Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Effect of COVID on Students preparing for Entrance Tests like JEE and NEET

COVID has affected almost every aspect of our day to day life, and the education sector is no exception, probably one of the most affected ones. Almost in all the countries, the educational institutes are closed in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID. As of 7 June 2020, about 1.7 billion learners are currently affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic. As per UNICEF, 134 nations are presently implementing nationwide closures, and 38 are implementing local closures, impacting about 98.5% of the world’s student population.

Now coming to what’s happening in our nation and especially for the students aiming for entrance tests like JEE and NEET, I will start with what the students who were ready to face these exams in April and May this year. Typically in India, due to the stiff competition for prestigious IIT or MBBS seats, a student prepares roughly for two to four years to achieve this dream. Now when they were gearing up for these exams and almost completed the board examinations, COVID came as unlikely destruction, and they got informed on the night of 19 March that exams will be postponed.

Students getting anxious due to new postponements

Few days after they were told that the exam will now be taken in July-August. It was a setback to them, but still, they digested the news with the hope that this extra time will help them prepare well and improve their weaker links. One good thing announced by National Testing Agency, NTA, is that they released an app called NTA Abhyas, which will provide one mock test daily for JEE Main and NEET, and it’s a very well made app. Till date, it’s doing that for 54 days now, giving the student an excellent testing platform without any cost.

But as time progressed, the situation started getting worse with each day, and almost 15 days before the scheduled JEE Main HRD minister announced that the exams are further postponed to September. Now, this tareekh pe tarrekh style of HRD minister is making them nervous and increasing their stress as it is still looking unlikely that exams will be conducted in September or not. Notably, the students who have prepared hard are now finding it tough to focus now. They are wondering that IITs and others have announced a complete semester to be conducted virtually and if they are not in a position to call students on the campus why there’s a rush to conduct these exams. For mentors like us also it’s tough to help them plan strategies because things are getting far worse each day with India now recording 25K+ patients every day. Plus, these students are not the priority for coaching institutions as they have already paid what they were supposed to, and they have become a sort of a liability to them. For coaching, newer students are always the priority because they have to milk more money out of them.

Adaptations by coaching classes

For students who have entered class XI and XII this session, they are exposed to online mode of teaching, which is new to most of them plus new for the coaching institutes as well. In India still, the majority share of test preparation market is with brick and mortar model of coaching. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, almost all coaching institutes have tried to adapt to this unexpected change, but here instead of invention, they are mostly in a jugaad mode, you can say. They all are reluctant to invest in the technologies mostly because they still believe it’s a temporary phenomenon. When it started in March, no one expected it would last till July. Now it seems it might go on even in the next session. Also, because most of the teachers also were not accustomed to this mode of teaching, what we are seeing is that the learning experience, which wasn’t the best even before, has deteriorated even further. There have been too many instants of network disruptions as you see jokes on social media that student reciting counting says 55 after 44 as the network was lost when the numbers in between were taught. Even the experiences from those million dollar startup’s who are feel this as their Paytm moment after demonetization are also far from satisfactory.

Many institutes are trying to find out the best alternatives even by adapting their strategies frequently. However, still, no one seems to have come up with the magical formula partly because I feel peer to peer discussions and doubt solving sessions are very important in this learning process. But I am hopeful this experience will help to develop some hybrid model down the line which I feel is the best way to deal and even scale-up,

The problems are more for students who have taken admission to an institute for the first time and don’t know any teacher, and the teacher also doesn’t know anything about him. Plus, most institutes are in a rush to cover the syllabus and demand the next installment of fees without actually caring about what is learned by students.

This pandemic has hit the cash flows of schools and coaching institutes poorly. Hardly any school or institute is paying their employees their full salary even many haven’t paid anything since March. Many employees have been asked to leave. Almost all coaching institutes has seen a drop up to 50-70% in admissions, plus those taking admissions are also not depositing the requested fee. I fear many small schools and coaching institutes won’t survive this pandemic. The situation looks very bad for them.

Plus, one thing that I will like to point out is that hardly any school or coaching is concerned about counselling the students about the judicious use of Gadgets, and some are even having 5-6 hrs, daily classes. So students screen times have crossed more than 8 hrs as he has to read and practice questions also from Pdf files, and it'll effect their eyes and mental health. I fear we are pushing them to become digital zombies. However, some have sent hard copies via courier to students to take care of this aspect.

Possible long term future for coaching classes

From this experience of more than 120 days of this teaching in pandemic times, I feel that 100% online mode of learning won’t work for 15-year-old kids. The personal connection with the teacher , the bond we talk of is missing plus peer to peer discussion is also absent in this. Plus, you don’t have that motivated students who will attend these lectures daily and complete their assignments. Even the innovation in imparting concepts using digital tools is missing badly. No course provider matches 10% of the quality you see on Coursera. But still, I believe online learning is there to stay but as a supplementary and complementary to our traditional teaching modes. Also, I am hopeful there will be some who are keeping student and learning in focus and will come out with some outstanding solutions, and as I said, hybrid learning models should evolve in the meantime. Also, it would be better if agencies declare that the exams will be conducted only after the pandemic situation is improved. They would be intimated 45 or 60 days before the examination dates.

(This was written by me for chalknews.in -https://chalknews.in/editorials/effect-of-covid-on-students-preparing-for-entrance-tests-like-jee-and-neet/)

Friday, July 17, 2020

JEE and other Engineering Entrance Councelling Helpline

















To help you in this critical result and counseling period I am starting a personalized counseling services for you to take care of all the hassles and tensions of this period at a very nominal price of Rs. 500/ only. To know more drop an email at siddharth@yourssid.com.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

70 Days Preparation Strategy to Crack NEET 2020



Hello Friends

Yesterday Dr Nishank our HRD Minister announced that the NEET2020 exam scheduled on 26th of July is now rescheduled to  13th September.It was not unexpected because the situation as it is panning out, it is quite clear that holding such a large exam of 15-16 Lakh students on a single day throughout the country is impossible.

But still this is heartbreaking specially for those students who are preparing very hard and were really geared up to realize the dream of becoming a doctor by cracking the exam on 26th of July.


Now you must be wondering how will I prepare the next 70 days as I have already done the syllabus very well , given all tests scored well now what else to do? This article is for all for those who have done well and for those who haven’t prepared so well.Exactly I’m not going to tell any strategy as I am not let me say I’m not a superman or I have a magic formula that it take this one spoon for 70 days and you will become a doctor.

You will have to chalk out your strategy yourself as you know yourself better than anyone else. I will only be suggesting some guidelines that can help you prepare well in the 70 days.


1. Stay Positive 

 Firstly I’ll say be positive and have self belief , you have to be really positive at this time your family, your friends could sense your positivity and you should be feeling that I’ll make the full use of this extra time, lets say if I was scoring 600 marks don’t worry I will now try for 650+, if I was scoring 450 marks I am thinking that I will have to drop one more year, so now that’s the opportunity ,

now let us try for 600+ score this time. This might be the blessing in disguise for me!

Can you jump from 450 to 600+ ? Yes, why not!

How to do this will try to figure it out


2. Do a Reality Check of Where you Stand Today

Firstly I’ll ask you to prepare a list of all the topics make sure which topics you are good in and which topics are giving you some anxious moments.Before starting the preparation you must be clear what you know at present.

Now for this look at the sample it’s sort of matrix see all the columns and check what you know and what you don’t know.


If any two check boxes are not checked that means the topic is not strong,and now I’ll advise devote the first 15 days in overcoming your weaker areas. Just remember the weakness can be worked in the initial period only because in the last we will only be relying on our strength. Our strengths are only going to fetch us the marks.

If in these 15 days you can add 3-3 more topics in each subject that means effectively you can add nine questions and nine questions means 36 marks and 36 marks means 5% and 5% marks can make or  break your chances.

This is easily achievable in these 15 days.

 

3. Make a Study Schedule and Follow it religiously

Now then make a study timetable and follow it religiously. Apart from this exercise or practice yoga daily for it least 20 to 25 minutes and that too in the first one hour after you wake up in the morning.After waking up do something which makes you sweat and that will is going to definitely give very much positivity to you that will make up your mood and being a bio student you know better than me what it does to your mood.


4. Increase study time gradually

Now since this news might be a heart break  for You so I will just say initially start with 7 to 8 hours study and as you progress towards the exam increase it to 8 to 10 hours and then from 10 to 12  hours I myself have never studied more than that so I won’t say study for more than 12 hours.

Not talking about our target let’s say for a student from general category of Rajasthan to get an MBBS seat he needs to aim for at least 600+ marks. The ideal combination for this is score 320+ in biology score 150+ in chemistry and 130+ in physics.

Keeping in mind this combination biology becomes very important because we have to score the max in biology so I will say if you study for 10 hours devote 4 and 1/2 hours or you can say roughly 45% of the time to biology.

Similarly 30 to 35% time to physics and remaining time to chemistry.It’s not necessary that you have to study all three subjects in the same day you can study even one or two but I’ll see at least two subjects in a day must be studied.

Physics is specifically I will say study physics in that time when your mind is more alert more receptive preferably in the morning hours let’s 8 to 11 or 9 to 12 or maybe if you are comfortable in the evening or late night you can do that.


5. Learn from Past but don't live in the Past

If you are weak in one subject don’t make that memory loss so long key it will remain weak it was weak okay learn from your past but don’t live in your past . You have to learn from past not to live in the past. Work on the weakness and try to make it your strength.


6. Patience and Dedication

For getting success in such exams you need four things commitment, dedication, patience and hard work remember dedication and discipline will beat the intelligence and giftedness every day in the week. Have faith in your abilities, there might be a student who was more intelligent was scoring more than your marks in each test but now have a believe that you can chase him you can do better than him.You are not competing with anyone else you’re competing with yourself try to improve that to become a better person more better examination temperament with each passing day.

For detailed subject wise study strategies I will be posting some videos pretty soon.I’ll be talking to my friends who are experts in different subjects to come up with very useful ideas.


7. Tests Frequency

Next I want to discuss about what should be the ideal test frequency now. If you have already given too many test for example NTA has released 47 tests till now then I will say for initial let’s say 3 to 4 weeks give only single test per week and that preferably from that NTA Abhyas app.

No point in giving daily test for example if you’re scoring 500 every time what is the use now it’s time to 1st increase your range first have  learn something extra  that you can help score more.

For next three weeks give two tests per week preferably one from NTA and one from your institute test series.

For last 3 to 4 weeks you can give 3 to 4 days per week again two from NTA and two from your institute test series.

No need to give more tests than that and just remember give all these tests from 2 to 5, the time that you are going to appear in the NEET examination have your biological clock set in that mode never sleep from 2 to 5 in the day time every day and make your mind receptive at that time practice questions at that time


These are some basic guidelines that I have discussed with you I have not gone into the details .Because I believe it is you who have to devise your own strategy it’s your battle I can only help from outside. I haven’t seen you I haven’t met you once I’m talking gradually I don’t know you are good in chemistry or you are bad in physics I am giving only some suggestions based on my experience and on the basis of what my students have done in all these years thanks for reading.

 

Here's the same message in form of video



Monday, June 22, 2020

Physics Solutions and Analysis of NTA Abhyas NEET test 32 and Test 33

In these videos you will find solutions and my commentary on the Physics part of NEET test 32 and 33 released by NTA on Abhyas APP. You can contact me via my facebook page . #NEETNTA #NEETPHYSICS #NTATEST32 #NTATESTSolutions



Saturday, June 20, 2020

Physics Solutions and Analysis of NTA Abhyas NEET Tests

Well seeing the popularity of the mock tests released daily by NTA on Abhyas app and the constant bombardment of questions from my students who give these tests sincerely, I have finally started making video solutions of the NEET tests daily. It’s also an attempt to reach out to the aspirants through this online mode. Hope they will be benefited.

I am putting up real-time solutions plus the short commentary about the concepts and utility wherever  I felt the needed.

Physics Solutions and Analysis of NEET Test-31





Physics Solutions and Analysis of NEET Test-30



Monday, June 01, 2020

Will the JEE/NEET examination be postponed further due to the extension of lockdown?

With the new guidelines , chances of JEE/NEET exams to be conducted as per announced schedule seems difficult. Since many parts of metro cities are still under containment zones it seems very tough. But again exam is 45 days away and things can turn positive also.
Plus in these 45 days you have to watch out for state board exams like Rajasthan state education boards have on 18 June, even CBSE has exam dates in July and if they are conducted successfully then there’s still a chance that they might be able to conduct on declared dates.
But being a student you should not be worrying and tracking all these news items, I will advise you to continue with your revision schedule. Be +ve and if get more time learn more to score more. Happy Learning!!
All the best👍