JAM 2016 Topper Interview - Arpan Parichha (AIR 6 Biotechnology)
Prabha Dhavala, 05 Jul 2016, #JAM

JAM 2016 has just concluded with the admissions almost over this month for the M.Sc courses at the IITs and IISc Bangalore. Conducted in seven papers by IIT Madras this year, JAM 2016 is an online entrance test. The results of JAM are used by the NITs for their common counselling through CCMN 2016.

Careers360 speaks to Arpan Parichha who scored an All India Rank of 6 in JAM 2016 in Biotechnology. An honours graduate in Life Sciences from Presidency University, Arpan is passionate about research. He is currently a Junior Research Scholar at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research where he is pursuing his passion for research. Read on to know the reasons he appeared for JAM 2016, his preparation mantras and so on.
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Careers360: Tell us something about yourself; Graduation details; which degree and which college?

Arpan: My name is Arpan Parichha. I have completed my B.Sc Honours in Life Sciences from Presidency Univesity Kolkata with specialization in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. I am currently a Junior Research Scholar at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
Careers360: what was the JAM Paper you appeared in? What rank did you get in JAM 2016? What is your JAM score?

Arpan: I appeared for JAM 2016 in Biotechnology. I secured an AIR of 6 in JAM 2016. I think I secured about 48 to 50 marks in JAM 2016.

Careers360: What was the reason you appeared for JAM 2016? Your future plans

Arpan: I am interested in research and I was giving along a lot of exams. JAM 2016 was one of them. Admissions to IISc Bangalore in my field would be through JAM so I appeared for it. I wanted to get a single digit JAM rank to get the chance of admissions into IISc Bangalore.
Careers360: When did you start your preparation? How did you prepare? How many hours did you put in per day as per the stage of preparation?

Arpan: Actually I didn’t prepare specifically for JAM 2016. Like I said it was part of my preparation for many entrance exams. Having said that JAM 2016 was easy as it tests you on your knowledge of the given JAM Syllabus which is pretty similar to the graduation syllabus. Only the basic concepts are asked. Study your text books well and you are ready for JAM.

Careers360: Have you taken any coaching? If yes- From where? How did it help?

Arpan: No. there was no need to take any coaching. I don’t think anyone actually requires it if they study their graduation subjects well. Most of the students tend to forget those concepts learnt at the graduation level.
Careers360:The virtual calculator is the new feature introduced this year? How was your experience with it?

Arpan: My experience was good. I had no difficulties with it.
Careers360: Can you share any preparation strategies with our readers? How to schedule study time and make timetables?

Arpan: Since I didn’t prepare specifically for JAM 2016, there was no real preparation strategy but yes; I studied the syllabus well, practiced with all the sample papers/ previous year question papers. My strength actually is group study. I have a group of likeminded friends and group study works for us. Most of us have cleared JAM with high scores. You need a strong conceptual base in your chosen subject and your college syllabus is sufficient to score well for JAM.
Careers360: How should one schedule answering the JAM exam – which section to attempt first and which next?

Arpan: I found the Multiple Choice questions to be easy so they can be attempted first as you don’t have to work out the answers. Next are the analytical questions which are the numerical ones. These are also easy but you need to analyse your answers I didn’t have a particular strategy but this is what I did in the JAM 2016 exam.
Careers360: Name some important Topics that you feel are a must read for any student attempting JAM exam?

Arpan: For JAM 2016 Biotechnology which was the paper I appeared for, one requires a sound knowledge in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry which were my specializations in my graduation.
Careers360: Since all the JAM exams are online now, how mandatory is it for students to practice online and how frequently? Has the JAM being online been an advantage or disadvantage?

Arpan: The online exam is good. Unlike the pen and paper one where any mistake can’t be erased, you can actually check and rectify your answers. So in my opinion,
Careers360: What did you feel was a tough thing in the JAM exam?

Arpan: There is nothing tough in JAM if you are well versed in your concepts. What actually happens is most students forget their basics as they complete graduation. If you retain those concepts that you have learnt and refresh them thoroughly, it’s very easy to score well in JAM.

Careers360: How important do you feel mock tests are and why? Is it true that if one solves the previous year question papers, there is a good chance of cracking the exam successfully?

Arpan: The mock tests, sample papers have to be worked out by every aspirant. It allows you to understand the JAM exam pattern, and gauge the trends. All the exams have some pattern and trends that can be understood from solving the previous year papers. It also allows you to prepare for thr exam in a better manner.
Careers360: Which books did you follow for JAM preparation?

  • Biochemistry – Albert.L. Lehninger

  • Molecular Biology- James Watson

  • Cell Biology – H. Lodish

Careers360: Any advice for the future aspirants?

Arpan: Brush your concepts of the subject. Solve the previous year papers. Know the basics of your subject thoroughly and you should do well in JAM. All the best!

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