It would not be an understatement to say that most engineering aspirants from India dream to get a seat in the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology. This is the reason why over 12 lakh candidates attempt for two of the toughest competitive examinations — JEE Main and JEE Advanced. However, only 2.2 lakh get selected for the JEE Advanced, which this year, will be conducted by IIT-Kanpur. Fewer still, make it to the top IITs. This gap between the number of aspirants and the limited number of seats has elevated the importance of these institutes. With this, come the widespread rumours and myths about the entrance exam and the IITs themselves. Let’s have a look at a few of these myths and unveil the reality.
Need an admission in IITs? Give up your social life for two years
Preparing for JEE Main and Advanced is not about cutting ties with friends or family, not watching your favourite TV shows or not playing your favourite sport. Preparing for JEE is as much about discipline as it is about being self aware. Being self aware would mean knowing your capabilities and flaws. This helps you channel your efforts towards amplifying your strengths and overcoming your weaknesses. Also, you must focus on understanding basic concepts thoroughly. This makes solving questions interesting and easy.
All of this will, in turn, help you plan your studies better, leaving enough time for fun. Not only will your performance improve, but you will also not feel as anxious as students who do not destress at all.
You must travel to Kota to crack JEE
Kota is the hub of the most well known coaching classes but who says that you even need coaching classes to crack JEE? Often experts and alumni debate whether coaching classes are a trend or a necessity. Coaching classes add to the clutter of responsibilities while you are preparing for JEE. They do provide guidance and support, but this is done in a time consuming manner, in an extremely large batch size with no personal attention. Another alternative would be reference books and digital learning.
Ragging is rampant at IITs
Ragging was popular years ago, before the Supreme court took action and made ragging a criminal offense. Now, all of the faculty, including deans of various IITs strictly prohibit ragging on the campuses. Now seniors may indulge in friendly ragging during the first few days of college in an effort to break the ice amongst the freshers. Apart from this, anti-ragging cells are mandatory in all colleges and students can approach these cells for help in case of any misdemeanours.
Students at IIT feel extreme pressure
A semester at IIT is only four months, and students do not end up studying all through these months. Various tests, vivas, assignments, and practical exams are held through the semester to keep students on their feet. These are organised keeping the mindset and capacity of students in mind, and usually do not overburden them. Students find time for extracurricular activities and sports, especially if they plan beforehand.
Placements are 100% or more
Recently, a rumour surfaced that a renowned IIT is providing 600 per cent placements to its students. This means that for one student, there were six job offers. This is far from the truth. In fact, not every IITian walks out after four years with a job offer in hand. Underperformers may not even get job offers. This means that the struggle does not end at cracking JEE Advanced. Students have to be on their toes all through the years of degree college and work hard to get a job offer during campus placements.
All IITians earn juicy salary packages
Median salaries for IIT graduates are much lower than perceived. The news reports only mention the top packages offered to the top few who are paid in dollars by companies like Facebook, Google. What they don’t talk about is how close to 40 per cent of the students in these prestigious colleges receive packages ranging from Rs 4-8 lakh per annum.
As an ex-IITian, you will be worshipped once you step into your first job
There are plenty of software developers, mechanical engineers and electronics engineers who will be better at their job than you are even if they did not go to a fancy college. Moreover, some skills are only developed over time, with work experience. You will be judged more for your quality of work and your determination, than your college.
IITs are the most prestigious institutes for a reason — while preparing for the JEE exam you learn how to manage time well, and hone your problem-solving skills. Most IITs have extremely knowledgeable professors and are very approachable. Spending four years amongst the smartest minds in the country will help you in your personal growth. The IIT alumni bond is very strong and this helps you in unfathomable ways in the long run. If you are preparing for IIT or have cracked the JEE Main this year, continue your preparation with unhindered zeal. However, remember that you can become anyone you want to, as long as you have the conviction for it.
The author is VP, educational content, Toppr.com