1Engineering aspirants work hard for two years of more to prepare for JEE Main and JEE Advanced – most competitive entrance exams in India. Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics dominate their lives all through this period as they work simultaneously to score high in Class 12th board exams as well as give a glowing performance in the engineering entrance exams. IITs become their dream goals – to an extent that they forget that there is a life beyond IIT JEE.

When the chosen students enter into the hallowed gates of the prestigious institutions, they feel like they are at the top of the world. All their dreams seem to have come true already. They want to relax and to enjoy. But when the magic of getting an IIT seat lingers on for more than a few days, it hits their performance the very first test they take after entering the IITs.

Here are a few common obstacles of the life at IIT which many IITians and graduates of other premier engineering institutes of India will identify with:

The First-Year Shock Therapy!

First year at IITs or BITS Pilani has ‘unofficially’ become the year of bringing the students to senses. After acing IIT JEE, many of them fail in basic subjects like Mathematics and Physics at IITs in the very first year. The data from IIT Madras revealed that out of 840 students, 6.89% failed Mathematics in Semester 1 while 9.95% failed the subject in Semester 2. 5.3% failed Physics in Semester 1 and 1.3% failed it in Semester 2. As many as 10.46% students failed in Chemistry and 10.73% in Thermodynamics in Semester 1.

The former Deputy Director of IITM blamed lack of seriousness in incoming students for their low sores. He also pointed out that products of coaching institutes find it difficult to adjust with the teaching pattern at the IITs in their first year. IIT Madras has come up with a Mentor System to handhold such students.

Workshop courses and seminars have been shifted to the summer programmes to reduce the load on first-year students.

English is the Language at IITs

At IITs, it is expected that can at least understand and speak in basic English. But an IIT Bombay report suggested that at least one-tenth of freshers at IIT-B find English communication a major hurdle in their studies. Despite being bright and intelligent, they fail in academics because they can’t understand what is happening in class.

IIT Bombay has started the Institute Student Mentorship Programme (ISMP) to help groom such candidates. Senior students who act as mentors for ISMP students also point out that many of the IIT-B students suffer from job-centric approach rather than having long-term career goals. They advice students to groom themselves for the industries they are targeting.

IIT Bombay is also in talks with the British Council to offer formal structured English classes to new IITB students with weak language skills.

IITians cheat too!

Life at IIT: What happens after IIT JEE is over?

More than 50% of IIT Bombay students have confessed to cheating actively or passively. This includes copying assignments, not citing proper sources, cheating in question papers to wrongful representation in resume. In fact, many foreign students who had come to IIT Bombay expecting much from one of the most prestigious engineering institutes of India were quite disappointed by these academic malpractices.

IITs are pondering over adopting a strict approach to put a stop to such incidents.

In short, life is not a bed of roses after IIT JEE. You have to keep moving on to reach the ‘Success’.

This article was contributed to us by an ex-IITian. If you want to share your story too, do write to us at blog@askiitians.com.

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