How to Prepare for IAT and NEST 2023

What is the best study material for IISER and NISER preparation?

To be honest, there is no particular answer to this question because it’s a very subjective question and depends on how you can grasp the concepts in the best way either through self-study or with the help of a mentor/coaching material, etc. because there are people going to good institutes with and without coaching as well.


Do you need books or not?

It depends on your preparation. If your concepts are clear, you can opt for books but if you want someone to boost your confidence with live classes and doubt-clearing sessions, then books may not be required in your preparation.

Also, as a matter of fact, you will always need a mentor whether it’s a coaching mentor, school mentor, parents as mentors, or anyone but mentors are important to guide you and train you for clearing the entrance exams successfully.

Now, in general, you can opt for NCERT or HC Verma for preparation. NCERT is good for basics and HC Verma has some good questions but I would prefer coaching modules over both because while solving questions from the books, you can come across some questions which would go unanswered in the absence of a mentor leading you to feel demotivated at times. This can hamper your mindset and eventually, your preparation.

Also, coaching modules are made by mentors after refining the contents from all the best books for entrance exams, hence giving you the best collection in a single place. They are also segregated level-wise to match your requirements and are made with complete strategy and direction by the mentors.

Now, usually, students are distracted because of a wide variety of mentors and coaching material available for free on YouTube and so on which has led to a state of confusion and lost focus in students.


So, how to solve this issue?

Firstly, think and analyze your level. Decide if you want to go for coaching material, then go for it and choose one mentor and stick to the same. On the other hand, if you want to go for self-study, then try giving some mocks to check your level which is also available on SciAstra Application, and then decide whether self-study suits you or not. Accordingly, you can opt for different books for different subjects. 

For organic chemistry, I can also recommend a book named Organic Chemistry by Jonathan Clayden which has all the advanced-level questions and which is even used by the professors to frame questions for the NEST exam & IISER Aptitude Test. This is why a lot of questions from the mock tests available on SciAstra Application get repeated in the actual examination.

You can check the mock tests and study material available for free on the SciAstra App or visit our website to check the free material out.


Here are some of the recommendations that I would like to give for subject-wise preparation –

  • Biology – Coaching Modules, Biology, a Global Approach : Campbell for reference
  • Chemistry – Organic Chemistry by Clayden, Physical Chemistry by Atkins, and Inorganic Chemistry by Atkins
  • Physics – Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick, Walker, and HC Verma
  • Maths – Cengage Publication Series, Balaji Publication Series

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