Pranav Goyal secured AIR-1 in the JEE Advanced Examination in 2018 wherein he scored 117/120 marks in Physics, 114/120 in Chemistry and 106/120 marks in Mathematics. The topper, who got an AIR-4 in JEE Mains 2018, credited all his success to his teachers and parents. According to him, it was due to their guidance, motivation, and support that he achieved this amazing feat. When he started preparing for the JEE two years prior, he had envisioned himself among the top 10. A voracious reader, Pranav’s excellent grasping power aided his hard work and helped him ace the most competitive engineering entrance in India.

What incident/person inspired you to take up JEE as a challenge. Do you think coaching is necessary to crack JEE? Please share some expert insight for JEE aspirants.

I was very fortunate to belong to an Engineering background. My father is an engineer and my grandfather, a retired Physics professor. As a result, I had always cultivated a keen interest in Physics and Mathematics. Hence, I had already decided to take up engineering in class XI. For cracking JEE Mains, coaching is not required. One can simply study from their homes and in school. It is your hard work which makes all the difference. On the other hand, for JEE Advanced, due to high competition, I would definitely recommend a student to seek coaching, either online or offline. It is also essential for a student to have a forum for discussion, either a group of friends or an online forum. It allows for a healthy exchange of ideas.

What motivated you the most during your preparation? What kept you going on days you felt like you couldn’t go on?

My primary source of motivation during my JEE preparation were my teachers and parents. Let me tell you, motivation is extremely different from pressure. Motivation makes you want to achieve, but the pressure is bound to pull you back. The exchange of new ideas and the occasional out-of-the-box question kept me very well-interested. On the days I felt like giving up, it would be my friends that would pull me up. Say, such a phase is going on, then a reduced rank in the test would push me to work harder, with a renewed energy. It is impossible for a group of friends to all feel demotivated at the same time. That is what kept me going.

Tell us something about your past achievements and failures that you feel were a necessary learning experience.

The first true achievement that motivated me was cracking NTSE in class X. It gave me my first push. Also, in class X, when I failed to qualify for RMO, I was taken aback and worked harder at it in class XI. Then in class XI, when I successfully cleared INMO and went to HBCSE Mumbai for the camp, I proved to myself that I could get whatever I needed by simply working hard.

What are your plans for the future? Are you of an entrepreneurial mindset or do you prefer research?

Research is definitely out of my books. I cannot stand the idea of continued study. I really prefer the practical application to theoretical studies. But choosing between taking a job or starting a business is a question I haven’t quite answered myself yet. I definitely feel there exists a load of business opportunities out there, but the risk factor does pull me back.

Was there any particular reason that you opted for Computer Science at IIT Bombay? Many people dream of getting into IIT Bombay but only a few are able to get through; for IITB aspirants, please describe the ambiance and culture of the prestigious institution.

I opted for Computer Science due to my sheer love of Mathematics and Logic, the foundations of modern Computer Science. Choosing IIT Bombay was based on the feedback that I had received from my teachers and seniors. The cultural and academic atmosphere here is one of a kind. Each and every interest is kindled and promoted. All departments here believe that “The more you share, the more you have”. The academic competition here is also healthy, barring a few rare exceptions. Academics may take center-place but other aspects like cultural activities and sports are also well-cultivated.

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