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How to Prepare for ISI B.Math Entrance ~ Varun Balasubramanian

Learn from the Achiever - Varun Balasubramanian (ISI B.Math, 2021)
Varun Balasubramanian

Varun Balasubramanian - ISI B.Math Entrance Success Story

Varun Balasubramanian has cracked the ISI Entrance 2021 Examination. 

He shared with us how he prepared for the ISI Entrance in an interview with Cheenta. This interview will take you through the preparation journey of Varun for ISI Entrance 2021 and can help you with some insights that you can utilize for your ISI preparation.
 
Here are some of the questions, that he answered in the interview. You may find more insights in the video provided below.

Tell us about yourself.

I am Varun Balasubramanian, Class 12th Passout. I recently got selected in the Indian Statistical Institute, ISI BMath AIR 26, and JEE 97.8 percentile. I had earlier qualified for ICPC For Schools '19.

I used to play cricket and I still do play badminton now. I have been seriously interested in Math since the 9th grade.

How did you prepare for the ISI B.Math Entrance?
 
I started taking ISI/CMI seriously at the start of the 12th standard and I was simultaneously preparing for JEE mains as well. I would say JEE Math did help me score in the objective section of ISI due to the time constraint. Just 1 month before ISI, I mainly used TOMATO and other websites related to ISI preparation alone and solely focused on the objective section, because that's the only thing you can do last minute. Preparing for the subjective section takes a lot more time and just preparing for it the last min won't do.
 
Can you suggest some books or other resources that had helped you in your preparation?
 
3 main books I used when I was starting:
1) Mathematical Circles
2) Pre-college Mathematics
3) TOMATO
Additionally, I used books like Burton and Problem Solving Strategies for Number Theory and combinatorics respectively, but those are completely optional.
 
What are you planning next?
 
My favorite topics in math are Number Theory and Calculus, and as I have also been involved with some CS, I would like to work with cryptology and security systems later on.
 
How Cheenta helped you in your ISI - CMI preparation?
 
I have been in Cheenta from class 9-12 and the faculty has been with me throughout my entire mathematical journey. I would especially like to thank Kaurag Sir, Shahbaz Sir, Writabrata Sir, and Aritra Dey Sir for guiding me through the hurdles I faced in my preparation.
 
Anything you want to say to other students?
 
I used to think that only people who cleared RMO used to make it to ISI/CMI. But that is not always the case. I, for one, never maintained notes during my preparation but that was just my personal preference. It is useful to remember the ideas that you've used in solving a problem, and even any wrong approaches can help guide you in what not to do the next time you try approaching problems.

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