JEE Advanced Topper Interview - Pranav Goyal (AIR 1)

JEE Advanced 2018 Topper Pranav Goyal managed to score 337 marks out of 360 to clinch the top spot in engineering entrance exam. He shares his success story in this exclusive interview.

JEE Advanced Topper Interview - Pranav Goyal (AIR 1)
JEE Advanced Topper Interview - Pranav Goyal (AIR 1)

Pranav Goyal from Panchkula, Haryana has topped the JEE Advanced 2018 – the engineering entrance exam which is the gateway to premier technology schools in the country. The JEE Advanced 2018 Result declared on 10th June, saw Pranav score 337 marks out of the 360 to top the exam. So, let’s find out how Pranav managed to crack one of the toughest exams in India and what are his future plans.

Jagranjosh: Congratulations on your achievement! How are you feeling at the moment? How do you plan to celebrate your success?

Pranav: Well, I was extremely happy when I came to know about my rank. It was unbelievable. This is a proud and extremely happy moment for both me, and my family. It finally feels that I have achieved my aim. My plan is to spend quality time with family followed by party with friends to celebrate my achievement.

Jagranjosh: Tell us something about yourself and your family.

Pranav: I live in Chandigarh. My family includes my grandparents, parents and younger brother. My father,  Mr. Pankaj Goyal is a businessman and works as the director of a Pharmacy company. My mother, Mrs. Mamta Goyal is also a businesswoman like my dad.

Jagranjosh: Please share your academic background; i.e. the Board you have studied from and the school that you belong to and how much did you score in your Class 12th Board Exam?

Pranav: I belong to the CBSE Board and was part of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Panchkula. I cleared Class XII Board exam with 97.2% marks to emerge as the Tricity Topper.

Jagranjosh: How and when did you realize engineering is your true passion?

Pranav: I was always interested in Engineering, mainly because of my interest in both Physics and Mathematics. I decided that I would take up Engineering in class 9th. I would love to pursue Computer Science (CS) in an IIT because of my interest in programming.

Jagranjosh: Did you expect to top the JEE Advanced exam during the preparation phase?

Pranav: Well, during preparation, I did expect to get a good rank in JEE Advanced. But never in my dreams had I imagined that I will be one of the toppers of JEE Advanced.

Jagranjosh: When did you start preparing for the JEE Advanced Exam and what was your strategy to ace JEE Advanced? Also, did you follow any particular daily routine / time-table to ace JEE Advanced?

Pranav: I started preparing for JEE Main 2018 when I was in class XI. I used to study for eleven hours in a day. First one and half year, I just focussed on JEE Advanced and it was in the last one and half month that I prepared for JEE Main. Once my board exams got over, I just focussed on JEE Main.

Jagranjosh: How was the preparation for JEE Advanced different from JEE Main?

Pranav: In JEE Advanced, I focussed more on conceptual understanding than rote memorizing which is essential for JEE Mains. Also I did skip some topics for Advanced which were not included in the official syllabus.

Well, my preparation strategy was quite different after JEE Mains. My study hours increased and I preferred to give med-sped test to improve my speed. Also I avoided extra topics and focussed only on the topics given in the JEE syllabus.

Jagranjosh: What challenges did you encounter during the preparation phase? Which subject was the toughest and the easiest for you in the JEE Advanced exam and Why?

Pranav: The primary challenge during the preparation was Chemistry. I had trouble memorizing both Organic and Inorganic Chemistry. Also, I have a very weak memory; hence, I would often forget the important part.

Also, I faced problem with accuracy. To address this, I took up timed speed tests so that I could improve my accuracy.

The toughest subject for me was Mathematics, while the easiest was Physics. I found Physics easy as the questions were simple numericals and were based on previously studied concepts. On the other hand, Mathematics was toughest as it required solving skills and there were unexpected tricks that made questions tough to attempt.

Jagranjosh: Mock tests and sample papers – how extensively did you practise with the help of these? Do you think practising from the previous year papers help and how?

Pranav: I extensively used mock tests and sample papers. I gave all these in the form of timed tests. Any JEE aspirant has to solve at least 8-9 previous year papers. They are very important to give you a proper idea about difficulty level and a rough estimate regarding your time management. Also these papers give you a fair idea of the topic that you need to practice and revise.

Jagranjosh: Are there any special books that you feel have helped with your JEE Advanced preparation? Are the school text books adequate for preparing for JEE Advanced?

Pranav: Yes, a few books such as H.C.Verma for Physics, Pradeep’s Books for Chemistry and Physics Theory, Solomon & Fryhlefor Organic Chemistry and S.L.Loney for Mathematics. These majorly served as reference. However, for regular study, I would thoroughly focus on the class notes shared by my teachers.

Jagranjosh: Do you think coaching is must to crack JEE Advanced / Main examination? How do you think coaching helps aspirants prepare for the exams?

Pranav: Yes I took coaching form Sri Chaitanya Institute, Chandigarh. A Coaching Institute is extremely important for any JEE aspirant as it provides the correct study atmosphere for preparation. In addition to study, my institute also focused on our recreation activities. Test series, online tests and timed speed tests are very important to crack JEE Advanced; and these can be provided only by a coaching institute. In addition to this, the support of teachers and their guidance also helps you achieve your dream.

Jagranjosh: How did you manage board exams and JEE preparation together?

Pranav: Yes, the last few months of preparation for the JEE Advanced were quite different. This was because of board exam that was scheduled at the same time. To maintain a balance between both, I would divide my study hours between both the exams. I would allot 3-4 hours for boards and remaining 5-6 hours for JEE Advanced preparation. The preparation for both these exams was quite different. Boards required a good memory and thorough study of NCERT. On other hand, preparation for Advanced isbetter done through practicing, solving and developing new ideas. My teachers also helped me find and maintain balance in study for both the exams.

Jagranjosh: How did you de-stress yourself during the preparation? What are your hobbies? How often could you pursue them?

Pranav: My primary source of de-stressing was TV. My favourite TV show Shinchan would help me keep stress in check. I also used Facebook and YouTube as a stress-buster. Apart from these activies, I also played cricket with my batch mates. My hobbies are reading mythological novels and playing table tennis. However, I couldn’t pursue them during these two years.

Jagranjosh: Who would you attribute your stupendous success to?

Pranav: My success in JEE Advanced exam can be attributed to the constant guidance of my teachers, who not only helped me prepare for the exam but also played a major role in keeping me motivated throughout this journey. My parents also scarified a lot for my studies; especially my mother who stayed up late in the night and got up early morning to help me in my studies. I owe my success to her.

Jagranjosh: By cracking one of the toughest entrance tests of the country; you have become an inspiration for future engineering aspirants. What message would you like to share with JEE main/ advanced aspirants?

Pranav: All future JEE aspirants must keep in mind that, if you focus well, your study hours won’t matter. On the other hand, if you don’t focus well, no matter how many hours you study in a day, it won’t bring you success. So, just stay calm and focused on your goal. Believe in your teachers and their guidance. Ensure that your knowledge is conceptually sound and do solve previous year papers.

Question 17: Who is your biggest role model and inspiration in life and why?

Pranav: My biggest inspiration is Mr Narayana Murthy, the co-founder of Infosys. His intelligence and diligence inspired me.Backed by his knowledge and will-power, he managed to build a super-giant company. I also love the way he donates and gives back to the society.

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