The complexity of the IIT-JEE arises from the fact that the questions are always unique in their context, and solving them often requires a combination of concepts from across different chapters. Nonetheless, some basic data analysis can be quite revealing and could give some important insights into how one should go about preparing for each subject. Such analyses form the basis of our understanding of the JEE. The section-wise breakup of marks in the four years (2001-2004) JEE Screening has been given below for your reference.
'Electrostatics and Current Electricity', and 'Electromagnetism'-each of these topics has contributed about 15% to the total marks in the past four years. Students should devote about 30% of their preparation time to the coverage of Electromagnetism and Electrostatics; because together they constitute almost one-third of the total marks and can be more scoring as the degree of difficulty when compared to Mechanics is relatively low.
'Optics' too contributes approximately 13% to the IIT-JEE Screening test. Though this trend does not conform strongly to the 1999 JEE (which only had one test- JEE Screening was introduced in 2000). Within Optics, it has been observed that problems on Physical optics are more frequent than that on Geometrical optics. Students should take care to devote about 10% of time on Optics for robust preparation.
In the past four years, approximately 20% of the total marks pertain to Mechanics. Within Mechanics, the favorite topics seem to be 'Rigid Body Rotation' and 'Motion on a Plane'. Topics like 'Simple Harmonic Motion' and 'Work and Energy', on the other hand, have been accorded relatively less priority for these years. Apparently, students have to be thoroughly prepared with Mechanics as it forms almost one-fifth of the whole JEE Screening paper. It is important for students to realize that Mechanics though important, takes relatively more time for preparation. Thus, they should restrict their preparation of Mechanics to about 30% of the total time. The next important topics are 'Modern Physics' and 'Thermal Physics', each commanding a share of about 12% of the total marks. These topics can be covered thoroughly in a relatively less time (10% of total time can be allocated to each topic); therefore, a student should look at exhaustively preparing for these topics.]
The last but not the least, 'Mechanical Waves' (sound) has accounted for approximately 12% of the total marks. Students can prepare for Wave Motion by restricting their total time spent on this particular topic to about 10%.
'Organic Chemistry' has the highest weightage with mean marks of 36%. Topics like 'Isomerism' and 'Name Reactions', and 'Stability of reaction intermediates' should be thoroughly covered. It is easier to remember the reactions and conversions involving aromatic compounds and a considerable percentage of questions from organic chemistry are based on this part. An understanding of directive influence of substituent groups, resonance and mechanism of reactions definitely helps in cracking the problems of organic chemistry.
'Physical Chemistry' is a close second with a mean weightage of 33%. In fact, questions on physical chemistry are all numerical in nature. Problems on topics like 'Electrochemistry', 'Kinetics', and 'Chemical and Ionic Equilibrium' are always asked either directly or along with some other topic. Students are advised to cover all the topics of physical chemistry. This is an area in which students can be sure of hundred percent score, provided they have a clear understanding of the concepts and a good practice of solving problems within recommended time.
'Inorganic Chemistry' and 'General Chemistry' account for 21% and 10% of the total marks. Inorganic Chemistry should be prepared by studying the group properties and periodicity. Lots of emphasis has to be given to Exceptions. Questions are asked from these topics invariably. The properties of some important compounds are also asked in the form of reactions. Remembering the reactions involved in qualitative analysis is of great advantage. Questions asked in General Chemistry mostly include that from 'Stoichiometry' and 'ChemicalBonding'.
'Calculus' accounts for about 30% of the total marks in JEE Screening. Students can score a high percentage of marks by firmly grasping the fundamentals of Calculus. More emphasis should be given in preparing 'Functions', 'Increasing/Decreasing Functions', and 'Maxima/ Minima of Functions'.
In Integral Calculus, students must practice problems on 'Definite Integral' with a proper understanding of the use of their properties for evaluation.
In 'Area of Regions Bounded by Curves', students should take care to draw figures for obtaining the limits of the integrals to be evaluated.
'Algebra' has a weightage of about 23% of the total marks. Students should emphasize practicing only those topics that have been well understood by them. Since problems on Algebra are trickier, students must practice solving as many different types of problems as they can.
'Analytical Geometry' has a weightage of about 20% of the total marks. It is also a conceptual topic. Before solving a problem, students must draw figures of the given curves to understand the problem.
The topics of 'Vectors and 3-D Geometry' and 'Probability' have a weightage of approximately 6% each. These also have to be thoroughly prepared.
'Trigonometry' carries a weightage of about 9%. It has been observed that this weightage was as high as 17% in JEE Screening 2001 and as low as 4% in JEE Screening 2003. Students, anyways, must be thorough with the topics of 'Inverse functions', 'Solutions of Trigonometric Equations', and 'Solution of Triangles'. The formulae and standard results of trigonometry must be learnt by heart in order to do well in the Mathematics paper.
Please note that the JEE is not about scoring 100% in a subject or the examination. Your aim should be to attain an optimal score in each subject, depending on your strengths and weaknesses.