JEE Main Topper Interview: In talk with Pal Aggarwal

# Aug 10, 2021 by Harshita Nandal

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JEE Main Topper Interview: In talk with Pal Aggarwal- AIR 1

The JEE Main Third Session was conducted on July 20, 22, 25 and 27. NTA conducted JEE Main session 3 at 334 cities and 828 centres.

Pal Aggarwal is one of the 18 students who have got All India Rank 1 in JEE Main 2021. The National Testing Agency has declared JEE Main Third Session result on August 6. Nearly 7.09 lakh students registered for the JEE Main, of which 17 students scored 100 percentile. One of them is Pal Aggarwal . She appeared in the February as well as March session. In this interview, she talks about books, preparation strategies, her dreams.

Here are the excerpts from the Interview :

Harshita :Congratulations Pal in achieving this feat, During the preparation, scoring 100 percentile ever came across your mind ?

Pal: Yes. In fact, that was particularly why I appeared for another attempt. In the February attempt, I got 99.988 percentile and I was the UP State Topper but I believed that I could do much better and aimed for 100 percentile which I finally achieved this time.

Harshita :Did the COVID pandemic affect your exam preparation in any way? How did you manage your study during the lockdown?

Pal: I think the lockdown provided us with ample of time for JEE preparation. Also, being with family provides a lot of motivation and emotional support at this crucial point of time. The experience of the online classes was no doubt different from the in-person classes. Although, I sometimes felt the need for face to face interaction with the teachers for effective learning and doubt-clearance, but I also realized that there were things which were only possible due to the online nature of classes, for ex. teachers often showed us videos for better understanding of topics and we could also have a look at research papers, articles etc.

During the lockdown, I didn’t let any breaks come in my studies. I used to attend every lecture and appeared for each and every test. Also, I followed a basic study schedule with at least 8-10 hours of study each day and for breaks, instead of watching television or using phone, I used to just sit with my family and have a healthy discussion which would recharge me. 

So, I think this lockdown brought in a lot of challenges for learning,  but at the same time made us ‘solution oriented’ in order to continue our studies.

Harshita :Why do you want to study engineering? When did you decide to study engineering?

Pal :Since childhood, I have dreamt of becoming an astronaut and diving deep into space. I am fascinated by each and every thing related to space and that is why I want to study astrophysics. For the same, I am planning to join either IISc Bangalore ot IIST Trivandrum. 

Harshita: Which subject was the easiest and which was the toughest in JEE Main? What do you think is a tough thing to manage during the JEE Main exam?

Pal :I felt that the difficulty level was the same for all the three subjects in JEE Main, with a mix of easy, moderate and tricky questions in each section.

During the JEE Main exam, I think the most important thing is to be very careful while answering each and every question, be it easy or tough because many a times, we just hastily mark the answer to a question which may look easy and ignore any slight twist that may be there in the question. Also, it is helpful to recheck as many questions as possible, so as to avoid silly mistakes. Also, since the numerical section in JEE Main has choices, choosing the questions wisely is important.

Harshita :Did you give the Previous Session Exam? If yes, then how different was your result?

Pal: Yes, I had appeared for the February session and had got 99.988 percentile. I was the UP State Topper that time. But I believed that I could get 100 percentile and so, tried for another attempt in July.

Harshita: Choosing the right Books and Preparation material have always been a concern for many students preparing for JEE Main.  So according to you which are some of the best books for preparation that you recommend for JEE Main 2021 for each of the 3 sections and overall preparation ?

Pal: For Chemistry, I think NCERT is the best for JEE Main because hardly any questions are asked from outside NCERT.

For Physics, NCERT and ‘Concepts of Physics’ by HC Verma are good books for clearing concepts and practicing.

For Math, a lot of questions need to be practiced for which books like Problem Plus in IIT Mathematics by A Das Gupta and past year papers can be referred to.

So, I think for overall preparation, it is very important to make notes and practice as much as possible because that develops our problem solving skills and helps us know ways to solve questions in exam.

Harshita: What is the ideal time to start taking mock Tests & What role do  mock tests play in JEE Mains Preparation? What was your strategies in particular towards mock tests?

Pal: I think the ideal time to start taking mock tests is once you have done the whole syllabus thoroughly. It may happen that we feel the need of revising one or the other concept again and again, but we can continue revising along with the mock tests. Giving mock tests is very important because it gives us a feel of the actual exam setting and develops our examination temperament. We should practice solving questions under the pressure of time and improving accuracy, for which mock tests play a central role.

I initially used to give a mock test every week but then I gradually increased that to one mock test per day when there were two weeks left for my exam.

Harshita: What advice would you like to give the future JEE Main & share with us the strategies you used to stay motivated in your exam days

Pal: I believe that starting early helps in adapting ourselves to a rigorous study schedule and at the same time, it is very important to keep up the stamina all the time. One should be consistent and try to do his/her best in each and every test. Also, my advice to the future JEE aspirants would be not to study just for the exams. We should study for ourselves because that is when we start enjoying studies. Also, during the exam days, instead of using gadgets, try to spend some interactive time with your family for refreshment.

About Author

Harshita Nandal
Harshita Nandal

Harshita Nandal has worked as a Creative head in Mitrakshar, University of Delhi. She has done her Graduation from the University of Delhi in English Honours. In her free time, she prefers to play the guitar, take short walks in between work and loves to watch Korean dramas. Currently, she is an author at Educere India to fulfil the desire of her passion for writing.