One of life’s test’s- Exams - come every year. And each year we go through the same fears – some natural and some deluded. We need to understand what makes us fear these exams. One-way of facing these fears head-on is being prepared for them. And in preparing well we need to understand how to study smartly.
The upcoming term exams will prove your academic competence, which will play a part in determining your future. Hence clearing it with good scores is a necessity rather than a must.
Here are a few tips to your future: -
• Know Your Learning Style
Do you have a style of learning? By learning styles we mean that we need to understand the ways in which we study the best.
Some of us learn best by making lists, outlines, and charts -- others by reading or note taking. And still others learn best in small group discussions. Did you visualize yourself in any of the above styles? If yes, practice your style… and your style will be perfect… and learning becomes easy.
Eg: If you are good at listening, discuss topics in groups, so that you can hear more about the topic and hence retain information better.
Tip: Make choosing a good physical environment a part of your learning style.
• Make a Schedule
Okay so now you know your style of learning… but what use is it without a visual road map or a schedule for studying.
Schedules are really plans for how you intend to use your time. Most
students learn best if they study several subjects for short periods each day rather than studying one subject for several hours. Distributing your learning across the week is the most successful method of learning and retention. It’s up to you to develop a study schedule that’s in-sync with your learning style and learn to follow it. Don't be afraid to revise your schedule. If your schedule doesn't work, revise it. You must understand that your schedule is to help you develop good study habits. Once you have developed them, schedule building becomes easier.
Tip: Prioritize! Make a list of what you intend to study, prioritize the list, and stick to it!
• Be Creative while Studying
We would all like to study more, in less time, and with increased understanding. Most exam going students feel there is just too much to learn in too less a time. However if we are aware of last minute strategies of learning- there’s nothing like it. Highlighting main points in paragraphs gives the student the gist of the paragraph, hence saving on time. Another way of being effective is making acronyms for various pointers to be remembered. Finding new ways of being efficient and effective, makes studying fun- especially when it really works.
Tip: Learn to make your own flashcards for quick review of dates, formulas, spelling words, etc
• Effective Listening and Note –Taking
Writing and making your own notes is the only way to retain matter accurately and for longer. Effective note taking begins with effective listening. Some feel they have to write down every word the teacher says. Others have wisely realized the value of an outline form of note taking. Note taking is a critical skill and should be developed. Try and catch key words that the teacher emphasizes on.
• Have Study Groups
A study group can improve your memory because the group will always remember more than one-person can. Group members explain difficult concepts to each other until everyone understands. Remember, the best way to learn is to teach. The person who does the explaining often benefits even more than the person who receives the information.
Tip: One way to ensure quiet and focus when studying with a group is to do it in the library. You'll be forced to keep things more low-key than if you're at the canteen.
These are just a few pointers for Smart Studying.
Making the most of the best and the best of the worst in any given situation is the art of studying smartly. So make the most of your time available for the best results. Here’s wishing you SMART STUDYING…
Tips on forthcoming entrance exams
When we hear anyone taking the CAT, CET, AIEEE, JEE etc, we tend to visualize a student under a lot of stress and frantically studying under a heap of books. We all at some point of time have given exams and we realize exams are very much a part and parcel of life. But still exams scare us, and our fear gives rise to a number of excuses. Here are a few solutions mentioned to combat those excuses.
1."Thers’s so much to learn, I don’t know where to start”
Okay so you’ve got a lot to learn…but so do the other thousands of students appearing with you. Not to mention the millions who have already appeared before you. Remember to PRIORITIZE. Take up a topic you feel is important and needs immediate attention. Go with your gut feeling at least that will get you started.
2. "I feel so sleepy just reading this topic"
So the subject bores you. Remember there are bound to be some subjects that are not of your interest. Accept it as you don’t have a choice but to learn it. Be CREATIVE. Take notes or underline key concepts. Discuss the material with others you know who are also taking the test. Study together. Find ways to make it interesting like treating yourself to a movie or friends if you finish a couple of sections. This will motivate you to finish the subject quickly.
3. "I’ve understood the topic, but I can’t mug it”
You don’t need to be a mugger to be a topper. Try to INTEGRATE what you're studying with what you already know. You will be able to remember new material better if you can link it to something that's already meaningful to you.
4. "Hmmm… I guess I understand it but I’m not too sure"
The best way to keep you from guessing is to TEST yourself. Go through a few test series or explain what you understood to a friend. Have confidence in yourself and keep practicing till your perfect.
5. "There's Too Much To Remember"
The keyword here is to ORGANIZE. The use of acronyms cannot be under-ruled. Remember pointers with words that are familiar to you or the question. And then elaborate in your own words. Grouping information into categories or hierarchies also helps. You could try drawing MAPS OF INFORMATION and make your study creative and easy to remember. Eg: In geography, draw a map of the country you wish to study and visualize or draw what it exports or imports, the type of weather it has, its topography etc.. a picture is worth a thousand words.
6. "I've got so little time and so much to study "
You cannot change the number of hours in a day, week or term but you can decide how to best use them. PREVIEW your syllabus, reading material, and notes. Identify the most important topics emphasized, and areas still not understood. Previewing saves time by helping you organize and focus in on the main topics.
7. "I just learnt it… and now I can’t remember it"
The keyword here is REVISION. It’s okay to forget things learnt, we are not all born brilliantly. Some of us need a re-vision of data. The more you re-read, the better your chances of remembering for longer.
8. "I like to study in bed"
Studying is bed is okay if the subject is interesting and quick reading. But if the subject bores you, you are more likely to fall asleep faster on the bed than on the table. Each of us is unique and hence comfortable study places differ from person to person. Find your
IDEAL PLACE to suit your learning style.
9. "I study best under pressure and at the last moment"
Okay so you are the procrastinator. You thing if you cram up all the studies at the last moment, you will remember better. Chances are you might do well but if everything is in order. What if you fall ill? There will be no last minute study and the pressure will be too high to take on mentally. Study from now as recall increases as study time gets spread out over time.
10. "I've just got to finish this today by hook or by crook"
So you are determined to finish the subject today. That’s a good sign of being motivated but be kind to yourself too. Avoid Mental Exhaustion. Take short breaks often when studying. Relax and unwind, mentally and physically. Otherwise, your break won't refresh you. It's more important than ever to take care of yourself before an exam! Eat well, sleep, and get enough exercise.
So No more Excuses now! Don’t fool yourself … Exams are a part of life!