I believe, the one who has not failed is not fit to give counselling advice to someone else, how not to fail. Success stories often attract people. However, if you read the story of a person who achieved what he desired without tough times. The story will be boring. They can only tell their success story. You can only find what he did and got the success. You won’t find what not to do to avoid failure. As they have not got the time to analyse it. A person who fails, analyse the reason for his failure. If they improvise themselves, don’t repeat the same mistakes and after trying once again succeed. They are the best coach and they can become the best counsellor.
(Read my Failure story) After coming out of ISI, I was in a phase of self-assessment. My day and night were going in thinking about what went wrong. The period in focus was both pre-ISI and ISI period.
The Beginning of Counselling
I started giving classes to IIT JEE aspirants in 2006. Simultaneously, I was involved with several forums and student groups online. On Orkut (most popular social media app, before FACEBOOK happened), I started a group named Mathematics for IIT JEE (later on renamed as IIT JEE). I was giving advice based on my experience with IIT JEE preparation and mistakes to the aspirants of IIT JEE. I found that students are wasting time without understanding what to read and where to read from. Moreover, some of them are far behind the syllabus as they are not clear and their focus has shifted. In short, the aspirants were confused. By the time they understand, they have either appeared for IIT JEE or about to.
In the meantime, my Orkut group was growing and was having around 1,000+ members. In 2006, a student from IIT Bombay contacted me. He had started a forum for IIT JEE aspirants along with some other IIT students, named GetVidya.com. He contacted me to join them in their Mathematics division. It was a no-profit website.
My profile on GetVidya was answering queries related to Mathematics. However, on this forum, the focus of the students’ queries was more on how to prepare, rather than the concepts and problems. They were more concerned about where to read, what to read, book recommendations, the order of study, how to keep a balance between three subjects, etc.
After working on the forum for a month and going through questions of various members, I decided to write an article for the students. Notes – How to Prepare for IIT JEE. It was a detailed three-step IIT JEE preparation plan of two years. The post was an instant hit. At that time, no such detailed guide was available on the internet addressing all the minor issues faced by an aspirant. Within a few days, it became the most read and commented post on the forum.
For some time, I kept on my association with GetVidya. However, it came to my notice that I am not the only one giving advice. But, others too. Sometimes, my advice and others were contradictory. It was creating confusion among students. As a counsellor, in order to explain something to someone, one creates a framework, then start developing the concept one is explaining based on the framework. I was uncomfortable and it was feeling like an intrusion. Obviously, my experience with the failures would be different from those who have not seen failure.
Moreover, I already had a group for IIT JEE students on Orkut. There were almost 3,500+ members. So, I shifted the focus on my group. Some of the students were also getting connecting with me through emails.
Later on, in 2010, I created a blog on WordPress. I started writing articles on IIT JEE on my blog, based on the queries students had asked on my group and through the mail. I wrote several articles. Surprisingly, almost all the articles got a huge response from the aspirants. In the time when students were having less access to the internet, I was getting 200-300 views per day.
The articles written by me for IIT JEE are as given below
- How Good Are The New IITs
- Good College or Good Branch
- JEE: Should I Take A Drop?
- How to Prepare for JEE Mains After Appearing for 12th Board
- Most Suitable Date for JEE (Main) Online Test
- New Pattern: What is JEE?
- IIT JEE: What should be Strategy for Partial Droppers?
- How to Prepare for IIT JEE?
- Kota: Paradise for IIT JEE Aspirants
- Role of Coachings in IIT JEE selection
- Hopes Beyond IIT
- IIT JEE: What should be the strategy for repeaters?
Counselling – My Passion
Above all, I enjoy helping. In addition, Counselling is my passion. Sometimes, after 2014, I started parting away from counselling. Firstly, I had appeared for IIT JEE almost 10 years back. Secondly, I was not actively associated with IIT JEE and my contents had gone old. The strategy might not have changed much. But, certainly, it had become outdated. The reference to books needed update. Based on the new pattern, the strategy needed fine-tuning. However, being busy with my day job. I had had not much time to do the needful. It was not wise to give old information to the aspirants and confuse them. So, gradually, I stopped the counselling process.
Eventually, it was a great experience that I earned. I love to help others and improve them by sharing my experience. Also, I earned more than 3,000 followers on Facebook.