THE 3 MISTAKES OF MY LIFE - THE STORY OF A JEE ASPIRANT

Blazing goIITian

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14 Jun 2010 20:02:44 IST
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14 Jun 2010 20:02:44 IST
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THE 3 MISTAKES OF MY LIFE - THE STORY OF A JEE ASPIRANT
Engineering Entrance , JEE Main , JEE Main & Advanced , academic , Motivational

THE 3 MISTAKES OF MY LIFE

 

 
This is my story, a guy who thought that the JEE was much different than any other exam, that it stresses upon understanding rather than memorizing, that it is nothing like the CBSE. Is it really so?

 

Here is my story.

 

I was always interested in philosophy and cosmology/astronomy. I read books upon books and encyclopedias on "space, astronomy, the universe etc." I wouldn't say, I was a nerd, but yes, these happened to be my side interests.

 

The interests were reawakened when an astronomy programme was started in our school by an Indian astronomy organization called S.P.A.C.E. (www.space-india.org).

 

It was hell lot of fun and I won't lie that I was certainly amongst its top students. The thing directly appealed to my natural instincts. In fact i was bothered by the fact that quite some students found the programme just like any other "academic programme". But anyway, the turnaround came when we were taken on an outstation trip to some village.

 

Astronomical observations are done in non-urban areas for the simple reason that no city means no mess in the sky. In short, a clear sky.

 

Now the as the night fell (it was an overnight trip and I was in seventh grade), we were called up on the terrace where telescopes were set up. We were provided with our own planispheres and latitude finders and whole lots of other astronomical gear by the SPACE guys themselves.

 

A turning point now came in my life, the moment I looked up on that night. And the moment I looked up, I didn't put my head down for like the next five minutes and was moving around the whole of terrace with my neck pointing straight up, until it started hurting.

 

Well, when you look up at night, from your balcony or terrace, what you see is basically "a black dark background, with a few twinkling dots on it (the stars)". What we saw, was the exact opposite.

 

"A WHITE BACKROUND, AND ON TOP OF IT , A FEW BLACK DOTS."

 

The sky was literally, FLOODED with stars. You just cannot possibly imagine what I am talking about. There was just no place where you couldn't see a star. And the intensity and brightness of each of these was easily tens of times more than the brightest star you can spot from your balcony or terrace.

 

I'll post a picture, which will give you some idea, but which is actually nowhere even near what I am talking about.

 

 

 

This is a real photograph. It is the night sky as seen from the maldives.

The streak that you see in the middle is what most of the rest of our galaxy is. Our sun is just one out of a 400 billion stars in this galaxy, and our sun lies at the very edge.

 

But anyway, after that fateful night, my life or my perceptions were never the same again. But in due time, the programme was stopped in the school, and I had no choice to keep myself busy with other things.

 

Now came class 11th. I am in this confusion to decide what stream to opt for. In fact I didn't want to opt for any of them and was planning a totally different career path, i.e. music, which is as close to me as the above.

 

But, then somehow I took up science. It was perhaps making those huge accounts and banking tables in commerce that made me go in for science. I hated anything to do with banks and finances and stuff. Science was still in some sorts "my thing". I joined a coaching institute, for the reason that everybody was doing that. I was a sheep, but so was everybody else.

 

I still remember my first day at the coaching institute. i had scored a mere 80% in tenth. I belonged to a totally different kind of crowd. And all my friends were musicians and commercees. We had great plans of forming the most deadly heavy metal band in the world. And here I was sitting amongst the toppers, the 90%agers, and so on. I believed that I wouldn't get even a single thing in that class. The first class was physics.

 

The guy comes in, starts off with vectors. In a few classes, he reaches Newton’s laws. I don't know what exactly appealed to me, but something did! It was only physics. The math teacher was an ass*ole who was just busy eating paan. The chemistry guy was slightly psycho. And chemistry itself didn't make any sense to me, ever.

 

But soon I realized, physics is the thing I have always been looking for sub-consciously!! Old memories of the astronomy trip, and my hours of reading the books on cosmology, were awakened. I then searched the internet like mad. I was soon spending hours on youtube watching videos of Einstein’s special relativity, string theory, Quantum physics, and the list is endless.

THIS WAS MY FIRST MISTAKE.

 

All of this happened around the mid-year of my class eleventh. And even though I was failing in every subject, I loved physics classes.

 

Also let me add here, that I got an exact 50% in my first physics Unit Test. Apart from this, I NEVER, EVER, PASSED A PHYSICS EXAM IN SCHOOL, APART FROM THE BOARDS.

 

While I watched videos upon videos on youtube and devoured books like stephen hawking, michio kaku and many others, my friends were busy ratofying equations of physics, were busy chewing their institute packages, were busy talking about mark distributions in the next U.T. or were busy discussing how they plan on an M.B.A. after a B.Tech.

 

Thus, they passed, got applauses, and I failed. Though, being very honest, failing exams was like a highly cool thing, and so I maintained the "cool" image by failing.

 

I then looked up courses on physics and found the IIT M.Sc. integrated course out there. I then abused CBSE and made up my mind to take JEE with full force, "so that I could get the physics course from the highly prestigious institute." Usually it is the opposite of what people do. They take JEE, get selected and then fill sites like goiit.com with their garbage of "I am getting so and so rank, should I go for this or that or this or that???".

 

These are the most "DESERVING MINDS OF THE COUNTRY WHO DON'T HAVE THE SLIGHTEST INKLING OF WHAT THEY WANNA DO. AND LET ME REPEAT, THEY ARE THE MOST INTELLIGENT FELLAS OUT THERE."

 

But anyway, I thought that JEE is certainly going to be much better than CBSE and "that it is an exam which REALLY tests you. That it really tests your APTITUDE. I didn’t bother to ask the question, "an aptitude for what?"

And took it to mean the kind of aptitude that I possessed, i.e. a scientific and philosophical one.

 

THIS WAS MY SECOND MISTAKE.

 

So finally the D-day is there, and I give the exam. I open up the physics section, and all I remember is that I just ticked and ticked and ticked. It was really very easy. I hadn't done the entire syllabus, so I only attempted the questions of the chapters I had done. I got almost all of them right.

I turned to chemistry and math, and I was blank. I was just left turning pages and looking at the other kids working out the problems furiously.

 

I calculated the marks after the exam. I had scored almost all my marks in physics. I had easily cleared the cutoff (in physics), I had something like 60% marks in physics and I scored 14 marks in math and chem. combined(!!).

 

I then thought that maybe I will be able to clear this thing next year. So I took a drop.

 

THIS WAS MY THIRD MISTAKE

 

I spent most of my drop year "getting into the depths of the subjects." If I came upon the euler formula, it intrigued me. It intrigued me as to how sin and cos functions which are geometric ratios of a triangle can creep into the equations of almost all kinds from electricity and mag. to S.H.M. I couldn’t spot a triangle anywhere in electrical circuits, and couldn't understand the presence of the sin and cos functions. I simply pursued my curiosity and read wikipedia on the history of mathematics all day long. And all this while I read about the euler function, many of my competitors who now most probably are  sitting in the IIT's, were furiously working out the packages of bansals and brilliant and what not.

 

I went into complete philosophical depths to satisfy my curiosity and worked out everything, inside out, in all the three subjects. But at the end of this, I had only done the standard books, and barely had any practice. I never gave so much of importance to practicing thousands of questions, as I gave to getting a deep insight into science, especially physics. I was continuously committing huge mistakes without realizing them.

 

I then finally gave the JEE paper this year. The damn thing had 82 questions. I started off, chem. was quite normal. I then turned to math. I looked up the questions, and I knew I could solve quite a many IF GIVEN ENOUGH TIME. I saw many familiar and direct questions. But as I never bothered to keep formulas on my fingertips and always relied upon deriving them first hand, in every question, I was in a huge mess.

 

Same thing happened in physics. There were just too many questions. I read them, the integer type, and I knew I can answer all of them. But I would have to derive all the equations for most of them.

 

In the end, I missed the JEE, by a good margin of 24 marks.

 

I then analyzed the whole thing, and realized that I had never done what I was supposed to do. i.e. SHUT MY HEAD AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS LIKE A FCKING DOG.

 

This is what the JEE wants. It is not an exam any different from the CBSE boards. All of them are the same. They want the same stuff. They ask you typical stuff, year upon year. Every exam has this typical prep. for it. You just have to do that right.

 

JEE is based on mindless practice of all kinds of questions. So much practice, that everything is on your fingertips. It does not test how well you have delved into the subject itself. It just tests how much have you fcked your ass off with the subject, simply mindlessly practicing as much as you can. 

 

I would sound like a frustrated loser, being a cry baby after a lost race. But it was never a race for me. It was always my wanting to be a physicist and doing the things I loved to their fullest. It so turned out , that the JEE doesn't give a damn about your insights, about any true understandings you may have, any natural temperaments you may have. 

 

All exams, out there are based on the same lines. Many would now like to argue that there is no other way to test people. I think there is. There are many. 

 

But in the end, I was just another guy, not bothering about which branch will I get, or where will I be placed or how much will I earn, but just wanting to get a reputed physics course. And I failed, because I committed the 3 mistakes.

 

------------------------------ 

 


Comments (19)


Blazing goIITian

Joined: 11 May 2010 19:45:31 IST
Posts: 388
14 Jun 2010 20:20:51 IST
0 people liked this

finding a concord in the most unlikely of places it seems........ physics was the subject i LOVED the most, although wanted to bcm a doctor........ frns n teachers used to call me a double engine :))........ scored a mere 76 in boards in phy.......... a friend scored 97, and ended up opting for zoology honours !

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 14 Aug 2009 23:01:39 IST
Posts: 313
14 Jun 2010 20:25:26 IST
0 people liked this

@ canorous,

lolz..!!!! life is strange!!! I just didn't get the zoology part...!!! This perhaps just proves the inefficiency of our system, especially the CBSE.....!!!

so what are you doing now???

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 11 May 2010 19:45:31 IST
Posts: 388
14 Jun 2010 20:32:27 IST
0 people liked this

it jst shows how sm people jst gorge all the syllabus of each n every subject bcz the ultimate purpose in their life is to TOP - no real interest ...... ppl like us are left sitting and marvelling at the beauty of the subject................... me still slogging for pmts...

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 14 Aug 2009 23:01:39 IST
Posts: 313
14 Jun 2010 20:37:56 IST
0 people liked this

@ canorous

so true...!! anyway good luck for your pmt's. are you a dropper?

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 20 May 2008 10:44:54 IST
Posts: 332
14 Jun 2010 20:38:13 IST
0 people liked this

That is precisely the reason why the iits are slipping in the world rankings.... Let me tell you no-one really understands the beauty iof maths... they mug up formulas and when it comes to real test of intelligence they fail desperately.. They become frustrated and resort to drinking and smoking....Ragging juniors....

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 12 Feb 2008 08:49:35 IST
Posts: 462
14 Jun 2010 20:42:04 IST
0 people liked this

well i wud really like to know about the other methods you say that can be used to test students for admission to iits...

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 11 May 2010 19:45:31 IST
Posts: 388
14 Jun 2010 20:44:30 IST
0 people liked this

@metalrose : yes... 12th last yr

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 14 Aug 2009 23:01:39 IST
Posts: 313
14 Jun 2010 20:49:40 IST
0 people liked this

@vivek roy

so true.....!! And i totally understand the beauty of maths and am currently doing calculus from apostol and real analysis from walter rudin......this is heaven lemme tell you...!!!

cheers!!!

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 8 Apr 2010 08:39:03 IST
Posts: 781
14 Jun 2010 20:57:07 IST
0 people liked this

metal rose.....cool pic......

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 14 Aug 2009 23:01:39 IST
Posts: 313
14 Jun 2010 20:58:24 IST
0 people liked this

@ terminator returns

i could give those other methods....they are not totally different....still paper and pen exams....but its about the kind of exam...the kind of questions....
i'll have to write an entire article for that....may be some otehr time...ill do it....

cheers..!!!

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 14 Aug 2009 23:01:39 IST
Posts: 313
14 Jun 2010 21:00:08 IST
0 people liked this

@ rocking cool awesome

thanks dude....!!! but what about the article...???!! lolz!!! anyway

cheers..!!!

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 8 Apr 2010 08:39:03 IST
Posts: 781
14 Jun 2010 21:05:04 IST
0 people liked this

u may knw me!!I liked ur article very muchIf i cud i wudve hacked into goiit and gave u 1000 votes....Its nearly the same thing that is happening to me........

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 8 Oct 2008 04:08:09 IST
Posts: 1252
14 Jun 2010 21:05:25 IST
0 people liked this

So fu cking true yaarSHUT MY HEAD AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS LIKE A FCKING DOG.SHUT MY HEAD AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS LIKE A FCKING DOG.SHUT MY HEAD AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS LIKE A FCKING DOG.SHUT MY HEAD AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS LIKE A FCKING DOG.SHUT MY HEAD AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS LIKE A FCKING DOG.+10000 to that

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 8 Apr 2010 08:39:03 IST
Posts: 781
14 Jun 2010 21:05:33 IST
0 people liked this

but i say u rock man..........u are one of the most interesting people i found in this site......

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 8 Apr 2010 08:39:03 IST
Posts: 781
14 Jun 2010 21:08:45 IST
0 people liked this

post more articles dude in ur own site......this site sucks btw.....make 1....................

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 14 Aug 2009 23:01:39 IST
Posts: 313
14 Jun 2010 21:14:41 IST
0 people liked this

@ rockin cool awesom

do i know you? perhaps you have changed your display name. What was it earlier?
anyways thanks for the appreciation....

and are you too in the same position? wen did u give the jee, dropped?? tell me more...!!

cheers..!!!

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 14 Aug 2009 23:01:39 IST
Posts: 313
14 Jun 2010 21:15:11 IST
0 people liked this

@mission admission

lolz!!! so true....!!!

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 8 Apr 2010 08:39:03 IST
Posts: 781
14 Jun 2010 21:15:14 IST
0 people liked this

athul jayson dude!!!!!

Blazing goIITian

Joined: 8 Apr 2010 08:39:03 IST
Posts: 781
14 Jun 2010 21:16:09 IST
0 people liked this

i am plannin to take a drop......my parents are opposing vehemetly ...i am not joining any coaching centres by the way.........



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