11 lakh students aim to get into an IIT every year. However, there are only 11,000 seats across these institutes, since the demand doesn’t meet the supply; the importance of these institutes is ever growing. There are several articles and Quora answers telling you how hard it is to get into an IIT or how tough life at an IIT is. However, some of these statements are just myths, it’s time to abolish these myths and unearth the reality of the situation.
Only brilliant students can crack JEE
A lot of students register for JEE, but don’t end up sitting for the actual exam. One of the main reasons for this is the conception that JEE is only for brilliant students. This demotivates so many that they decide they aren’t good enough to clear the exam, so they don’t even end up attempting it. No matter what your percentage used to be in school, you can crack JEE if you set your mind to it. Just because you haven’t pushed yourself hard enough before, doesn’t meant that you won’t put your best foot forward to get a college that will define your career growth in the future. You don’t have to be a declared child genius to aim for an IIT. In fact, some of the most inspirational stories of IITians are of those who cracked JEE, despite an uneven performance graph in school. Before you give this exam, it’s important for you to know one thing: you are good enough.
Going to Kota is the only way to crack JEE
Going to Kota doesn’t guarantee you a seat in an IIT. The one thing that appeals to most about Kota is the glowing list of toppers every coaching institute claims to have. However, the intense competition, adjusting so far away from home with no emotional support, lack of personal attention, distractions, can all deter you from the main purpose. If you introduce discipline in your preparation, cracking JEE without a coaching class is not far from the realm of possibility.
The more hours you spend studying, the more marks you get!
This isn’t a direct correlation! If you start early, you can avoid late nights and long hours of studying. More importantly, every student has a different grasping power. Where one student can learn a topic in a few hours, it might take another 1 day to do the same. You already know your grasping power, you can allot your time and make a well thought out time table in advance, to avoid slaving over a textbook for 12 hours a day. In fact, taking regular breaks is very important to thwart stress. Learn to pace your preparation.
You’ll be surrounded by nerds in IIT
Since it’s considered such a tough exam, people generally assume that the students who crack this exam are all nerds, who don’t know how to relax. However, that is absolutely not true. Every IIT has numerous departments that cater to varied interests, whether it’s the literary club, the dramatics club, the wildlife club, and these clubs are brimming to capacity every year. They even have tech-fests and cultural fests that keep most students occupied around the year. In fact, IIT Bombay’s cultural fest, Mood Indigo, is the largest cultural fest in India! So it’s safe to say, these nerds know how to enjoy.
You will have a very focused and difficult curriculum while in IIT
In school, when you wanted to take a break from the heavy subjects, you turned to languages or social science, but what do you do while studying B.Tech in IIT? It’s assumed that your 4 years at IIT are really difficult and stressful because of the tough curriculum and excessive study load. However, that is not the case. A semester in IIT runs over 4 months, but students don’t study throughout that time. Most students manage to secure a 7 CGPA and the cases of dropping a year, are very low. The curriculum for B.Tech is standard across all colleges, but IITs offer something more. You can pick up elective courses in management or humanities, so that you’re not only groomed as an engineer, but you can also pursue your other interests.
Every IITian gets offered a package of 1 crore or higher during placements!
Every now and then you will read an article that says, ‘IIT student secures a package of 1 crore’. This doesn’t mean that every IITian will be placed with such an offer. This is the unicorn, in an otherwise standard salary range. It is true that the standard package range is higher in most IITs, but there isn’t such a big leap. According to NIRF’s report, the median salary of placed graduates ranges between 7 to 10 lakh per annum.
All IITians go on to work as engineers in the industry
Most IIT graduates don’t end up in engineering jobs. It’s sad but true. IIT Bombay’s 2013 placement statistics reveal that 45% of the B.Tech students took up jobs in finance and consulting, 24% in IT and 8% in FMCG and non-IT. Just 22% took up jobs in engineering and technology. Many IIT grads become analysts, marketers, managers or drive growth across the corporate landscape. Some students opt for an specialised MBA and branch off into different fields. While others start their own ventures, some of which are ideated in IIT’s hostels!
Getting into an IIT is not as enduring as it may seem. Every IITian has a different perspective about their time in this prestigious institute. The important thing to remember is that don’t believe in myths, instead talk to an alumnus, before you make a decision.
About the Expert:
Manish Kumar graduated from IIT Bombay in 2006 with a degree in Metallurgical and Materials Science. He then pursued masters in Materials Science Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. Post his graduation; he joined Indian School Finance Company, where he was part of the core team responsible for business strategies and growth. In 2013, he co-founded SEED Schools, a venture focused on improving quality of low-cost K-12 education in India with a vision to make quality education accessible. He is currently Vice President of Product - Learning & Pedagogy at Toppr.com.