With the reputation of being one of the toughest segments of the JEE Main Paper I, here’s what experts suggest on how to fine-tune your revision tactics to help you ace Mathematics.

The March session of JEE Main 2021 has concluded and the April spell of this engineering entrance exam is scheduled to begin from 27th. Mathematics is considered to be the toughest segment of JEE Main Paper I, held for admission to B.E./B.Tech courses. Apart from mathematics, this paper also consists of physics and chemistry. Marks allotted for each subject is 100, taking the total to 300 and the time duration is 3 hours. Here is a bird’s eye view of the mathematics segment of JEE Main Paper I.

With the JEE Main April session almost knocking at the door, aspirants are busy with their last-minute revisions. Well, revision is a crucial factor behind your score in a tough national level competitive exam like this. Apart from high difficulty level of questions, the dynamic nature of the exam pattern also makes JEE extremely challenging. “The pattern keeps changing frequently. This year, internal choice has been introduced in the exam. Earlier, candidates had to attempt all the 25 questions asked. Now they have to answer 25 out of 30 questions. The choice is in the questions on Numeric Value,” says Mr. Amit Gupta, Centre coordinator and HOD, Mathematics, FIITJEE, East Delhi.

Every subject needs to be revised well before exams. But the mathematics segment of JEE Main Paper I demands a little more time, practice and strategic approach, thanks to the tricky and puzzling nature of questions. As you burn the midnight oil, here are expert tips that will fine-tune your revision tactics and help you ace mathematics in JEE Main 2021.

Focus on important topics

While going through every topic during your revision, allot a little more time for the ones that have higher weightage in the exam. According to Gupta, these areas need extra attention during the last leg of preparation. The topics are positioned in the order of importance:

(1) Differential Calculus-3 to 4 questions

(2) Integral Calculus-3 to 4 questions

(3) Coordinate Geometry-3 to 4 questions

(4) Matrices and Determinant (including System of Equations)-2 to 3 questions

(5) Vectors and 3D-2 to 3 questions

(6) Algebra-6 to 7 questions

(7) Trigonometry-2 to 3 questions

“Students also need to answer one question each from Mathematical Reasoning and Statistics. Another important area to focus on would System of Equation, a sub-topic under Matrices and Determinants,” adds Gupta.

Strengthen your grasp on calculus

Practice is the key to perfection, while it comes to calculus. “In order to sharpen your skills on calculus, one needs to be very clear about the concepts of the chapter called Functions. One has to be conversant with various functions, their properties and definition as well the graphs and types of mapping,” says Gupta.

Be a master of coordinate geometry

According to Gupta, the two most important chapters of this subject are Straight Line and Circle. “If the basic concepts of these two topics are absolutely clear, then candidates can easily handle the Conic Section of Coordinate Geometry very well. It will be a good idea to prepare a chart on a single sheet for three topics of the Conic Section: Ellipse, Parabola and Hyperbola. In this chart, students should write their definitions, properties and standard equations,” he suggests.

Avoid common mistakes

Calculation error, according to Gupta, is the most commonly observed mistake in JEE maths paper. “This is the result of a hurried approach,” he observes. Students need to sit for this paper with a very calm mind. “They also need to ensure that their concentration is at its peak in the examination hall. Apart from this, rigorous practice will reduce the chance of calculation error,” says Gupta.

Take as many mock tests as possible

During the last moth of preparation, it’s very important to take mock tests at home. “There are more than 100 practice papers available online. The more you practise, the lesser are the chances of mistake,” adds Gupta. He suggests that JEE aspirants should take one mock test every day, a month prior to the exam. “The tests should be time bound and students should analyse their test. It’s very important to list the mistakes, track the error pattern and find reasons behind them. The mistakes generally arise from inappropriate application of formula and wrong understanding of the question,” he says.

Practise writing the difficult formulae and equations

The best strategy would be to list down the difficult formulae or equations from every chapter and make short notes on each. “Revise these notes at regular intervals through the day and write them down from time to time. Repeated written practice is the best way to strengthen your recall,” suggests Gupta.

Do not aim all the questions

If you are not too confident about your Maths preparation, a smart trick would to cut down on the number of questions you attempt. “For them, it will be good to target 18-20 questions instead of 25. This will lessen the load and ease the tension as well, leaving them with more time for the questions they are at ease with. This selective method will also reduce the chance of negative marking. If students can score full marks in the 20 questions they attempt, their overall percentile will improve, and help them get admission to good colleges,” says Gupta.

Smart tricks for the exam hall

Apart from formulating the right revision strategy, students need to follow some exam hall tactics to boost their performance. Here are Gupta’s suggests for the D-Day:

• Try to finish your Chemistry paper a little early and utilise this extra time to solve mathematics problems. This is because the calculations of mathematics are time consuming.

• During the first five minutes, read all the instructions carefully, choose the easy questions and start with them. Move on to the difficult ones at a later stage.

• Do not answer questions that you don’t know if you want to avoid negative marking. However, you can take a little risk for the non MCS questions, where there is no negative marking.

(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in Hindustan Times. The original article can be found at https://www.hindustantimes.com/education/competitive-exams/jee-main-2021-last-minute-math-revision-tips-for-b-e-b-tech-aspirants-101616155295161.html)