“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Jesni M Jacob, currently doing research under Dr Mahesh Kumar Ravva narrates her journey to achieving CSIR-JRF All India Rank of 65 through persistent efforts.
I’m working in the field of computational chemistry on designing and developing organic molecules for OLED applications. Securing an AIR of 65 in the CSIR JRF in Chemical Science June 2021 exam is a dream come true moment for me.
In 2019, I completed my post-graduate studies at Madras Christian College, Chennai. The four-year-long journey from zero to JRF AIR 65 was of hard work, patience, sleepless nights, sacrifices and even frustrated moments. It was challenging to remain motivated after multiple unsuccessful attempts. But I wasn’t ready to give up hope. I believed in myself and dreamed big with faith in God Almighty.
My previous attempts didn’t provide me with any hope of continuing my preparation because my marks were consistently far below the cutoffs. That made me realise one thing: without coaching and ample guidance, qualifying for CSIR JRF is a toiling task for an average student. But I learned that with strong passion, proper dedication, and right strategies of do’s and don’ts, any aspiring student can pass the exam with flying colours.
After each attempt, I learned from my mistakes and tried to optimise my strategies. One should never try to cover the entire syllabus and be bothered about it. I analysed the unit-wise weightage and narrowed it down to a few important topics that I found exciting and comfortable.
- Choose topics carefully and focus solely on mastering them.
- Try to stick to and rely on reliable standard textbooks as much as possible.
- The SRMAP library provided me with excellent access to a wide range of standard texts.
The JRF aspirants should try to solve previous years’ questions from standard exams (CSIR, GATE, IISc, etc.) and note new concepts or approaches every day. Enjoy and prepare short notes with a lot of scribbling and highlighting in various colours. Notes should be concise and simple to revise later. But don’t spend too much time making notes.
I made time for exam preparation along with my work and research activities. I’m grateful to my family, teachers, and especially my guide- Dr Mahesh Kumar Ravva, for their constant support and encouragement. He gave me a safe space to express my desire to ace the exam and my anxieties about it. Dr Mahesh always listened to my concerns and helped me to gain clarity on my thoughts. He always encouraged me to dream big and shared his perspectives and lessons from his life experiences. He is a great mentor, motivator, and teacher to me.