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‘Focus on school textbooks and strive for clarity of concepts’: JEE Main Session- I topper

Saksham Saldhi, who secured 99.98 percentile in the examination, talks about his schedule, preparation strategy and more

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A student of Apeejay School, Pitampura, Saksham Saldhi aced the JEE Main Session – I papers due to smart planning, determination and hard work. His father is a Mechanical Engineer at American India Foundation and mother is a teacher, who guided him through the JEE examination.  Apart from them, Saksham looks up to his elder brother, Pratham who is pursuing a course in Engineering at California State University, United States. For his meritorious success, Saksham further credits his school teachers and mentors. Read the full interview:

Were you expecting a 99.98 percentile at JEE Main Session – I papers?

Yes. I had calculated it before the results even came out. My paper went very well.

What was your preparation strategy?

The JEE Main paper is primarily based on the NCERT syllabus. It is like a CBSE exam – just in a greater detail. I used to spend 9-10 hours in the day studying for it after school. I managed to finish my syllabus by September 2021. After that, I kept on revising my concepts on a frequent basis. Three to four months close to the JEE Main exams, I just practiced the previous years’ papers.

Could you detail out your daily study schedule?

Due to Covid-19, my classes at school were shifted to the online mode. That’s how I got more time in hand to prepare for JEE. I used to wake up by 6.30 am. My classes started from 8 in the morning and went on till 1.30 in the afternoon. After that, I used to take an hour’s break and then sit to study for the JEE exams. I also took assistance from a coaching institute close to my home in North Delhi. However, my coaching was bi-weekly and the rest of my time was devoted to self-study.

Which was the most challenging subject for you?

Mathematics. However, I was able to overcome the difficulties by practicing a lot of questions. My school teachers were also very supportive in equipping me for the JEE exams. They were always there for me.

The subject you found to be the easiest one?

Physics. It is conceptual in nature, and if your basics are clear, you will be able to solve all kinds of questions.  

How did you de-stress before the examinations?

To be honest, I didn’t feel nervous about the competition. My mantra has been to try and improve myself. But, if the academic pressure was weighing down on me, either I would speak with my friends, or go out to play football.

Your parents’ contribution in your preparation?

They were constantly by my side. My mother ensured that my meals were not skipped at any time. She also included fruits and light meals in my diet.

After returning from work, my father used to sit with me and discuss my progress every evening. My interactions with my brother, Pratham who is also an alumnus of Apeejay School, Pitampura were also helpful.

Your career goal?

I want to become a Computer Science engineer. I am interested in knowing about the different algorithms that can enhance a user’s experience. Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook inspires me. He is very passionate about his work and that quality is admirable.  

What is up next for you?

I will appear for the JEE Advanced paper soon. To score well in it, I will be solving more difficult and comprehensive sums. Since there are fewer Multiple Choice Questions in the JEE Advanced exam, my thorough knowledge will help me. I also aim to put in more study hours. 

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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