Books to refer for Mathematics

  1. NCERT part 1 and 2
  2. Class 11th and 12th mathematics by R.D.Sharma
  3. Trigonometry and Geometry by S.L.Loney
  4. Higher algebra by Hall and Knight
  5. Problems in Calculus by I.A.Maron

10 Overall tips to perform better in JEE

  1. The competition is stiff and the difficulty level is fairly high. These being the odds, it’s still possible to ace these papers through dedicated studies. Prepare a timetable and stick to it.
  2. Time management is crucial, and so if forming short-term and long term goals. These will be important for covering maximum ground in each subject while constantly testing oneself.
  3. Don’t overlook the Board exams while preparing for the competitive exams. Many students make the mistake of ignoring the Boards to give preference to others, thus jeopardizing their admission criteria itself. Remember, it’s important to score the minimum percentage in your boards to be considered for admissions, no matter what your rank in the competitive exams is. And the syllabuses are more or less the same, so better focus on both.
  4. Apart from the NCERT pick up and focus on select books which help your concepts better. Don’t follow the crowd and choose books which your peers have just because, find out which author is able to explain best. Also, it’s wiser to not switch between many books for any singular topic as it might confuse more than it explains.
  5. Don’t leave any topics undone during your preparation, no matter how dreary or boring they are. Be it Maths, Physics, or Chemistry every subject has equal chances of fetching marks. Preparing well in advance ensures you have less pressure during the end.
  6. Make use of websites which aid your studies in interesting ways. Dare2Compete is one such website which has countless quizzes and competitions for every subject which a student can participate in. This is a fun way to revise what you already know and learn new concepts for JEE.
  7. The official JEE website has mock/sample papers and also previous year papers. Practice them thoroughly and make use of similar materials on different websites.
  8. Time your tests. Completing the paper on/before time is a skill that will only come if you have practiced enough. Practice brings accuracy which brings speed. And in every competitive exam, time management matters the most.
  9. Keep up to date with the official notifications. The JEE papers have gone through major changes in the past, and it would not do if you get left behind on any possible change in the future.
  10. These exams are crucial to your future, so its imperative that you distance yourself from things that might distract your preparations. However, this should not be confused with complete isolation.

Turn towards your hobbies in your free time to relax, and reach out to your parents and teachers for counseling if you feel overwhelmed.

With regular practice, focus and a determined mind, JEE could be tackled well. Don’t lose sight of your goals, but remember to cut yourself some slack too. These exams don’t ever decide your personal worth, your mind does. Best of luck!


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