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How to Prepare for IIT JAM Mathematical Statistics (MS)

Learn from the Achiever - Vaishnavi Jaiswal (AIR-4)
Vaishnavi Jaiswal

Vaishnavi Jaiswal - IIT JAM MS Success Story

Vaishnavi Jaiswal has cleared the IIT JAM Mathematical Statistics (MS) 2021 Entrance Examination with a Score of 66 and an All India Rank (AIR) - 4. 

She shared with us how she 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 Vaishnavi 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?

Jan 2020

Share your preparation journey in as much detail as you can.

Personally, I think my preparation journey began the day I started my graduation, B.Sc (H) Statistics in July 2018. I feel the most important part of the whole process is concept building, which helps more than any mock test, assignment or past year papers. The time spent studying, reading various books and learning is what ultimately helped me in cracking the exam. After I joined coaching, it helped me in revising the concepts, learning things I had missed out on earlier and practising questions.

What did you do in the last 3 months?

Since lockdown had begun by then and we couldn't discuss things with friends and teachers in person. Our group made a WhatsApp group to discuss doubts and concepts. After I was finished with the syllabus (around 1.5 months before the exam), I used to try out questions from past year papers, identify my weak areas, go back to them and repeat. I feel it's an important part as we usually tend to ignore such topics and that isn't a good idea.
What did you do in the last 1 week?
I honestly don't remember that well. I think it mostly revising a bit and relaxing.

What did you do on the last day?

I just relaxed mostly. I had made short notes for the entire syllabus, mostly consisting of formulas, revised them 2-3 times. That's it I guess.

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?

I think it differs from person to person. For me, book reading is the part I used to mostly do while doing a particular paper in college. Hence it was books recommended by college teachers or sometimes if I liked the way they described a book on quora. For JAM specifically, I referred to books as and when needed.

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

Past year papers of JAM MS, ISI M.Stat entrance

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

Probability and Inference for Statistics.
Linear Algebra, Calculus, Real analysis for Mathematics

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


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

I started with Section A (MCQ), I feel that's the section that should be done with alertness as it's scoring. You have more chances of getting it right as there are only 4 options and you know one of them is correct. Then I had moved to Section B (MSQ), and just attempted questions that I found easy. I tried not to waste much time there as I'm good at NAT questions but always get stuck on MSQ ones. Then I solved Section C (NAT) and in the end, tried to leave out Section B questions and flagged questions.
The ways of attempting can be different for everyone but I always feel Section A should be done with proper attention and don't waste time on questions which you can't solve during the exam (especially just because you like that topic) as you'll only end up wasting time. Instead, focus on what you can solve, and don't get disheartened if you find some beginning or even entire section questions tough, they are going to be tough for everyone.
How did you manage your time during the exam?
Keep track of time but don't look at the timer every 2 minutes. I tried to finish Section A in about 1 hour 15 minutes then NAT Section in around 1 hour and rest for MSQ Section.
How did you manage your exam preparation alongside your college classes and exams?
We just had online classes during the preparation days. So it wasn't that difficult. I just tried to pay attention to college classes only so that I wouldn't have to study extra for college.
What are the mistakes you made, that you don't want your juniors to make?
Be careful about silly mistakes during exams. Also, don't procrastinate studying.
Anything you want to say to the students?
Study to learn, because ultimately that's the only thing that matters in the long run. Also, even if sometimes things seem impossible, they do happen. Just have faith and try your best. Best wishes to all!

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