Is 6 Months Enough for IAT/NEST Prep if Starting from Scratch?

How to prepare for IISc, IISER, and NISER in 6 Months?


Are you thinking about taking the IAT or NEST exams, even if you’re starting from scratch? But you might be wondering if six months is enough to get ready. The answer is yes, but only if you follow a systematic and effective study plan. These exams can open doors to cool opportunities in science. In this blog, we will share with you a smart and effective study plan that will help you ace the IAT/NEST exam in 6 months. We will also give you some useful tips and tricks to avoid common mistakes and boost your confidence.  So, stay tuned for our quick guide on whether six months is plenty for IAT/NEST prep when starting from scratch! 

What are IAT and NEST?

Before diving into the preparation strategy, let us first understand what IAT and NEST are and why they are important. The IAT exam is conducted to get admission into prestigious institutes like IISc and IISERs, if you want to know more about the IAT exam, click here. while NEST is conducted by the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) and the University of Mumbai – Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CEBS). Both exams are held in May/June every year, and the application process usually starts in January/February.

Can You Crack IAT & NEST?

The answer is yes, you can crack IAT and NEST if you have a passion for science and a strong determination to succeed. However, cracking these exams is not easy and requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and smart strategy. 

You can achieve success with the right guidance and support. You need to have a clear understanding of the syllabus, exam pattern, and difficulty level of these exams. You also need to practice a lot of questions, revise the concepts regularly, and take mock tests to assess your performance.

One key factor is effectively managing pressure, which is often a challenge for many test-takers. If you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed, it’s essential to have a support system in place and talk to someone. However, apart from this, here are some important strategies that you must not skip. 

1. Maintain a Diary of Mistakes:

  • Do not repeat your mistakes. To maximize your chances of success, it’s crucial to learn from past mistakes. Avoid repeating the same errors you made in 11th grade during your 12th year, and likewise, don’t replicate the same mistakes from your 12th year during your drop year. 
  • Create a “Diary of Mistakes” where you record your errors in mock tests and previous year’s papers. You should also analyze your mistakes and find out the reasons behind them. This will help you improve your accuracy and speed. Relying on memory alone may lead to forgetfulness as you progress through the year, and you must work on these mistakes before attempting another mock test to ensure you don’t repeat them in the actual exam.

2. Mock Tests Are Not Enough:

  • While mock tests are crucial for gauging your progress, it’s important not to be discouraged by lower scores. 
  • If you find yourself scoring lower marks in mock tests, don’t become disheartened. 
  • Focus on the learning process rather than fixating on results. 
  • Focus on refining your study strategies and adhering to your timetable. 
  • Remember that results will improve gradually, so stay calm, confident, and dedicated to your preparations.

What to Do?

  • You should not get confused or stressed by too many sources or opinions. You should stick to one reliable source of study material and guidance. 
  • You should also trust yourself and your preparation. You should not compare yourself with others or worry about the results. You should focus on the process rather than the outcome. 
  • During the final stage of your preparation, avoid getting caught up in the debate of what’s “better” or “worse.” Comparing coaching centres or teachers can be a distraction. Don’t waste precious time by comparing these. 
  • If you are preparing with Sciastra, rest assured that you have everything you need. Our study materials, mock tests, doubt-clearing classes, and weekend motivational sessions are designed to support your success.

How to Prepare: Smart and effective study plan:

The first step to crack any exam is to have a clear and realistic study plan that suits your learning style and goals. Here are some steps to create a study plan for IAT/NEST.

  • Know the syllabus and exam pattern: The syllabus for IAT/NEST covers the topics from Class 11 and 12 NCERT textbooks of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Biology. The exam pattern consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) with negative markings. The duration of the exam is 3 hours for IAT and 3.5 hours for NEST. You should familiarize yourself with the syllabus and exam pattern and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Divide your time wisely: You should allocate your time according to the weightage of each subject and topic in the exam. You should also consider your level of preparation and interest in each subject. A general rule of thumb is to devote 40% of your time to Physics, 30% to Chemistry, 20% to Mathematics, and 10% to Biology. You should also reserve some time for revision, mock tests, and doubt-clearing sessions.
  • Follow a daily routine: You should follow a daily routine that ensures that you cover all the subjects and topics in a balanced way. You should also set daily, weekly, and monthly targets and track your progress regularly. You should avoid distractions such as social media, TV, games, etc., and focus on your studies. You should also take breaks in between to relax your mind and body.
  • Use quality study material: You should use quality study material that covers the syllabus comprehensively and provides ample practice questions. You should also refer to the previous year’s papers and sample papers to get an idea of the difficulty level and types of questions asked in the exam. You can also use online platforms such as SciAstra, which provides you with the best teachers, study material, mock tests, doubt-clearing classes, and motivational sessions.

For more details and information, you can visit our blog: IISER Aptitude test 2024 – ( Preparation, strategy )


In conclusion, six months is indeed enough for IAT/NEST preparation if you start from scratch, provided you follow a structured plan, learn from your mistakes, and stay focused on your goals. With Sciastra’s support, you can confidently work towards acing these exams and unlocking exciting opportunities in the field of science. Remember that there is no shortcut to success, but only consistent effort and smart strategy. Remember, success is in your hands; you have control over your time and your future. So, get started on your journey to success today! We wish you all the best for your preparation!

About us:

At SciAstra, we guide students who want to become scientists and pursue research by helping them secure admissions in the top colleges for the same like IISER, NISER, CEBSICAR, CMI, etc.

Our mentors are from the top research institutes like IISERNISERIACSCMIISIIISC Bangalore, and so on. If you are looking to prepare for IAT / NEST 2024, you can check out our courses and get access to live classes, recorded lectures, study material, mock tests, doubt-clearing classes, and much more!

To know more about us, click here OR download the SciAstra App from Play Store!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *