Through this blog, I’ll be trying to help all those engineers who are looking forward to getting admitted to IIT for a 2 year MSc course in statistics through JAM.
Firstly, You should know that there are just two IITs (IIT Bombay and IIT Kanpur) and no NIT that offers a 2 year MSc course in statistics. IIT B requires 2years/4 semesters Mathematics/Statistics subject in your graduation as an eligibility requirement whereas IITK requires 2years/4 semesters statistics as a subject in your graduation which further reduces the chances of most of the engineers. So you have to get a good rank to get admission.
When you go through the syllabus, you would realize that syllabus is not very vast. It is divided into two sections- Mathematics and Statistics. Mathematics has 40% weightage and Statistics 60%. Being an engineer most of the topics from the statistics section would be completely new whereas mathematics covers very few topics but requires a lot of practice
I did not refer to many books but the following books I found to be useful and sufficient.
1. Fundamentals of Mathematical statistics by S.C.Gupta and V.K.Kapoor
I referred to this book for the whole statistics section. It covers all of the topics which are mentioned in the syllabus. This book is very easy to understand and has slots and lots of problems for practice. Though it has few mistakes yet I can say it is one of the best books for someone from a non-statistics background.
2. Statistical Interference by George Casella and Roger Lee Berger
This book is referred by many students for preparation for JAM MS. It is a very good book to clear your concepts and make your basic fundamentals strong. It covers very few problems for practice but provides a good theoretical explanation for deeper understanding.
During my preparation, I mailed few professors from IITs for guidance and a few of them suggested me to refer Sc Gupta and VK Kapoor first and then go through Casella and Berger. I did not refer much to the later one but I would really encourage you to refer to it.
In my case, I did not spend much time on Mathematics. I practiced all of the Mathematics topics in less than two months that too from H.K.Dass which we refer to in engineering. H.K.Dass covers all the concepts and formulae required for the exam except for differential calculus and sequence and series. I would suggest you refer Tom M.A postol for differential and Integral calculus. Sequence and series can also be done from the same book. I studied sequence and series just from a pdf that covered all the basics and convergence test criteria and it was quite useful and sufficient. For the Mathematics section just practice a lot of questions to avoid silly mistakes. Not too high-level questions are asked from mathematics so you just have to avoid silly mistakes and be quick with these questions.
Everyone has their own way to plan for their goals. So it is better to plan it in your own way. I can just guide you and give you some tips for it. Start your preparation at least 7-8 months before the exam. Go thoroughly through the syllabus and stick to it. Plan your schedule in such a way that you cover all of the syllabus 1-2 months before the exam. Be consistent with your study plan and choose your best time to study. Some prefer to study at night some prefer morning. I preferred morning time for studying. Also, make sure you spend some time every day on something which you really like to do that relaxes your mind so that you don’t get frustrated by studying. And most important thing you have to do in the last 1- 2 months after completing the syllabus is to practice past years’ question papers. This is a must thing to do if you really want a good rank. It really doesn’t matter how much you have solved from any book because solving books will only help you with concepts and simple questions. Solving past year question papers will teach you tricks and how to use your concepts for solving questions. Even if you don’t get time to study any particular small topic, you can do it from past years papers. I was referring to ‘Solutions to IIT JAM for mathematical Statistics’ by Amit Misra and Mohd. Arsad. Practicing past year question papers will help you with time management and avoiding silly mistakes and also you will understand the type of questions you should actually focus on. One more important thing is to make your own notes. Keep it short and handy so that you can quickly revise any topic. These notes will be helpful to you even after JAM. And I won’t tell you to study so and so hours rather I would suggest you study till you are satisfied and not feel like that today was wasted.
Coaching and Test Series
In my opinion do not join any coaching. Self study is sufficient. Also I am saying not to join coaching from my personal experience. I joined Gate IIT coaching(Bangalore) in Aug 2019 which turned out to be a fraud. They make you do one time payment and later they really don’t care about you. We were provided a very good faculty just for one month. That faculty himself left the coaching and then there was nobody to teach, They didn’t even conduct a single test. And there was no refund policy. The study material was also completely useless. And if you really really need a coaching then please don’t believe the google reviews of any coaching. Get to know about the coaching from someone’s personal experience and then only look forward for it.
Again I will tell you from my own experience. I took online test series of Dips Academy. Questions in the test series are not of the same difficulty level as that of JAM but the test series will help you in determining your strong and weak points. Also, it will help you with time management and so coping up with speed. You would also know where you stand among 40-50 students. And solving online test series provides exam like environment(if you take it seriously) and keep you mentally prepared so that you don’t panic on the exam day. It’s completely up to you to take test series or not
Lastly, I would just say keep working towards your goal. It is not that difficult. You can do it and All the Best for your Exam!!