Here's how you can ace fellowship exams

In a move meant to encourage youngsters with research-oriented careers in basic science courses, Department of Science and Technology offers a national level scholarship programme for students of Class XI and XII. Any student who qualifies for KVPY(Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana) fellowship receives a monthly scholarship up to his or her pre-PhD level or for five years, whichever is earlier. The exam is administered by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, with only 2,500 students qualifying out of lakhs of them who apply.

The fellowship programme tests the students at three levels — The KVPY SA for class XI, KYPY SX for class XII and KVPY SB for those in the first-year of BSc, MSc or integrated MS programmes. 

Clearing the exams can be quite the task, and will require a thorough preparation, though the pattern of this exam is similar to that of JEE Mains and other competitive exams. 

While preparing for KVPY, several difficulties are faced by students, but then the following tips might help. 

Effective study plan

Discipline is the key to following a timetable. Make a study plan which is feasible as well as utilises the time effectively, and emphasises equal attention to all the subjects and important topics. Keep an hour every day for self-analysis and correction. Make a separate time slot for the difficult subjects. Divide the time for covering the syllabus concept-wise.

Time management plays a vital role in achieving better scores in any competitive exam. It is advisable that you attempt the known portion of the question paper first and focus on the bit that requires thinking after you’ve finished with something you’re sure of. 

Smart use of resources

Understanding and strengthening the concept is a must, so choose the study material which is the easiest to understand. The right book helps you understand the topics better. Make use of the periodic interactions with the expert faculty to clear doubts. Group study helps clarify doubts and students can make notes for long-term memorising.

Tackle it topic-wise

For Physics, focus on topics like — optics, mechanics and electromagnetism. Make sure that you touch upon simple harmonic motion (SHM) and waves. For students appearing for SX level, practice more numerical problems and keep all the concepts clear. Focus on kinematics, gravitation, fluids, thermodynamics, capacitors and more.

Basics first

For Mathematics, basic knowledge of geometry and number theory is a must. Other questions come from topics like algebra, quadratic equations, series and progressions. Fundamental topics like circles, trigonometry, and sequence and series are easy to understand, and some of the easy to score topics include application of derivatives, matrices and determinants, and limits.

 Chemistry preparation includes familiarity with the periodic table. Refer to NCERT textbooks for concepts like inorganic chemistry. Organic chemistry needs to be clear from the basics along with regular practice. Practise as many numericals as you can from the physical chemistry part. The following topics are also essential, coordination chemistry, chemical bonding, chemical and ionic equilibrium, mole concept and so on. If the basic concepts are clear, even a seemingly difficult question is answerable.

Biology is relatively easy to score. If a student is thorough with class IX and X NCERT textbooks and has gone through some important topics from them, then he or she can expect to score more than 80%. Topics like genetics, cell and biomolecule, physiology, diseases and so on are important ones that need to be covered.


Make sure you practise as many mock tests as you can and go through the previous year question papers of KVPY. Analyse your performance and work on the difficult concepts as neglecting them can be a mistake. Work harder and you will see yourself solving the problems you were afraid of. You can also use scanners that have solved papers to help you assess yourself. Taking mock tests and solving previous year question papers during the course of preparation will definitely help students with the score, speed and confidence.

That said, it is important to have a positive attitude and ‘never say die’ spirit. Believe in yourself, work hard and stay consistent. Meditating can be a good way of relaxing yourself. Armed with these tips, you’re good to go. All the best!

            (The author is with FIITJEE, Bengaluru)

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Here's how you can ace fellowship exams


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