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Should you ‘Drop a Year’ to crack JEE?

Nov 23, 2016 15:50 IST

    Cracking JEE Main and JEE Advanced is the ultimate dream for any engineering aspirant. JEE – the mother of all engineering entrance exams opens the doors to the best engineering colleges in India for aspirants. However, cracking IIT-JEE is not an easy task, especially in the first attempt. Managing studies for CBSE or state board exams along with JEE preparation is a tough ask for even the brightest minds.

    This brings us to the common dilemma that plagues every engineering aspirants mind; dropping a year. In fact, ‘Should I drop a year to crack JEE?’ is one of the most common queries on the engineering group of our student network ‘My Josh’. The hope of doing better in the next attempt is motivation enough to sacrifice a year, but it might not be ideally suited for all. To help you decide, if dropping a year for JEE Exam if worth it, we have listed down some convincing reasons and also highlighted common risks or downsides in the article below.

    Why would one decide to 'Drop a Year’ to crack JEE?

    Before we move our discussion to the advantages and disadvantages of dropping a year for JEE Exam; it is also very important to evaluate the reasons that might force engineering aspirants to take this decision. Below, we have listed down three main cases in which you can opt to drop a year for JEE Main or JEE Advanced.

    Low Rank in JEE Main

    The dilemma of dropping a year for JEE begins from the minute you walk out of the exam hall. But the final nail in the coffin is scoring low JEE Main Rank. For candidates who have scored a low rank in JEE Main, getting into their dream college like NITs or other top engineering colleges in India is a tough ask. In most cases, they have to settle for a college or engineering specialization that is not preferred by them. In such cases, it would be wise to drop a year and prepare well for JEE Main Exam next year.

    Good Rank in JEE Main but not in JEE Advanced

    Another case in which might put engineering aspirants in catch-22 situation would be a good JEE Main Rank but a poor or low rank in JEE Advanced. A low JEE Advanced Rank translates to ‘no admission’ to premier technology schools like IITs. Therefore, this is one of the main reasons which force engineering aspirants to consider dropping a year. The main challenge, in this case, is that while good JEE Main Rank can help you get admission to a reputed engineering college like NIT but not to the best of the lost i.e. IITs. But, if IITs are your ultimate dream engineering college and you are confident about making it across the line next year; it would be wise to take a drop. If not, you can compromise and still get admitted to good engineering colleges in India.

    Failed to crack JEE Main

    The most obvious reason to drop a year would be if you fail to crack JEE Exam. It is very likely that you would be depressed about your failure, but instead of brooding over it, you now have a chance to transform this failure into an opportunity. With no pressure of board exams, now you can dedicate all time and energy to prepare for JEE engineering entrance exam. But before you move forward, it is important for you to evaluate, understand and analyze your failure and shortcomings. This will help you avoid them next time.

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    Pros of dropping a year to crack IIT-JEE

    Now that we have identified the main cases that might force you to consider dropping a year for IIT-JEE, it would also be great if we can identify the advantages of the same. Below, we have tried to do just that.

    JEE is worth it!

    JEE Engineering Entrance Exam is called the mother of all engineering entrance exams in India for a reason! Without an iota of doubt, engineering is the most happening and most in-demand career option available to students in India. But, cracking JEE Main and JEE Advanced is not just about engineering but beyond that. IITs and NITs which select students for admission through this exam are not only the best engineering colleges in India but also enjoy credible reputation across the world.  In addition to getting the best technical education that the country has to offer, the experience of living a life of an IIT-ian is beyond words. Be it student exchange programmes, in-house and external projects, the academic culture or best campuses; IITs and NITs offer it all. Not to mention the market-value your degree would have once you walk out of IIT after 4 years. All these factors make one year wait worthwhile.

    You are not alone!

    JEE Main and JEE Advanced are the most competitive engineering entrance exams in India. High competition and limited number of engineering seats in IITs and NITs means that many candidates who are confident about cracking JEE will fall short. Many of these candidates choose to drop a year and reappear for the JEE Main and JEE Advanced Exams again. This is also clearly visible through numbers. As per 2013 statistics, almost 30% of the candidates selected through JEE appeared for the exam twice. This number was almost double i.e., at 60% in 2012. Simply put, this means that many engineering aspirants are known to drop a year and take up JEE for a second time to realize their dream of making it to IITs and NITs. In fact, statistics also suggest a higher success rate among the candidates who appear for JEE Exam in the second attempt.

    It’s better to try and regret than not to try at all

    Helen Keller once said that optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. This statement epitomizes the spirit in which you should take up IIT-JEE Exam. Everyone know that JEE Main and JEE Advanced are highly competitive exams, but bad performance in your first attempt doesn’t mean end of the world. In fact, it means another opportunity to prepare well and perform better in the next attempt. If you are focused on cracking JEE Exam and getting admitted to IIT in your dream engineering course; be sure to try it again. As the old saying goes, it’s better to try and regret than not try at all. By risking one year of your life, you can win the chance to transform your life forever. Even if you fail to achieve your ultimate goal, no one will ever be able to take away the knowledge and experience that you gained during the process of preparing for the IIT-JEE.

    Complete dedication and focus on cracking JEE

    Coming back to the core problem, one of the main reasons that many deserving engineering candidates are unable to make it across the line in JEE Exam is the lack of focus and dedication. With school board exams and JEE engineering entrance test falling in the same time period, engineering aspirants are often unable to do justice to both. While JEE Exam is for their better future, it would amount to nothing until students are able to score well in their board exams. This duality in approach often jeopardizes their chances when it comes to IIT-JEE. But this problem would not be there if you chose to drop a year, prepare for JEE Exam. It would allow you to dedicate all your time and energy to cracking JEE Entrance Exam and succeed in it.

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    Downside of dropping a year for JEE

    While the advantages of dropping a year for JEE are quite clear and obvious; there are certain downsides that you must keep in mind. Some of them are listed below:

    Mental and financial stress for another year

    Preparing for IIT-JEE or JEE Main and JEE Advanced is not an easy task and puts aspirants under immense amount mental and financial stress. Devoting another year to crack JEE Exam will surely create mental pressure to perform better as now you cannot blame your failure on any of the other factors. It will also mean buying more preparation material, joining extra coaching classes, which be additional financial burden for you.

    One year might cost your dearly when it comes to placements

    The biggest argument that is given for dropping a year for IIT-JEE is that it’s just one year while getting into IIT will change your entire life. Well, this might sound good, but when it comes to placements and remuneration it just doesn’t add up. For instance, an engineering graduate from a respectable private engineering college like BITS Pilani commands the same remuneration as one from IIT. Therefore, if you drop one year to join IIT, your batch-mates who joined a private engineering college with poor JEE Rank might already be working when you are in the final year. And this chain is not only limited to initial placements, it will also come into picture when it comes to seniority and total work experience throughout your career.

    All your batch-mates would be your seniors

    Although not that big a problem but it surely is something that might pinch you in long run. All the students who you have studied with for so many years during your college days will proceed and begin their graduation while you still prepare for JEE Exam. This might not look like such a major challenge right now but it surely affects the candidates mentally.

    Other lucrative options

    Despite IITs being termed as the best engineering colleges in India, there are many other credible options available to engineering aspirants. In fact, during the last decade, many private technology schools have upped their game to join the list of best engineering colleges in India. Be it BITS Pilani, VIT, KIIT and JIIT being the few among them. These new engineering colleges can match up to the level of IITs and NITs, be it in terms of academic excellence, infrastructure or placement. So, dropping a year just to get admission to IIT or NIT might not be the best choice available to you.

    As we discussed in the beginning, there is no clear ‘yes or no’ answer to this question. The question is very important and complex as your career and entire future upon it. Considering the gravity of the problem, we have analyzed every aspect related to dropping a year to crack JEE in the article below. We hope that the above discussion will surely help you to understand all the options available to you as well as understand their pros and cons.

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