To IIT Delhi and beyond

Posted on Mon 19 October 2020 in JEE

I think an update on the JEE Situation has been due for a long time, and I'll try to compress the past few months into this single post. Long story short, my JEE(M) was held on 2nd September, in the evening shift. After giving my best and getting a 260/300, I was disappointed (putting it mildly) to see the CRL of 1861 on my screen. AITS JEE(A) Mocks followed, and after giving three of them, I had to give my BITSAT. I did not do any preparation, went and gave the exam and got a 422/450 (including bonus marks). This was enough for BITSP CSE, so my safety net was intact.

Another AITS Mock followed, which I pretty much aced (got an AIR of 28ish) and I was feeling pretty pumped up for the final exam. I chilled out post the mock, hanging out on StackExchage and revising the odd inorganic formula or two. The date of the exam finally came, and the papers were no easier than the AITS test I gave a week back (lol for those who say AITS are hard). I left 4 questions in the first paper, 6 in the second and did 2-3 silly mistakes overall.

Over the next week, I checked my paper out, computed the score from the answer key and saw that I was getting 245ish. I had taken a ton of negatives in Chem paper 2 and had also taken Giga as $10^6$ instead of $10^9$. I was expecting a rank in the 250-400 bracket, with 500 being an absolute worst case result. Best case department was Bombay EE, whereas worst case was Madras EE.

Result day finally rolled around and I got a CRL rank of 323 with 249 marks (258 positive marks). I had fallen in a little pocket, just outside of CSE but ahead of EE. Following an intensive search of the available departments and programmes, I realized that EE would be an absolute bore. I liked EE and had experience in it, but looking at the course structure and hearing about the profs, I stayed back from EE. KGP CSE closed at 30 ranks above me, so tough luck there. Maths and Computing at Delhi emerged as the frontrunner here, with a CR of 314 last year. The Dual Degree programme was more optimistic for me, with a CR of 373. At this point, I was in a massive conundrum: a Dual Degree was something that I was not considering from the start; is doing a Dual worth it? There were positives and negatives; positives being that I get an extra year to explore stuff and that I can skip a year on an MS and directly do a PhD if I want to. Negatives were that the value of an MTech from an IIT is very low (IIT Lingo for MTech's is 'Matkas' (pots)). If I was considering Duals, then IITB EE Dual also entered the fray, because of it's CR of 500ish something, and IITB had been a target of sorts during my preparation, so an emotional factor was also present.

In the end, I decided to screw emotion; taking EE dual with hopes of a Department change was not a good decision, and IIT Delhi Maths and Computing won over. I would get the 4 year degree if I was lucky or I would take the dual degree, without any regrets. I got the dual in both my mock seat allocations and also in the first round of seat allocation. Looking at the closing ranks across all 7 rounds from last year, I realized that there is no change in the top 100 and very little (couple seats) in the top 500, so this is it. The fat lady has sung, and I'll be packing my bags for Delhi whenever the pandemic blows over.

I thought about offering some pearls of advice to others by penning down the story of the past two years; I wrote a draft, but it was too lengthy, too egocentric and too offensive. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at talking or writing about myself, and the story would piss off more people than I can count. I would like to thank those who have been on this journey with me, starting with my Parents: suffice it to say that I wouldn't have made it this far in life without them, and any attempts to thank them in words will not do their efforts justice. Most of my time was spent with my Textbooks (mostly Cengage series and couple of Sri Balaji texts), so kudos to the authors of those. My Notebooks were amazing (I filled around 60-70 of those, and each was ~120 pages) and bore my frustrated scribbles without complaint when I couldn't solve problems. Thank you as well to all nonliving things and articles I used in this journey.

I did not take a classroom coaching course, so no teachers to be thanked there. I would like to thank FIITJEE for AITS: the hardest test series out there. The problems from here were great (note that not all of them were original; quite a few were lifted from IPhO, IChO, INPhO, IMO, HMMT etc) and truly tested my abilities. Shout out to the community over at Physics, Chemistry and Math StackExchange for answering most of my stupid questions, and some not-so-stupid ones. Another mention for my school, for indirectly helping me out with the ISC curriculum. Thanks also to all the seniors whom I reached out to following the JEE results for talking time out to connect with me and help me out: you guys are the read MVP's! Finally, thanks to anybody I missed out on here and who has been a part of this journey: this includes my friends, family members and anybody who directly or indirectly guided me. Thank you!

JEE