Physics Books Selection for IIT JEE


Book selection is an important decision. Students generally go for the books recommended by their teachers/coachings institutes. There is nothing wrong in it unless these recommendations are influenced by economic factors.

I will share my views on book selection process in general and Physics books for JEE in particular. I classify books in two categories (a) classics - that have stood the test of time and (b) non classics - that still need to prove their mettle. Generally, the classic books do not have anything against them and have huge readers base. I consider following books as classics for JEE preparations.

  1. Fundamentals of Physics by Resnick, Halliday and Walker
  2. Concepts of Physics by HC Verma
  3. Problems in General Physics by IE Irodov

Now, which one of the classic book is best is an individual decision and depend on the personal taste. Both Fundamentals of Physics and Concepts of Physics have similar contents but their presentation is different. The presentation matters a lot because it connect the readers to the contents through language, examples etc. The success of Concepts of Physics lies in its ability to connect Indian students to it's contents. In my opinion, a student should read a chapter from both the books and discover himself which one resonates with his/her natural frequency. Once decided, go for that book. The classics will never fail you.

Now, coming to non-classics. I consider books from Cengage (BM Sharma), Arihant (DC Pandey), and my own book IIT JEE Physics: Topic-wise Complete Solutions as non-classics because they still have to pass the test of time. The reader should be cautious while going for these books. If a book is not matching with your frequency then don't hesitate in switching to other. These books are written for IIT JEE and you will miss "Enjoy the Physics" component in most of them.

I am averse to the idea of studying from multiple books. Many people suggest that read this chapter from book A and that chapter from book B or theory from book A and problems from book B, which is not a good idea. When you follow a book then slowly and sub-consciously you get connected with the author and his way of thinking. This coherence help in better understanding of the subject. Also, the theory and problems in a physics book are integrated with each other. Do not isolate them.

Finally, coming to my personal choice of Physics books for IIT JEE is one of the following set:

  1. "Concepts of Physics" for concepts and problems and IIT JEE Physics for practice problems. These books are in sync with each other.
  2. "Fundamental of Physics" for concepts and problems. "Problems in General Physics" or IIT JEE Physics for practice problems.

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