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Question answer session with Soumya Mahapatra.

1. What was my strategy for a branch change?

Ans.-Well! I did not have any topper type study schedule. I was strict withtwo things- First, getting my concepts cleared along with regular revision of the lecture slides/notes and rigorous practice of the tutorial assignments.You won't probably need any other referencebook. Solving the previous years’ question papers also facilitated me to get a flavour of the typology of the questions to be asked in the exams. Second, time management. Don’t confuse it with studying withoutany breaks. I did take breaks but in between switching two subjects.And last, there is no substitute for hard work. It is the only thingthat makes your concepts crystal clear. And yes a very important tip-plan out your next day when your work is over for a day. That reallyhelps. Philosophically speaking, there’s no elevator to success and hence you have to take the stairs.

2. Why did I choose E&ECE over CSE?

Ans.- Although I could have availed CSE, but I chose E & ECE because I love to study about electricity and the physics involved that goes into making of a tiny chipset which has revolutionised our lives starting from mobile telephony to aerial robotics. As I aspire to undertake research in the field of VLSI design and embedded systems, I feel this department would render me a robust foundation and open up a wide range of avenues for my pursuit.

3. What are some subject-wise tips for juniors?

Ans.- First of all abstain from bunking a lot of classes and be sincere enough in sparing an hour everyday for revision of the things taught in class that day. Next here are some subject-wise tips that might be useful.

i. Chemistry- Lecture slides are more than sufficient for scoring an EX/A grade if studied with diligence. Tutorial assignments are extremely important because a lot of questions/numericals asked in the exams are direct lifts from these with certain variations. Reference books like Peter Atkins(Physical), Shriver & Atkins(Inorganic) etc. are NOT necessary(from exam point of view) but might be useful in understanding some key concepts not so well explained in the slides.

ii. Electrical Technology- For the pre mid-sem part, Edward Hughes is a handy book containing lots of basic solved examples and a good set of unsolved questions. For post mid-sem part, although you may follow Nagrath-Kothari but if you get Prof.ChandanChakraborty’s notes and try the numericals practised by him, that would be essentially great. NPTEL video lectures might also interest you. So have a look at them too. Tutorials are of utmost importance for this subject as the questions in them are of moderate-high difficulty whose solving requires deep understanding. Rigorous practice of the tutorials alone guarantees one of good grades.

iii. Mathematics-1 – Jain and Iyengar is the best book available which would come handy even in the second year. So get a copy of it. It has a beautifully written theory along with a lot of quality solved and unsolved questions. If you study and practice Prof.Jitendra Kumar’s notes(get them from your friends who study in his section), you will be assured of an EX/A grade at least.

iv. English for Communication- You need to learn the short summaries and detailed analysis and interpretations of the chapters(google them, you will find it easily) which would be helpful.

v. Physics- You definitely need to follow two books for this- SomnathBharadwaj and Lecture Notes by Saraswat&Sastry. Religiously solving the back-side exercises given in the Saraswat&Sastry book is extremely necessary. Questions asked in the exams are usually based upon these exercises. Try learning the theory also as it is also of the same weightage as numericals. For the oscillations & waves part, Saraswat&sastry’s theory is more comprehensive and for quantum theory, SomnathBharadwaj’s book is a better alternative.

vi. Mechanics- For the statics part(mid-sem), the book by Meriam&Kraige is exceptionally good which contains several illustrated examples and quality questions. Apart from your tutorial assignments, you may try the problems given in this book(but not compulsory) which would boost your understanding and confidence. And for the Strength of materials part(end sem), solving only the tutorials at least 2 times is good enough. (Beer and johnston’s book is not really necessary but you may follow it for illustrations of concepts). For understanding the theory, revising your class notes is sufficient.

vii. Mathematics-2-Again jain and Iyengar book would be very useful for this. Try to get Prof.KoeliGhoshal’snotes which contains concise yet detailed theory of various concepts along with quality solved examples. Tutorials are also equally important.

viii. Programming and Data Structures-This course involves C programming basics and data structures. If you are new to C programming, try watching some video tutorials on the youtube channel ‘My Codeschool’ which are easy to comprehend. Lecture slides are also useful in clearing concepts. C programming by William Gottfried and ANSI C by Balagurusamy are ideal books to be referred to.

At last but not the least.Don't get bogged down by pressure, many people are very talented, but it is important how you perform on the exam day. If you had prepared well during JEE , you must have learnt to cope with the pressure. If not, then learn now.Nothing is impossible and don’t believe on something called LUCK. Itis nothing but- Labour Under Correct Knowledge. Work diligently andmake sure not to keep any works pending. Stay consistent and successwill be all yours.