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How to Prepare for IIT JAM Mathematical Statistics (MS) ~ Abhinav Shukla

Learn from the Achiever - Abhinav Shukla (AIR-32)
Abhinav Shukla

Abhinav Shukla - IIT JAM MS Success Story

Abhinav Shukla has cleared the IIT JAM Mathematical Statistics (MS) 2021 Entrance Examination with a Score of 51.33 and an All India Rank (AIR) - 32. 

He shared with us how he prepared for the IIT JAM MS in an interview with the Cheenta Statistics and Analytics Department. This interview will take you through the preparation journey of Abhinav for IIT JAM MS 2021 and can help you with some insights that you can utilize for your IIT JAM MS preparation.

When did you start preparing for IIT JAM MS?

March 2020
What was your plan of preparation? How did you start? 
The initial step was research. By reading or listening to the stories of seniors who have cracked it. Reading through Quora. Contacting them through Facebook. Asking everything from books, youtube channels, coaching, etc. Getting enough information and motivation I decided to go for self-preparation. Finally started by pasting out the syllabus on the wall by writing it down with my own hands. Downloaded the main books. I gave it a thought to just start from PNC and Probability for once, things will flow smoothly then. And this happened.
A target date to finish the syllabus was 31st October 2020. So that I get enough time for revision (This came from the experience of JEE). And another thought was to take one chapter at a time and give it 10-15 days. This was the only plan in mind. Now, no fixed dates, no schedules, nothing. Just enjoyed learning(at least this becomes true when I started understanding STATISTICS intuitively).
Share your preparation journey in as much detail as you can.
(I was zero in statistics before preparation starts). I have already talked about the initial process in the previous answer. The Research phase. I insincerely started preparing from 8th January 2020 when I was in a hostel in Banaras. I started from Bartle and Sherbert, yes you guessed it right, It was Sequence and Series together with PNC and Probability from NCERT and JEE notes. I used the word insincerely for a reason because it took me 2 months to do this much work.
Then Corona happened.
I was back at my home in Lucknow.
15th March-2nd April - It was the 15th of march 2020 when I wrote down sincerely the two words, "Random Variables" in my notebook. So I consider this date to be the day when preparation started actually. In front of me was my laptop with the book Mood and Graybill opened as a pdf, and in minimized tabs were Hogg and Craig, Sheldon Ross.
Then things flew smoothly, I jumped to Standard distributions. I jumped from one book to another in the starting days. Actually enjoying the learning. Reading more about distributions from Medium. Learning intuition about Poisson, exponential, gamma from youtube channels named Brandon Foltz, stat quest, Zedstatistics, khan academy, etc. It was all fun. Doing questions from Hogg and Craig, and Mood and Graybill's back exercises too. On 2nd April, I was done with RVs and SD's.
3rd April - 22nd April - I picked up Integral calculus which was a prerequisite for joint distributions. Studied entirely from Anton, Bivens with pre-requisite of indefinite, properties of definite from NCERT. 22 April 2020, I was done with Integral Calculus.
23rd April-30th April - I picked up Sequence and Series. Started all over again in a good manner. And finished it on 30th April 2020. Through JEE lectures of Unacademy (for basics). Bartle and Sherbert notes, Schaums Series questions.
2nd May -25th May - Started joint distributions from mood and Graybill only. Questions from Hogg and Craig chapter 2. Correlation and regression from youtube channels mentioned above.
Took a week-long BREAK. :D
25th May-2nd June - Study motivation was inversely proportional to the temperature at that time :p.
3rd June - 22nd June - Started Sampling distributions and WLLN, CLT and finished on 22nd June. It took a whole lot of time. Watched MIT lectures, Other youtube channels to understand more. One thing I want to mention is "I was simultaneously solving 2016,2018,2019 previous to get an idea of types of questions asked" the whole year.
23rd June-30th June - Started point estimation but stopped in 3-4 days as I was overwhelmed with Statistics I guess. And this particular chapter seemed more theoretical. So Stopped it. Took a break! Watched the Family man, Breath series on amazon.
Whole July - At this stage in Maths I had Sequence/Series and Integral. And in Stats, I had Probability up to limiting theorems. Was still overwhelmed so decided to go back to revise stats and pick maths. Studied Differential Calculus one variable only and revised stats together with solving questions of statistics studied till that date slowly and steadily. At this stage, I got to know of P.Sahoo. The gem.
Whole August - I was back in form picking up POINT ESTIMATION. It was a big chapter. Gave a lot of effort to learning, understanding again and again. Mood and Graybill were the best. It completed the chapter as a story of finding UMVUE. UMVUE found the chapter finished. Also asked many questions/doubts to seniors. And cleared them up. Couldn't find many questions from this topic in books so one senior suggested Tanujit sir's notes, another gem.
September - Interval Estimation and Testing of hypotheses. Khan academy for understanding CI, the book Walpore Myres helped a lot in understanding the basics of hypotheses. Again Mood and Graybill covered everything in the syllabus.
October-November-December - This period was over in blow. It was too fast. I don't remember much. On 1st October I thought STATS ✓ But the real game started from this date. When I was completely into solving JAM previous years, Tanunjit's each and every question, WhatsApp groups questions, discussions with friends, etc. I'll say learned more than 60% by doing questions. In Maths I had Matrices and 2 variable calculus to complete. So started doing them parallelly. Started solving JAM maths previous years for maths also. Decided that I'll not do LT because of its low output and high input. A whole lot of things were going on together. Was continuously revising, taking gaps, the anxiety of revision, fear, messed up mind, the chaos of revision, everything was there. On December 20th, I remember I told one of my friends that I can't make it. I was this demotivated. So this also is part of the journey :'). But anyhow took myself back. Also Celebrated everything from Dusshera, Diwali, friend's birthday's to new year's night to my own birthday in January. And these all days were like necessary gaps.
January - Joined a Library nearby. Gave Test Series and did the revision. Solving 2005-2014 JAM previous years. They were pending. And else was done.
February - Solved Gate statistics.
2 February - Gave 2017 JAM by myself.
10 February - Gave 2020 JAM on the official website of JAM. ( Don't do this thing, this late, do it in January for obvious reasons.)
14 February- Gave JAM and was depressed. Later on, got to know that everyone is depressed and I did quite well to get a decent rank.

What did you do in the last 3 months?

Revision, Prepared short notes, Solving questions from P. Sahoo, Tanujit notes, Previous years, GATE ST, WhatsApp groups questions. And studying some remaining topics from maths. Differential calculus 2 variable and Matrices.
What did you do in the last 1 week?
Gave JAM 2020 mock online. And solved GATE ST questions. Revision of formulas, Short notes. Didn't studied much, only 2-3 hours a day.

What did you do on the last day?


There are just too many books out there. But how did you select your optimal combination of books? How did you select the books, that suit you?

Getting the names in recommendations then trying by myself. Rejected the most common recommendation, VK Kapoor, in this self trying process. Choose others too. It's both ways.

Any resources/books/courses to practice problems for/like IIT JAM MS examination?

Hogg and Craig P.Sahoo.
JAM MS previous years.
JAM MA previous years.
GATE ST previous years.
See ISS too.
Shanti Narayan and Schaums for Sequence and Series.
JEE material for differential calculus.
Anton Bivens exercises for integral.
Whatsapp groups of coachings.

What are the important topics for all the subjects for IIT JAM MS?

Axiomatic probability, Bayes theorem, and theorem of total probability.
PMF,PDF,CDF,MGF of univariate and bivariate random variables.
Poisson,exponential,normal,binomial,geometric, negative binomial,uniform distributions. WLLN,CLT. Chi², t distributions.
MLE, Consistency, sufficiency, completeness, UMVUE. Confidence intervals for normal and exponential. Type-1,2 errors, power of the test. Neyman Pearson lemma for simple vs simple and composite hypotheses. Results.
Graphs. Limits. Sum of Series. convergence of sequence and series Comparision, ratio, root test. Concept of Bounded, monotone sequence.
Continuity and differentiability. Roots of the polynomial equation by the concept of curve tracing, using maxima and minima.
Integral calculus-Application part. Area volume everything.
Eigen values and vectors.
Sometimes easy ones from basic matrices, determinants come.

What is a good score to get in IIT JAM MS?

Although it depends.
For an easy paper.
Secure Bombay by 62+ and Kanpur by 55+

How did you attempt the question paper? How should one attempt the question paper to maximize the marks?

MCQ(2 marks) > NAT(2 marks) = 30 questions,60 marks.
> NAT(1 marks) > MCQ(1 marks) = 20 questions, 20 marks.
> MSQ(2 marks) = 10 questions,20 marks.
How did you manage your time during the exam?
The exam was a shock. All the time management, everything was flipped upside down during the exam. I forgot everything. Just keep going was the only thought at that time.
How did you manage your exam preparation alongside your college classes and exams?
Because of covid. Everything was calm.
What are the mistakes you made, that you don't want your juniors to make?
1. Make notes of every single chapter, including good questions in it. It helps during revision. 2. Practice GATE Calculator a lot from mouse (in speed) ( not in a relaxed manner ) 3. Spend a lot of time in the official interface of mock test links uploaded on the JAM website. (2 seconds can make a difference positively or negatively both.)
Anything you want to say to the students?
1. Give your 100% that much is in your hands. Honest and complete efforts are the only thing.
2. Leave at least 2 previous years to give them as a mock in January. Try it to be on the official JAM interface.
3. Previous year's is GOLD.

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