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How to prepare for IIT JAM?

Last Updated - March 16, 2017

IIT JAM 2017 is set to be held on February 12th, 2017, with applications having been available since September 2016. IIT JAM is the basis for admission to top IIT and affiliated colleges for postgraduate courses.
Depending on the subject chosen, the paper may be descriptive or objective. Objective papers are of 100 marks, with 1/3rd mark being deducted for every incorrect answer. Descriptive papers are divided into two parts. Part I has multiple choice questions, which have a negative marking scheme of 1/3rd per mark, and Part II is a section free from negative marking that is deemed to be subjective in nature.

All the candidates preparing for IIT JAM, must refer to the preparation tips shared in this article. We hope they help you score better marks in your final exam.

IIT JAM: General Preparation Tips

In order to do well in IIT JAM 2017, it is important to put in preparation in a well-thought manner. One must ensure there is minimum wastage of time and resources throughout your preparation plan. Below are some helpful tips that will ensure you a better score in IIT JAM.- While going through the IIT JAM syllabus, highlight important topics and areas of concern.

  1. Cover vast amounts of subject matter that needs to be studied according to the syllabus of the exam. It is imperative to have a well organised study timetable, to ensure that all topics are covered with adequate time spent on each.
  2. The subject matter should be studied from appropriate books, and relevant sources of information, in order to maximize the value of the information garnered. Studying from books that are known to cover all the topics in the syllabus is ideal.
  3. Practice is the key, as several past toppers have emphasised. The best way to ensure the right level of preparation is to attempt sample papers and past year papers, to gain familiarity with the pattern and types of questions.
  4. Maintaining extensive notes is a highly beneficial practice while preparing for IIT JAM, as it also helps in the revision process. Cue cards with main points highlighted is also a popular method of study amongst previous toppers of the examination.
  5. It is of great importance to stay healthy and fit, both physically and mentally, particularly during this stressful period. Regular exercise, healthy diets and a regulated sleep schedule are essential to maximize efficiency.

IIT JAM: Section Wise Preparation Tips

The examination consists of three sections:

  • Section A – 30 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ).
  • Section B – 10 Multiple Select Questions (MSQ).
  • Section C – 20 Numerical Answer Type (NAT).

In order to obtain the best results, each section should be given due importance, and adequate preparation should be done.

  1. It is important to identify the section which is most difficult and set aside extra time to work on it.
  2. For the Multiple Choice Questions section, past year candidates have stated that the best method to approach the questions is by eliminating choices instead of trying to determine the correct answer at the first glance.
  3. A similar method is advised for the Multiple Select Questions section, as it is similar to MCQs, with the added possibility of two correct answers, thereby further validating the method of elimination, usually through trial and error.
  4. The best way to do well in the NAT section is through practice, including solving multiple papers, particularly all past year papers. Coaching centers are also of help in this aspect. Brushing up on basic numerical methods and information is advisable at the start of the preparation period.

IIT JAM: Important Books

The right study material is integral to doing well in IIT JAM. There are a number of subject specific books available that cover the required subject matter in great detail. Some suggested books include the following.

Analytical ChemistryR. GopalanChemistry
A Comprehensive in IIT JAM M.Sc. PhysicsSushil K. TomarPhysics
Mathematics – A Complete GuideSuraj Singh, Rashmi GuptaMathematics
M.Sc. Biotechnology Entrance Examination GuideS.S. Singh, Anand Kumar, S.S. Jha Pranav KumarBiotechnology
Mathematical Methods in the Physical SciencesMary L Boas 
Quantum PhysicsH.C. VermaPhysics
Solid State PhysicsS.O. PillaiPhysics

IIT JAM: Topper Tips

Those who have done well in IIT JAM in previous years, have shared their opinions on how to prepare for it through various forums. We have them for you to score better in IIT JAM 2017.

  • Start preparing well in advance. Six months is the minimum time period most allow, with 1 year being the preferred study period.
  • Strong foundation in the basics taught not only at the undergraduate level, but even at the +2 level is a must.
  • Practicing on available question papers is imperative in being able to perform well in the examination.
  • Theoretical knowledge in the subject must be thorough for the first two sections, and numerical understanding must be enhanced to tackle the third section.
  • Regular study sessions and clarity of concepts are also extremely important in determining the performance result.

IIT JAM: Coaching centers

Given the prominence of this examination, there are a number of coaching centers all across the country to help candidates with their preparation. Each city has centers for candidates to enroll in, varying on the basis of subject and specialty. Online coaching can be accessed on the following sites:




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