Clearing the cut off is easier than you think.

This article is for you if you like playing video games, find it hard to concentrate or in general want more marks from less study in the last few precious days before the exam.

Aditi Avasthi
Feb 29, 2016 · 13 min read

Lets get to the point. You probably would not admit this to your parents directly. But you are kind of in a tough spot. You wasted most of your 11th and 12th in social pursuits or reading your favourite book or playing or even (as was true in my case) — only focusing on one subject. Now its a few weeks to go and you are feeling the burn. The pull between Boards vs IIT. Your parents’ pressure and expectations with the clock ticking. You may be surfing the internet looking for the best way for sure shot results like a vitamin injection.

Let me start with the good news first. You can still make it happen. In this exam and in life. There are many people who may not have done well academically in the conventional sense but did very well in life. Having said that, its hard to imagine that scenario and placate anxious parents with that argument. ;) So, lets get on with helping you become as successful as you can right now.

Lets start with Oamkaar Sadarangani’s story. A Yukti student from Mumbai. He was very into his playstation. And a lot of reading. Of all kinds. Most kinds except Physics, Chemistry and Maths. His main problem was concentration. The inability to apply himself adequately to the test really hurt him. What was his score? 60/360 when he started using embibe test analytics to really improve his score THREE WEEKS before the exam. His final score 105/360. He made it to Thadumal Shahani (and got Information Technology), a great college in Mumbai.

The graph below is the feedback from one of O’s first tests. If you have taken a test on embibe, you would have seen the graph below in your feedback. The y axis is the difficulty level of a question and the x axis is time. The first graph is how he looked at the paper and the second is when he actually attempted questions.

The first thing we noticed was the massive gap of almost 70 minutes in the middle. He said he basically got bored taking the test and just couldn’t concentrate! That was clue#1. The remedy was non stop test taking just to build up stamina.

Remember, its not just about getting in — its the right college with the right branch. It matters even more so for you. You may say you are looking at Mechanical in your local college or even Computer Science in the best college in your state. But we both know, whatever be your goal. You want the best range of options when July 2016 comes.

Prioritizing your effort

At this stage, you only want to focus on important chapters, but first get your test taking right. Follow these steps for your highest score. Please believe me on this! — It will work!! Remember, clearing the cut off is only 30% score at the very maximum. You need just 30 questions right. This will be about ruthless prioritization. Read on, its going to change your life.

Step 1:

Take a full test. We prefer JEE Main Test 1. If you have taken that and want to do a fresh attempt take Test 2 or so on.

Step 2:

Focus on the following pieces first and then we come to academic revision in Step 4:

  1. Do you have any wasted attempts? Look for the table below in your test feedback. This red symbol below is a wasted attempt. Its basically an automatic way of detecting your careless mistakes.
Kshitij Bajaj — Quality of Attempts, Test 1

Read more about wasted attempts here.

Here is how you fix them:

These are mostly caused because of overconfidence or carelessness on your part. Embibe is really good at detecting when you under-compensate on effort. Wasted attempts have to go to zero. These are killer mistakes which cost you on average 5 marks in the test. The way to decrease these is to take a deep breath before every attempt. You attempt them fast either due to panic or overconfidence. Visualise Sachin Tendulkar batting and Brett Lee bowling. As pressure mounts, Tendulkar starts sweating in the anticipation of the next delivery. Brett Lee’s face looks more and more tense.

Wasted delivery!

Technically, each ball is independent.

What connects them is their tension and expectations. The way to decrease that stress is to breathe deep. Check this article out to further learn about stress management used by students who take the GMAT!

Just breathe before every question. Don’t do guess work unless 100% certain (impossible)! You will score few marks. You cant afford the negative marking.

2. Time spent on questions not answered: You have just one trick. Solving what you know really well. For that the first step is knowing what to solve. There are two indicators. The first is Time spent on questions not answered. You will find it in a box that looks like this on your feedback:

41 minutes spent on questions unattempted!

This is the time you waste looking for what to attempt and trying random questions. The trick to curing this is only trying questions you know in the first iteration.

So, basically keep going only attempting what you truly know.

The Math is really simple: To score 120 marks, you only need 30 problems right which is a 30% score! This means only 10 problems in Math, Physics and Chem if they are evenly distributed.

Your entire goal is picking what you know. Which is only possible if you keep a cool head.

Another metric that tells you if you pick your questions right is first look accuracy:

Look at the student’s attempt below. You will see that he took 159.3 minutes to look at the entire paper in one go! Within this time, he attempted 87 questions within the first look. Of these questions — he had 39 overtime attempts and 1 wasted attempt as well as 13 incorrect questions. Take a look below. Here the x axis total time of the exam (180 min) and the y axis is difficulty level. Each dot represents a unique questions and the colors represent the subject:

Kshitij Bajaj, IIT Rank 249 2014 — First Look and Actual Attempt Graphs

In contrast, Govind Lahoti (IIT Rank 3) in the same year — looked at the entire paper once in 91 minutes and was more selective about his first look attempt.

Govind Lahoti, IIT Rank 3, First Look and Actual Attempt Graphs

Clearly if you look at marks scored per unit time spent and overall time management, Govind does a much better job by gaining control of the test paper early. At the same time, he also had higher attempt quality and a better understanding of what he knows.

What is your first look accuracy? This is a very powerful metric. In fact check out this Base ranker (Advaith Sridhar IIT Rank 300, 2015)which talks about first look accuracy and what it can do for students and other ways in which embibe feedback has helped along with countless other success stories.

Don’t think that this is only about rankers. You will end up doing really well, if you get your first look accuracy high.

Now, lets go to Step 3:

Step 3: Just Fixing the Basics

Take the next full test and at your current level of preparation, just fix the parameters mentioned above.

Use a format like:

Wasted attempts Test 1:
Wasted attempts Test 2:
Time spent on questions not answered Test 1:
Time spent on questions not answered Test 2:
First look accuracy Test 1:
First look accuracy Test 2:
Number of attempts Test 1:
Number of attempts Test 2:

Remember, you dont need to worry about overtime attempts.

If you have followed our feedback, there should be reduction in wasted attempts and time spent on questions not answered and an increase in first look accuracy. Please try hard. We guarantee score improvement!

Step 4: Selective academic improvement

Now we will improve on the academics. I want you to go the test on test section. Go to http://www.embibe.com/engineering/test. Click on ‘Analyse All Tests’ under the ‘Start Solving’ button on the left hand side. You will find this only for full tests.

This will give you the exact concepts that are deficient test on test — just to focus on those as the date for the exam comes closer. Thats right not just chapters, concepts. Each question for the JEE on average contains 2 concepts or more. The only way you can find out what is really going wrong is looking at the ‘Solutions & Conceptwise Analysis’ under ‘Analyse All Tests’:

Clicking on the tile above will give you exactly which concepts are weak in that chapter.

Concept wise breakdown of weaknesses

Click on all the concepts that you are losing marks in across important chapters first. This will open LEARN on embibe. This has the following sections for each concept you need to revise. Use the videos and description to learn the concept/ refresh the lecture:

Videos and description section for Learn

Next, pick up the Most Important Questions and hit Practice Now for each one. This will familiarize you with the most typical questions asked for each concept. You can also look at Top Previous Year Question to see what kind of questions are asked in the exam.

Practice now will open this interface. You will be able to practice with hints and view detailed solutions, at times with video solutions for every problem you solve:

Practicing in this way is the fastest way to understanding the patterns behind the most typical problems.

Now — if you have important chapters that you have just not attempted or have too many mistakes in — Take a chapter test. This will give you intensive weaknesses in that particular chapter and using LEARN and PRACTICE — you will be able to rectify those mistakes. At least formulate patterns. Remember, you only have to score 30% and you are already in the top 5% of the country (if you belong to general category). Makes me sad to write that qualification.

Step 5: Take the next test

Only focus on taking the test, this time Count of Chapters you Got Right should go up and so should your perfect attempts! Use Test on Test Analysis to keep yourself honest on your progress. Remember that any of the other stuff shouldn’t go wrong again!

Just keep repeating this cycle. Believe in it — students have used this method to improve more than 60% on average across 10 tests!


Here is some more stuff for you if you are interested specially for academic revision within each test. Also a section on how embibe test scores = JEE test scores.

Get the real picture on your performance

The other exciting thing is that across 400 students measured for 2015 and 2014 — the embibe scores in tests were around 92% in line with the real JEE scores. In fact, uncannily so — check out what Bakshish Mangat (IIT Rank 471 2015) had to say about his scores being in line with the JEE Mains actual score.

The position you don’t want to be in!!!

Everyone relies on the FIITJEE test series to understand where they would rank in the actual test — everyone also knows that FIITJEE tests are way tougher. So where is the mirror? Here is the mirror162 FREE TESTS to benchmark yourselves at every level which includes chapter level, unit level and full tests as well as previous year papers for JEE Main, JEE Advanced and BITSAT.

Lets face it — its just one test to take to get started. That is 3 hours of your time for a serious attempt. Way more than the 56 tests taken by Disha Ghandwani (proud ISI Kolkata admit and Abhayanand Super 30’s top student). In fact if you just start by taking JEE Main Full Test 1 — you will be able to compare your score and the method of taking tests with so many ex-embibers who have actually cracked the top IITs!

For the first time ever — compare with rankers — method, score, everything!

The test taking strategy section also allows you to check out individual stuff on each question:

Finding wasted attempts.

Clicking on each ‘dot’ gives you the video solution and amazingly detailed explanations as well as the concepts used in each question! Video solutions are available for all full tests!

Step 6: Additional academic revision steps for every test

A. Question wise revision

  1. Revise the questions you got wrong in the following order. When we say revise, we mean really solve these questions again and view the solution.
    Start with overtime incorrect questions in your first look — these were questions you got wrong and spent too much time. To get these questions — use the filter combination: ‘OVERTIME’ and ‘INCORRECT’ together along with ‘PHYSICS’, ‘CHEMISTRY’ and ‘MATHEMATICS’ also selected. Only look at the questions on the left of the white dotted line indicating your first look.
  2. Next look at overtime incorrect questions on the right side of the dotted line. By now you have covered all questions that hurt both speed and accuracy
  3. Next look at incorrect questions overall. Find these by using the filter combination: ‘INCORRECT’ together along with ‘PHYSICS’, ‘CHEMISTRY’ and ‘MATHEMATICS’ also selected.
  4. Finally, look at all overtime correct questions. To get these use the filter combination: ‘CORRECT’ and ‘OVERTIME’ together along with ‘PHYSICS’, ‘CHEMISTRY’ and ‘MATHEMATICS’ also selected. Look at the method used — why did you go overtime?
  5. Use ‘Learn’ on embibe to revise the concepts used in these questions. You already know that clicking on each dot in the graph shown above will show you the solution on the question. The other way is to use Questionwise Analysis. Click on the tiny eye in the right to view the detailed video solution for each question and understand the concepts for revision.

B. Chapterwise Revision:

Look at the Chapterwise analysis. The order of practice should be as follows:

  1. Important Chapter and ‘Chapter I got wrong’
  2. Important Chapter and ‘Chapter I did not attempt’
  3. Regular Chapter and ‘Chapter I got wrong’
  4. Regular Chapter and ‘Chapter I did not attempt’

The list of important chapters based on the number of times a question from that chapter has appeared in the exam is given here.

I have shared below, the right way to go about each of these using embibe:

Chapterwise Feedback on embibe tests with question wise detail
  1. Chapters I got right: Just after the first test, don’t spend too much time on these unless you have many overtime attempts. Use chapter practice to fine tune the time management. Focus on the micro-recommendations that come as you make an attempt. Follow their guidance to improve on time management. First focus on getting accuracy right, use hints if you need to; be aware that you are going overtime. Once that is under control, try and get questions right before the timer on the right turns amber.
  2. Chapters I got wrong: Click on the chapter tile to see which concepts were the culprits. Use embibe’s Learn feature to specifically Learn those chapters and concepts. Next take a chapter wise test on the same chapter to further diagnose weaknesses.
  3. Chapters I did not attempt: Why did you not attempt this chapter? My sense is these chapters would be very low for you guys. I would recommend starting with Learn and the Knowledge Tree for a quick revision if confidence is low. Follow that up with trying out a few questions in Chapter Practice and then finally take a Chapter Test
    Check it out below:
Learn a Chapter on embibe

Look for yellow stars indicating important concepts. Once this is done, you can then focus on Part Tests and Unit wise practice to check for speed and accuracy at a higher level.

Regardless of your current score, you should be able to improve your score to a significant extent — using analytics driven practice, learn or setting your test taking skills right as shown above.

Remember, you deserve to maximise your potential. Now and in life. Embibe will be your friend, always.

Click here to take your first full test if you have not already taken it. Or another one to see your performance in the things mentioned above.

Aditi Avasthi

Written by

Founder of Embibe. Trying to make a massive dent in the universe. Avid traveller, crazy reader & believer in the force. Proud dog owner to an 8 month lab ‘Data’

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