Is Dropping a Year for IITs Good Exam Strategy?In 2012, number of freshers appearing for IIT-JEE exam was much higher than the students who gave the exam a second try. Yet, as many as 61.9% students who cracked IIT JEE and were selected by the IITs were repeaters (appearing for the exam for the second time). These statistics are certainly a great booster for students who fail to crack JEE exam in their first attempt.

Many students ask us every year whether it be a good idea for them to drop a year and just focus on JEE preparation. The answer to this question may vary from individual to individual – depending on his or her particular condition.

How to decide whether you should drop a year or not?

Let us dig deep into different case studies and determine what can be the right answer in each case:
Case 1: Cracked JEE Advanced with low rank

Many students who crack JEE Advanced in their first attempt do not realize the risks they are taking by letting go of the seats they are offered. Typically, students think that by dropping a year they will be able to study harder for the next one year, get a better branch or a better ranking IIT.
To be able to take an informed decision, you should be aware of the consequences of your decision.
Risks you take by opting for a Second Attempt

  • You may get bored, depressed or frustrated over the next year.
  • There is a chance that it may turn out to be just a bad day for you – sickness, accident or just plain bad luck can ruin your day and your chance to get even your present rank.
  • You will be under a lot of stress next year as it will be your last chance to crack the IIT JEE (Advanced) exam.

BOOST your IIT JEE/AIPMT preparation through our self study packagesWhat you can achieve in your Second Attempt?
Desired IIT:  Computer Science Engineering and Electronics & Communication Engineering are the two most in-demand engineering branches at any engineering college. In fact, if you get admission in these branches in any IIT or even some of the top NITs, you stand a chance to do better than student of Mechanical, Chemical, Metallurgy or Mining branches at better ranked IITs – placement and package wise.
It is a good idea to go for the best branch you can get in terms of your study and career goals than to get stuck on a particular college. Just make sure that college is good enough to have adequate resources for you.

  • Desired Engineering Branch or Stream: Being IITians ourselves, this is one tip that we can give you. You do not have to lose a precious year to get an engineering branch of your choice. At all the IITs, if you perform well in the first year, you can change your department in the second year!

Don’t worry about the pay packages yet. The fact is that the best pay packages are offered by Tech and IT companies which largely absorb Computer Science students. Next in the line are Finance, Consulting and Investment companies that take in students of all branches who have excellent analytical skills and number crunching abilities.
So, irrespective of the branch you choose, you will always have a chance to try out for finance and investment jobs.
Please Note: Architecture is the only department where you can change your branch in the second year. So, keep that in mind when you opt for a seat in B. Arch course.

Second Attempt to Crack IIT JEE, JEE Repeaters | askIITians Case 2: Cracked JEE Main with good rank but failed to crack JEE Advanced

After JEE Main, you stand a good chance to get admission in some of the top NITs and other good engineering colleges. You may also try to crack BITSAT and join BITS Pilani which enjoys good enough reputation.
Securing a seat in other engineering colleges is safer. It saves you a year and lays out a certain career path for you instead of an uncertain future.  Surveys indicate that students of many NITs have performed better than several IITians!
Not getting a branch you want? Like IITs, most of the engineering colleges allow you to change your department after first year – based on your academic performance. So, instead of sitting at home and preparing for JEE Main again, you can join the college and work hard in the first year to get good marks and change your department in the second year.
In short, ponder on your options well before you choose to let go of the seat you are offered. Attempt JEE for the second time, only if it is an absolute must.

Case 3: Failed to crack JEE Main in the first attempt

JEE aspirants who fail to make it to any college first time should assess themselves. Know the reasons behind your failure.
A Quiz for You

  • Was your JEE Main score close to the JEE Main cutoff?
  • Are you really interested in pursuing engineering?
  • Was it just a stroke of bad luck that you didn’t make it to the JEE Main rank lists?
  • Did you make silly mistakes that you can learn to avoid over next year?
  • Are you mentally prepared to focus on JEE preparation?

If most of the questions have ‘yes’ as the answer, you should definitely give yourself another chance to crack JEE.

For a ‘JEE repeater’, it is highly advisable for you join a good IIT coaching program. Get more study tips for JEE repeaters by ex-IITians by filling up the form above:
This post was published by Aditya Singhal, co-founder of askIITians.

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