Abhishek Maitra, a Delhi boy has secured All India Rank 1 in NCHM JEE 2014 entrance examination. Registering for the national level hotel management entrance exam was his mother’s idea and taking a chance on the suggestion proved a stunning success for the fun loving boy.
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However, securing AIR 1 was not stroke of luck, unlike his decision to appear for the entrance exam. Talking to Careers360, the NCHM JEE 2014 topper shares his preparation strategy. He also talks on how his regular progress reviews helped him gauge his progress and enhance his performance level.
As he tops the merit list of NCHM JEE, the Delhi-based boy finds IHM Pusa, New Delhi as his obvious choice for B.Sc. in Hospitality & Hotel administration course. In this interview, the NCHM JEE 2014 topper says that a day before the examination he stayed away from studying and reserved the day to bust examination nervousness through recreational activities.
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Below are the edited excerpts-
Careers360: Congratulations for your outstanding performance in NCHM JEE 2014! What are the factors which attributed to your success?
Abhishek Maitra:Thank you. Securing the first NCHM JEE 2014 All India Rank is an outcome of both blessings of parents and my hard work.
Careers360: What was your preparation strategy behind your spectacular performance in this competitive exam?
Abhishek Maitra: Believing and following the proverb “Hard work is the key to success” was the key to my success. I used to be very peculiar about my study schedule. By study schedule, I mean dedicated study time period, which could stretch from 2 hours to 5 hours depending on the picked topic/subject.
But I believe that a strict study schedule is not always an assurance of progress or improvement. So, to gauge improvement and to be aware of my weak areas, I also ensured that productivity of my study schedules is reviewed through weekly-fortnightly review plans. Review plans helped me to ensure that the mistakes committed while attempting questions were reduced considerably. This analysis of mistakes through review plan also enabled me to track my progress and to gauge my improvement level.
Careers360: What was your time management strategy for different sections of the exam?
Abhishek Maitra: I attempted “Numerical Ability & Scientific Aptitude” first as it is always good to solve mathematical questions with fresh mind and I consumed a decent of 30 minutes to wrap up the section. Then, the order of sections attempted by me was as- General Knowledge & Current Affairs, Reasoning & Logical Deduction, English Language.
Lastly, I attempted “Aptitude for Service Sector” section. Not a single question was skipped from the section as it carried graded marking system and negative marking is not applicable only for this section.
I preferred skipping questions on which I was not confident. As negative marking was applicable, so I took calculative risk in attempting questions.
Careers360: Which is IHM preferred by you to seek admission for B.Sc. in Hospitality & Hotel administration course?
Abhishek Maitra: My only preference is IHM Pusa, New Delhi.There are privilege of securing AIR 1, so will go for only IHM Pusa, as second preference for another hotel management institute is not at all required in my case.
Careers360: Which section was easiest and which was the toughest during NCHM JEE 2014 exam?
Abhishek Maitra: I found“Numerical Ability & Scientific Aptitude” section the easiest one. “General Knowledge & Current Affairs” section was a bit difficult as majority of questions were based on locations of hotels and owners of the hotels. I was not familiar with these topics.
Careers360: Please share how did you spend time a day before examination?
Abhishek Maitra: My day before examination was strictly reserved for recreational activities. I watched American crime film “Pulp Fiction”. I also hanged out with friends, watched movies, and played indoor games to bust examination nervousness a day before the examination. I believe that studying a few hours before the exam day does more harm than good.
Careers360: Why did you decide to opt for a career in Hospitality sector?
Abhishek Maitra: There are no such strong reasons to establish my career in hotel management sector. It was not a childhood dream but the idea was passed from my mother Sapna Maitra. I applied for NCHM JEE 2014 on my mother’s advice. She spotted my fondness for food and interest in cooking. She was quick enough to suggest me ways to enhance my cooking skills by taking it to next professional level and to pursue a professional course. This was how I stumbled on the idea to appear for the NCHM JEE 2014 entrance examination.
Careers360: Apart from studies, what do you do in your free time?
Abhishek Maitra: I enjoy reading fantasy novels and magazines. My favourite novel is “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone” by British author J. K. Rowling. Reading short motivational stories is also a perfect idea of leisure time utilized in gaining knowledge.
Careers360: How important is coaching for the NCHM JEE preparation?
Abhishek Maitra: I believe coaching for the NCHM JEE preparation is not at all required. Self study of 2-3 hours and adhering to the study schedule with a dedication is more than enough to crack the hotel management entrance examination.
But, self study comes up with terms and conditions. Aspirants need to plan their exam preparation strategy in right direction. At the initial level of exam preparation, aspirants should invest more time on their weak areas. Topics/subjects should be revised or practiced as a daily exercise. The following will be helpful in NCHM JEE exam preparation-
- Read at least 2-3 newspapers every day and converse in English to boost your communication skills.
- Read novels. Try to read at least 10 pages a day.
- Self study for the aptitude for service sector will fetch a decent maarks in the section. The section does not carry negative marking.
- Revise the basic concepts for subjects- Maths, English, and Science. Buy NCERT books and other reference books to brush up your knowledge base.
The punch line is to realize and indentify your weak area and strengthen them. Strong area should be brushed up so that it can be converted into an advantage.
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