I was quite ignorant at that time, I must admit. I was adamant on getting admission in ‘Electrical Engineering.’ So I followed the suite and not only, got admitted in ‘a renowned academy‘ well before my exams were finished but also, dragged a few friends with me.
I had an apprehension what I might be facing but still I was quite astonished when I entered the ‘classroom’ first day. It was a small room crowded with over 200 students. It was the month of July and the three air conditioners seem to have given up against the raising temperature. However, it was the same atmosphere I were to bear for 3 months if I needed to prepare for the test from ‘the academy.’
Before I was out from the shock a teacher walked in and started delivering lecture. I don’t know till this day what was his motive, but he was speaking in such a whispering tone that only those who were sitting in the front rows were able to hear. So instead of listening I started counting the rows and after three tries of counting I was able to determine that I was sitting in 21st row.
After a few days, when I was able to catch up what was being taught, we were informed that we would be having ‘tests.’ Although I have given up the high hopes but still I was expecting some sort of standard in ‘tests.’ Alas! to my dismay, in that crowded sitting arrangement we were handed the questions and asked to solve. With these instructions, the guy; who was distributing the tests, disappeared.
Most of the Students were feeling relieved and fanning themselves from the question sheets. Some ‘theetas’ were trying to focus on the questions and were working hard on blocking the ‘envoirnmetal effects’ rather than the test. Majority of students relied on the end-of-test-disscussions by the teacher and did not bother to pay any attention to the test.
I tried to cope with this for some days but when it did not get any better I voted for french-leave (literally). I packed my luggage and left for 1 week family trip. “That’s all of an academy for me!”
After having some peace of mind, I jumped again in what you call ‘Entry Tests.’ Now I tried to have a look at the textbooks (I appeared in FSc exams from Lahore Board). I was most worried about English, because I have been terrorized that NUST Entrance Test (NET) has a ‘deadly’ English section. I obtained a SAT book and tired cramming the word bank but got bored after ‘Abrogate.’
“This was pretty lame,” I thought, “There should be a more intersting way if not an easy one.” So I resorted to reading the daily newspaper and magzines and novels. (Its far more interesting than studying the dry textbooks for umpteemth time.)
Glad with my success, I tried to find an intersting way for the remaining sections; maths, physics and chemistry. I recalled how our teacher used to train us for the objective part of FSc papers. With a little help from my teachers, I procured a lot many objective guide for these subjects. Then I found a wall clock (wrist watches are sometimes not allowed in Entry tests). Having all these I locked myself in the room and approximating 50 secs for every question, I tried to solve them all. Chapter by chapter I progressed, by the time I was at half -book papers, I had mastered accuracy.
Well, there were certain things that were taught to me by numerous sources . I must admit I would not be able to learn them by conventional sources. Most notorious of them was guessing the wrong answers out. I also learned the subtle techinque of taking hints from other questions.
Last but not the least I learned ‘how to gamble’. If I am in NUST today, it is due to this ‘gambling,’ I have been preaching this practice for past 2 years and with tremendous results
First attempt those questions you are 100% sure about. Roughly make an estimate how many of these you have attempted. based on the assumption of 1/4 negative marking (if there is negative marking, it used to be in our times), calculate the maximum points you can salvage, lets say you decided to salvage 4 points and for 1/4 negative marking you get 4×4 = 20 questions. Now for these 20 questions, solve those, about which you are 90% 0r 80% sure.
Now, if I am asked to sum it all:
- It is good to join an academy, but at your own risk.
- You need peace of mind for preparation.
- You should have a clear aim where you are heading and prepare accordingly.
- There are other shrewd techniques, you need to learn before you appear for the test (For that you may join academy).