The trio claims that staying at the hostel with like-minded friends had made them adopt a schedule where classes begin at 6 in the morning and concluded at 10 pm. After attaining top ranks in JEE Main, they are all now aspiring for a seat in IITs.
Living in a hostel turned to be a winning strategy for Telangana’s Likhith Reddy, Yeshash Chanda, and Shiva Krishna Sagi — all of them have scored 100 percentile in the Joint Engineering Examination (JEE) Main. Out of over 10.23 lakh students who appeared in both January and April/ September sessions, only 24 students could obtain 100 percentile.
Talking to indianexpress.com, the trio informed that staying at the hostel in Telangana with like-minded friends had made them adopt a schedule where classes begin at 6 in the morning and concluded at 10 pm. While over a dozen of students studied at the Narayanan hostels, the trio could make it through the exam. All of them are aspiring for a seat in IIT and claim to have turned to each other after their weekly mock tests to discuss doubts, and exam attempting strategy.
For Likhith Reddy, math is his favourite subject and he wishes to apply his love for the subject into the computation. He got inspired at a young age by his engineer father and joined hostel in class 11. While Shiva and Yeshash had joined the same in class 8 and 7, respectively.
Reddy had got 99.9978 percentile in his January attempt which was not a satisfying score for him and hence he appeared for the exam again in September to score a 100 percentile. He also got 95 per cent marks in class 12. Reddy told indianexpress.com that his focus was on JEE Advanced throughout and he shifted his focus towards Main only two weeks ahead of the exam.
Shiva Krishna who has attained rank 8, highest among his friends, believes that NCERTs are enough to crack JEE Main but making self notes based on readings of several help books is needed for JEE Advanced. He claims to have religiously followed his notes for Advanced.
He decided to join engineering as a career in class 7. Back then he used to take part in Olympiads which boosted his love for science and maths in particular which still remains his favourite subject. He then joined the hostel for focused preparation from class 8, however, he became a day scholar in class 11 when his parents became concerned about his “declining weight”, told Shiva. Both his parents are teachers.
He still followed the same routine but during the lockdown, Shiva said that he reduced the number of hours to about 8-10 to sustain focus for the longer duration of time.
He too had appeared in the January session when he scored 99.93 percentile and appeared for the September exam only for practice and boost his confidence before Advanced — which he claims is his main aim. Despite getting a 100 percentile he believes that his physics is not as good as he would want to be.
“By this time, all serious aspirants have the ability to solve all questions but what makes the difference is how fast one can solve these questions in limited time. One should try to avoid the known mistakes during the exams and that is my aim”, he said.
The trio meets every weekend to discuss their mock tests and discuss new strategies adopted for the exam.
Yeshash Chanda, however, informed that the hostel life was a mix of being supportive of each other while remaining competitive. “We were all competitive with each other when it comes to academics but in a healthy way. Seeing our peers’ study used to motivate one another but we also used to lift each other in case of doubt or any problem,” he said.
Chanda too had spent five years in the hostel which he claims had set the routine for his preparations. He said, “My parents had put me in the hostel noticing my love for maths. It was a good decision. My father used to come all the way from home to check on me during my initial days. Whenever I fell sick, he used to stay with me.” Both his parents are teachers. He also has a brother who is pursuing BTech from NIT Patna.
He had appeared for a January attempt where he scored 99.79 percentile which he believes was a terrible score. “All my friends had 99.9 percentile and above while I had 99.79 percentile. This had motivated me to study harder. Lockdown had given extra time to everyone to prepare better. To ensure an edge over others mocks play an important role as they help in self-analysis,” he said.