Students preparing for IIT are often confused about what books are best for their preparation. They ask their friends, teachers and book sellers at the nearest bookshop, but there seems to be no definitive answer to the question. This article is about how to decide which books are the best.
Books are the most important source of help and guidance during JEE preparation. A wrong selection of books can be the single differentiating factor between your success and failure.
First of all, you need books to understand the topics that constitute the syllabus. These books should be able to create high amounts of interest and excitement in you about the subjects. It should provide you with a sufficient number of questions of varied difficulty levels to give you some practice on those topics. Your understanding of a topic will become stronger if you read a book that describes good applications of various concepts and gives you challenging and application-oriented questions.
Number of worked out problems and exercises are not the right criteria for selecting books. Similarly, if a book is full of difficult questions and claims that it has IIT-level questions, the book may turn disastrous to you. A book not suitable to you can kill your interest in the subject and can make the preparation extremely difficult. So, take it easy and use books that explain the concepts in a simple way, generate interest in the subject and make the study enjoyable. Good books are generally simple books.
The books used in your college/school usually satisfy the criteria above. The syllabus of the class 12 board exams definitely has all the topics that are in IIT-JEE syllabus. Concepts involved in these topics are same, whether it is for your boards, or for IIT, or for any other purpose. Building the concepts is a must for any examination. There is no need to try any short-cut for any examination and make the task unnecessarily complicated. So, if your books are focusing on concepts rather than question-answers related to some examination and are able to create interest about the topics, they are good books for you.
As you build the concepts on various topics, you may want to check whether that is good enough to handle IIT-level questions. What can be a better source to get IIT-level questions than the question bank containing past 10-15 years of questions asked in the JEE itself? JEE questions are concept based and mostly application-oriented. Since most of the students are not used to building concepts and applying them, they find such questions difficult. This builds a common misconception that JEE questions are very difficult. In order to get some practice on difficult questions they get hold of books or resources that claim to have a large compilation of difficult questions. Practicing on difficult questions that are based on little tricks or involve too much lengthy calculations will only kill your time and ensure your failure in the examination. So, get a book that contains questions asked in the JEE in the past few years and use that for practice.
As you enjoy the subjects, you will study various topics several times. Studying from the same book again and again may become very boring towards the end. So, you need variety. Have a good collection of books. But follow the rule that the book should suit your style, should create interest in you about the topics and focus on concept building. Books containing tricks to solve difficult (trick based) questions and providing short-cuts on various topics are harmful for JEE preparation.
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
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