Gargi Das, a graduate in Life Sciences from Presidency University has qualified Joint Admission Test (JAM) 2016 with a score of 47.67 out of 100 marks, bagging AIR 3 in Biotechnology paper. In an interview with Careers360, the Kolkata girl who loves dancing shares that she was quite confident of qualifying JAM in her first attempt itself. She further says that the JAM examination questions were at par the graduation syllabus, in which she had an upper hand and that led her all the way to success.
In this interview Gargi tells that she did not take any coaching as she knew that brushing up the important topics in each subject would help her in answering the JAM 2016 questions. Read on to know what JAM 2016 topper shares on her success journey.
Careers360: Congratulations! How did you celebrate your success?
Gargi Das: Thank you very much. I am celebrating the success with my family and friends.
Careers360: For which paper(s) did you appear in JAM 2016? What are your JAM 2016 rank(s) and score(s)?
Gargi Das: I had appeared for Biotechnology and Biological Sciences papers. While in Biotechnology, I have scored 47.67 with an AIR 3, in Biological Sciences, I scored 61.33 and my rank is 39.
Careers360: What made you appear for JAM? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years down the line?
Gargi Das: I had an urge to pursue my post-graduation in science and thereby was preparing for several competitive exams including JAM 2016. I would go for research projects in well-known laboratories of the country and abroad. I am not yet sure about my research areas but will definitely work for benefit of mankind.
Careers360: Do share your preparation strategy beginning from the first phase of preparations. Did you take coaching?
Gargi Das: No, I had studied by myself and did not join any coaching institute for preparation guidance. In the beginning of my JAM preparation journey, which was precisely 6-7 months before the exam date, I would simply go through the syllabus and point out important topics from my B.Sc. text-books. The syllabus of my graduation programme was quite similar to that of JAM 2016. I thoroughly followed whatever was taught in my college, as I knew that it would help me somewhere in the long run.
The next phase was working on basic concepts and learning the facts by heart. Further, I brushed up important topics from different subjects. With the passage of time, I knew my strong and weaker study-areas, where I would put in more efforts to improve them.
The final phase of my preparation saw revising through my college notes and solving last years’ question papers as well the sample test papers.
Careers360: Which important topics did you put in more effort while preparing for JAM – Biotechnology paper?
Gargi Das: While preparing for JAM 2016, I would brush up the basic concepts in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Immunology topics, which on the other part covered a major section of Biotechnology examination paper and therefore help in fetching more marks than other test-takers.
Careers360: Could you name a few books that you referred during JAM 2016 preparation?
Gargi Das: I would follow ‘Molecular biology of the gene’ by Watson, ‘Principles of Biochemistry’ by Lehninger and Kuby for ‘Immunology’ subjects, while preparing for JAM 2016 exam.
Careers360: How did solving previous years’ question papers contribute to your success?
Gargi Das: As the saying goes ‘Practice makes a man perfect’, I feel practicing not only previous year’s question papers, but also the conceptual MCQs would help me a great deal in giving an edge over others. I used to practice almost every Biotechnology and Biological Sciences’ question paper over the last five years for the IIT M.Sc. joint-admission test. Moreover while solving repeatedly the same question papers over and over, never felt it to be a boring task, till I got cent per cent confidence in them.
Careers360: Describe your experience with JAM 2016?
Gargi Das: Although, I was earlier worried about JAM 2016, which was an online paper but was not bothered for the same on the examination day. I found ‘virtual calculator’ feature, introduced this year itself, a helpful one. The JAM 2016 question paper had some direct questions on set pattern from the syllabus books, which again gave me an edge to win.
Careers360: Is it mandatory for an online test-taker to be a tech-savvy? Is online JAM an advantage to test-takers?
Gargi Das: It is not mandatory to be a tech-savvy, yet a student should be aware of the process of the online exam and knows how to operate at least a mouse. Of course, it is always advantageous in taking online exams over the offline papers, as mistakes in choosing an option, if done, can be rectified in the former pattern.
Careers360: While preparing for JAM exam, which subject did you find tougher over others?
Gargi Das: Since I have graduated with Life Sciences subject; I had to spend a considerable duration of time in Mathematics and Physics subjects, recapitulating their basics. I, however, won over the odds with my stronger subject-areas.
Careers360: According to you, which section should be attempted first and which sections should follow?
Gargi Das: Every test-taker needs to do this with his/her own conscience. One should always attempt those questions first about which he/she is confident and comfortable. Moreover, this helps in best utilization of the limited exam time.
Careers360: What are the specific activities that helped you in unwinding yourself during your hectic preparation schedule?
Gargi Das: I am passionate about dancing as it would help me in unwinding myself during the hectic preparation schedule. I could focus more on my exam preparation, once I had danced to some of the melodious Hindi tracks.
Careers360: What advice would you like to share with future JAM aspirants?
Gargi Das: I would like to share just a line- The most important point about preparing for any exam is clarifying the basic concepts of the subjects, which in turn helps you in solving the tricky as well as difficult questions. All the best for JAM 2017!
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