Best Books for JEE Main and Exam Preparation Tips

Scholarship Examination in India

Choosing the right books for JEE Mains and JEE Advanced 2018 will provide the correct direction to your JEE preparation.

Here’s a list of books which teachers and academicians have vouched for over the years. What more can you expect in this article? Well, a list of books subjects wisely! And we have kept the content concise and comprehensive for your benefit.

JEE Main Books and Preparation tips for Mathematics:

  • Algebra: The most difficult for some and the favorite of many. (The latter in my case. I still love the concepts of probability, combinatorics, and complex numbers). First, complete your standard school textbook. After that, Hall and Knight is a brilliant book for clearing your concepts. Problems should be solved from Cengage.
  • Trigonometry: An easy topic. IIT JEE never asks very tough questions from it directly. Nevertheless, a strong basis is essential to proceed with branches like Calculus and Complex numbers. Solve S.L. Loney’s book for Trigonometry. After that, look at the past IIT JEE problems.
  • Co-ordinate Geometry: This is an easy topic. If I remember correctly, you need to be very thorough with the parametric equations. This is a very scoring topic. Use S L Loney and Cengage for this section.
  • Calculus: This is the section which requires a lot of practice. Cengage publications offer the best calculus books. Solve it diligently.
  • Vectors and 3D Geometry: Solve this topic from Cengage.
  • “Problems Plus in IIT JEE Mathematics” by A Dasgupta and “A Course in Mathematics for IIT JEE” by Tata McGraw Hill ( the 4th edition of the year 2000) are very important. These are equivalent to I E Irodov for physics as these books will test how proficient you truly are in a topic.
  • Also, solve both objective and subjective questions of the past 34 IIT JEE papers.


JEE Main Books for Mathematics: 

  1. Trigonometry for JEE Main & Advanced by Arihant Publications – trigonometry is not directly asked in JEE these days. Board level books are usually sufficient
  2. RD Sharma class 11th and RD Sharma class 12th – people tend to underestimate the school level books. But these are the ones that will build your foundation.
  3. Integral Calculus for IIT-JEE by Amit Agarwal – the best book for integral calculus for any competitive exam
  4. Coordinate Geometry for IIT-JEE by SK Goyal – indeed a great book for Coordinate geometry. Its subjective problems are excellent
  5. Differential Calculus for IIT-JEE by Amit Agarwal – the best book for differential calculus for any competitive exam
  6. Algebra for JEE Main & Advanced by Arihant Publication – not the best book, goes a lot beyond the syllabus. If you are specifically preparing for JEE, then make sure to stick to the syllabus
  7. Vectors & 3D Geometry by Arihant Publications – again, a great book
  8. COURSE in MATHEMATICS for IIT-JEE (TMH) – I would say that this is the best book for JEE when it comes to problems. The algebra section is the best in this book
  9. IIT Mathematics by ML Khanna – a highly subjective book for JEE. This book might get you selected in JEE, but isn’t sufficient for a good rank
  10. Problems Plus In It Mathematics by A Das Gupta – I never used this book, but it is recommended by many toppers
  11. A Practice Book of Mathematics JEE Main & Advanced by Arihant Publication – a great book for problems

JEE Main Books for Chemistry:

  • The official NCERT books are extremely important. Complete them from cover to cover.
  • For physical chemistry, refer to NCERT and Cengage for theory. Also, look at OP Tandon physical chemistry. Solve problems from Cengage. After this, if you have time, solve problems from R.C. Mukherjee’s book.
  • For Inorganic chemistry, be extremely thorough with NCERT. After that, take a look at Cengage. Later on, if you have time, go through J D Lee. (only the topics in the syllabus)
  • For organic chemistry, no book beats Morrison and Boyd. Read all the topics of the IIT JEE syllabus from here. (after NCERT). Problems, again, should be solved from Cengage. If you have time, solve M.S Chauhan’s problems for JEE Advanced chemistry of Balaji Publications.


  1. Organic Chemistry by LG Wade – this is the BEST possible book for organic chemistry. DON’T buy OP Tondon organic chemistry. Many aspirants buy random books and then the book says something in 1 chapter and something contradicting in the other chapter. If you trust me, buy this book and see the magic of organic chemistry.
  2. New Pattern Textbook of Physical Chemistry for Competitions (JEE Main & Advanced ) by OP Tondon – the best book for physical chemistry for any competitive exam
  3. Modern Approach to Chemical Calculations by RC Mukherjee – the best book for physical chemistry for problems
  4. Organic Chemistry by Morrison Boyd – you must read this book once if you are appearing for JEE. This is the so-called “HC Verma” of organic chemistry
  5. Concise Inorganic Chemistry by JD Lee – a great book for inorganic chemistry. This book will teach you how to understand the subject rather than cramming it
  6. Numerical Chemistry 22/e by P Bahadur – recommended by many top rankers
  7. Textbook of Inorganic Chemistry for Competition (JEE Main & Advanced ) by OP Tandon – a great book for problems

JEE Main Books for Physics

  1. H.C. Verma: This book is the Bible for IIT JEE physics. You have to be thorough with each and every word of the theory in this book. Also, solve all the objective and short answer questions with diligence. They can be shamefully easy. However, unless you solve them, your concepts will not be crystal clear.
  2. If, however, You find that your theoretical concepts are not clear, purchase the book by Halliday and Resnick. That is a brilliant book for the theory section of physics and concepts.
  3. Cengage (by B.M Sharma): This book is excellent for both theory and problems. It will teach you many new concepts, which you will be able to appreciate after being thorough with Verma. Also, solve the problems of this book with diligence.
  4. This stage is to be followed if and only if the above two stages are diligently completed. Solve the problems of the past 34 years IIT JEE papers (even the subjective ones).
  5. This stage is during revision when all the above states are completed entirely. Purchase a very old edition of DC Pandey’s physics for IIT JEE. (the pre-2006 books containing only subjective problems). Solve this book. After this, if you want a top 500 rank in IIT JEE, solve Irodov (only mechanics and electrodynamics).
  • Concepts of Physics Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 – arguably the best book for beginners
  • Mechanics Part-1 & 2 by DC Pandey – the best book for rankers
  • Understanding Physics Electricity and Magnetism by DC Pandey
  • Understanding Physics for JEE Main & Advanced Optics & Modern Physics by DC Pandey
  • Understanding Physics for JEE Main & Advanced Waves & Thermodynamics by DC Pandey
  • You might rather want to buy the complete set of books – Understanding Physics Series (Set of 5 Books) by DC Pandey
  • Problems In General Physics by IE Irodov – buy this book if you want some challenge
  • Resnick Halliday – a great book for theory and non-trivial problems
  • New pattern Physics Book by DC Pandey – a great book for problems!

Having said that, you must also solve the Exemplar problems by NCERT. They contain some must solve problems.

You should additionally keep the following on your table

  • NCERT Exemplar Problems: Solutions Physics Class 12
  • NCERT Exemplar Problems: Solutions Mathematics Class 12
  • NCERT Exemplar Problems: Solutions Chemistry Class 12
  • NCERT Exemplar Problems: Solutions Chemistry Class 11
  • NCERT Exemplar Problems: Solutions Physics Class 11
  • NCERT Exemplar Problems: Solutions Mathematics Class 11

Additionally, to complete your preparation, you must solve the past year JEE papers:

  • 37 Years’ Chapter-wise Solved Papers (2017-1979) IIT JEE Physics
  • IIT JEE – Mathematics: 37 Year’s Chapter-wise Solved Papers (2017 – 1979)
  • IIT JEE – Chemistry: 37 Year’s Chapter-wise Solved Papers (2017 – 1979)

JEE Main Exam Preparation Tips:

Some of you out there must be toppers of your class or among the top 10% of your class. But that is just a performance in your class or best at a school level. It means till now you have been competing among a small student base of 50 – 1000 students.

But once you start preparing for IITJEE or AIEEE entrance, the competition is huge. This year in 2015, over 2 lakh students appeared in IITJEE and over 12 lakh in AIEEE. So my advice is that you seriously need to scale up your efforts to face the competition.

You need to prepare yourself mentally as well as physically to face this competition. Mentally, you need to think wide when you think of the competition you are facing. So don’t get defocused and remember that you have to compete with unknowns so you have to put your all efforts in it to excel.

May you have scored well in your school level examinations by not even spending 20 hours on studies at home but this is not going to be enough with such a huge competition. You need to scale up your efforts and set a target of 50-55 hours studies at home every week and you have to do scale up step by step.

It also trues that you are not going to get started studying for 9-10 hours suddenly its require proper strategy.

  • For the first week, you try to  cut down your times which you are spending in other works by 2 to 3 hours
  • Next week cut down your times  which you are spending in other works again by 2 to 3 hours
  • You cannot start studying 1o hours a day suddenly whereas earlier you are studying for 3 to 4 hours
  • Try to do the same as earlier, Increase your study time from 3-4 to 6-7 hours and in next week or after 2 weeks scale up to 9 to 10 hours.

You have to study with full concentration, no disturbance, and continuously for 3-hour sessions. The idea is to simulate real exam conditions. While studying, you have to create an atmosphere as if you are sitting in an exam. Avoid doing the following during a 3 hours session:

  • Study on a desk if you have it at home. Avoid studying while lying down on a bed.
  • Don’t get up from your desk during 3 hours of a study session. Even not for drinking water.
  • Don’t listen to music during studies. If you have a habit, then slowly come out of it by reducing it day by day.
  • No phone calls and no SMS during studies.
  • Study with 100 percent concentration as if you are sitting in an exam.

Things you should not do during JEE preparation:

Remember that for the next 2 years you have to give your best to get admission in a good college. So to take out 55 hours every week, you need to sacrifice some of your time sucking activities.

If you are involved in any of the following activities mentioned below, I suggest you should stop it immediately:

  • Don’t socialize too much:-Avoid too much talking on the phone with your friends. Not more than -30 minutes every day. Keep yourself away from family discussions and don’t get into arguments with parents and brothers/sisters because it will only waste your time and energy. Be selfish to focus on your career.
  • Don’t spend long hours on TV, the Internet and playing games:– If you are too much into TV, cut down immediately. Don’t spend more than 1 hour in front of the TV every day.

The Internet is the biggest addiction of all time. Real-time sucker. Don’t sit on a computer for more than 1 hour unless as their any study needs.

  • Don’t play outdoor sports:-Those who are playing physical games a lot should reduce them. These games are very tiring. If you are physically tired, you would not be able to concentrate on studies. I suggest evening walk or light exercise either in the morning or evening.
  • Don’t study late night:- Those who study late nights, sleep the whole day. This is a bad schedule. If you don’t sleep well in the night, you will feel sleepy in school and in your coaching classes. So best is you should sleep for 7 hours any time between 10 PM to 9 AM. Those who don’t get the study atmosphere at home in the daytime, in the worst case they should study till 2.00 AM and get up at 9.00 AM.
  • Don’t sleep for long or two short sleep hours:-You should target for 7 hours sleep every day. Also, avoid daytime sleeping for more than 90 minutes. Those you could manage to sleep less, I would not recommend a sleep of fewer than 5-6 hours. If a body is tired, the mind cannot function properly.
  • Don’t go to school daily:-I suggest that if possible, go to school not more than 4 times a week. School studies are not going to play important role in your career at this stage. Even school studies should be done just before the exams say 1-2 weeks before exams.

IITJEE is an exam that is totally based on problem-solving. Mostly it is numerical based questions. Because of this nature of IITJEE, students preparing for IITJEE exam should spend most of their time solving more and more problems. It does not only help you in cracking  IITJEE but also help in better understanding of the subject.

Many students who are spending a lot of time on problem-solving but even though they are not able to score in the exam. behind this there are few reasons:-

  • This happens because while doing problem-solving, they learn things but they do nothing to retain them in their memory.
  • They don’t remember ideas/tricks of many questions in the exam which they should have solved.

To learn/memorize, they need to put efforts and time as well as they should follow the correct approach.

To retain and repeat, I recommend a “Five Step learning Approach (FSLA)” to you for doing problem-solving and it will definitely help you in many dimensions like improving your speed, accuracy, problem-solving ability and confidence in the topic.

Here are 5 steps of the approach.

Step 1: Understanding

In this step:

(a) First Attempt the problem. Try to first see the problem and don’t directly jump to the solution. Try at least 5-20 minutes and not spend more then 5 minutes, if you don’t understand the question properly and 20 minutes maximum if you are getting ideas after that only you should see the solution.

(b) Marking the difficulty levels. After seeing the solutions, you have to decide the difficulty level of the question and always mark these level in front of each question. There can be 4 levels.

Easy level: Problem is easy if you are able to solve it in less than 5 minutes.

Moderate level: Problem is moderate level if you are able to solve it by just seeing the solution for less than 1 minute and get the idea. Or by trying hard and spend more time to solve it.

Difficult level: Problem is difficult if you are not able to do it yourself after spending a lot of time and you have also taken lots of time in understanding the solution But finally able to understand solution very well.

Very-Difficult: Mark a problem a very-difficult if you are not able to understand the question and its solution is also impossible to understand so not waste more time at this stage they are useless and pull your confidence down.

Step 2: Memorizing

In this step, you have to solve the question like that you are appearing for any test. The questions of the test would be the average and difficult questions you marked in step– 1. Just count how many questions you marked average or difficult after counting you should give the test of 90 question(it can be collected from more than 1 chapters) at least and total time is 3 hours

You have to take a test very seriously. Taking these tests will improve your following abilities.

Speed: As you have solved these questions earlier, so try to be a little fast in solving these questions. This will improve your speed to write fast.

Accuracy: Try to be accurate as much as possible. If you are doing mistakes in more than 10% of the questions, focus on it and before you sit for the test try to make in your mind that today you are not going to do any mistake. If you make it a target that you have to be perfect, after a few tests you will start seeing the results.

Concentration: While doing a test, your level of concentration is much higher. So these tests will help you in improving your concentration on a regular basis. So when you are doing these tests, make an environment that should resemble the environment you face at a test center. Don’t answer a phone, don’t respond to the doorbell, don’t get up for water and no music.

So give this test as mentioned above and this will help you in increasing speed, accuracy and also help in study habit of studying for long hours.

Step 3: Strengthening

After finishing step 2 where you appeared for a test based on the selected questions, you need to review your performance. If you could not solve most of the questions(not able to solve 60 to 70 out of 90 ), you need to repeat what you did in step 2 to strengthen your preparation. Do it after a  gap of 4-5 days. You can even change some ratings before you take the test like you can re-mark some average questions as easy or difficult questions as average or average as difficult.

Step 4: Building confidence

This is the fourth step where you revise all questions orally. This step should come after 4-8 days of the strengthening step. Keep 30 second for each question to revise. So for 90 questions, you can take 45 minutes. See each question and try to recall the trick/steps/concepts you applied to solve that question. If you are not able to recall in 15 seconds, mark the question and go to the next question. Repeat this for all the questions. After all the questions are finished, refer solutions to see the marked questions and try to learn their ideas.

You should be able to recall ideas of 90% of the problems. If it is less, you need to repeat this step after a few days.

After successfully recalling ideas needed to solve the question from your mind, feel like you are a master/expert of the topic. Do it with interest and full concentration, the way you watch movie or match.

Step 5: Point to remember

You need to be regular and systematic to follow it. You also need a timetable to plan these steps. Without the schedule, it is impossible to remember the steps of various topics and subjects.

I am sure you can take benefit of FPA as it helps in proving the knowledge of the topic as well as it prepares you for exams by improving your examination skills like speed, accuracy, concentration, knowledge.


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