Carrying on his family legacy forward of churning out IITians, 18-year-old Noida boy, Amaiya Singhal, who secured All India Rank 1 in JEE Main, said he wants to pursue engineering at IIT, just like his grandfather, father and brother. Singhal scored 100 percentile at JEE Main this year and is preparing for JEE Advanced to be able to study at IIT-Bombay or IIT-Delhi.
Despite being from the family of IIT graduates, Singhal said he was never pressured to take up engineering. He talked about how much he loves computers and wants to pursue computer science in his college. “Computer is everything around us and the future is going to be created by computer science”.
Sharing his study routine, Singhal said he worked for 10-12 hours every day for the entrance exam. He said he has been preparing for IIT but did not expect to obtain rank 1 in JEE Main.
In his first session, Singhal scored 99.94 percentile which dropped to 99.93 in the second session. In his third and final attempt, he scored 100 percentile in the third attempt. While 99.9 percentile would have made him eligible for an IIT entrance exam, he said he wrote multiple exams to master his test-taking skills. He did not sit for the fourth one as he had scored full 300 marks, and taking another attempt would have meant “no more scope for improvement”.
“I was satisfied even with the first attempt. But since I was preparing for Advanced, attempting for more competitive exams would have meant more practice. I wanted to improve my test-taking abilities and reduce exam fear. It’s like taking a mock test. One becomes comfortable with the environment over time,” he said.
Apart from the engineering entrance exams, Singhal has tried his hand at Olympiads in chemistry and physics. While he had managed to reach the national camp level, he could not make it through to the international rounds. He suggests all science lovers should take the Olympiads. “Everyone should take part in Olympiads. These competitions are one level higher than that of the entrance tests. It helps one deep dive into a lot of concepts.”
With the Covid-19 pandemic leading to a paradigm shift in education and pedagogy, the transition has taken a toll on a lot of students preparing for competitive exams. The 18-year-old, who is among the thousands of students adapting to the shift, said in order to prepare for an IIT exam, one must continue to focus on their goal and not deviate. Attending regular lectures, practising speed and conceptual clarity all matter equally. He said he used to practice previous year’s question papers to improve his speed and test his conceptual clarity.
“Before the pandemic, I used to go to a coaching place near my house after school, however, when the pandemic happened and everything moved online I shifted my entire preparation strategy. I made a flexible timetable and ended up saving more time for studies,” said the topper.
When most students were cutting down on mobile phone, social media and TV usage during exams, Singhal said he was using social media as a stress buster. “I used social media to relax but used it in a limited capacity. I also watched TV shows with my friends. Kaun Banega Crorepati and Tarak Mehta ka Utla Chashma are our favourites.”