We all wish to do well in every exam that we take, in fact, the pressure of doing better with each passing day is mounting because of the increased competition, limited seats, and a huge number of aspirants taking these exams, not discounting the peer pressure and expectations from the family.
Make a plan, not the timetable
It is so common that whenever you sit for your study you find that there are so many topics that need your attention, and then suddenly everything becomes so confusing. You end up wasting a lot of time either by picking up one topic and then the other or none at all.
This everyday decision-making on what to study and what now, eats into your precious time, which you would otherwise use for your preparation.
I. thus suggest you to take some time out once every week and take a stock check of your preparation, and then make a schedule of your study subject and topic-wise.
Note – What I mean by a schedule is not the timetable, but the number of hours that you need to give to each topic every day or week, not binding yourself with time. You would this way feel more in control and under much less stress.
Study to understand rather than rote learning
Students may consider rote learning the answers, rather than understanding to be the way towards success. This, however, is not the case in reality. Rote learning, no doubt, can make you score well in certain exams however, it has its own pitfalls, such as, If you by chance forget a single word, you may lose the entire link and may end up messing with your overall performance.
Exams such as JEE Mains and Advance, NEET, or the 12 Board Exam, focus more on your conceptual understanding and the questions asked are as such.
You should thus make a balance between rote learning and getting the concepts clear. There is no doubt that rote learning or mugging up certain values, rules, formulas, dates, figures, names, etc is very important, yet having your concepts clear will help you at first understanding the questions better and then using the information that you have remembered more correctly and effectively.
Take breaks to re-energize yourself
A break in between is as important as studying. It is a known fact that when you study for long, you would start losing focus and energy, which has a direct bearing on the quality of your study. A short break where you watch some short videos on music or your field of interest, play some games, or have a chat with your family members or friends, will rejuvenate you and bring renewed energy enhancing your understanding and retention capacity.
Exams such as JEE Mains, NEET, 12 Boards are pretty difficult and require you to put a lot of energy, provided you have enough.
Note – Do not commit yourself to some web series or anything that has a long storyline for, you would get invested there and would feel like going back and completing it. You may also risk wasting your time thinking about it when you should rather be studying.
Proper diet and rehydrating yourself
The need for higher energy brings us to another important issue which is proper food and fluid intake. The one thing that students sacrifice, when they are preparing for such tough exams, is to become irregular and insufficient in their diet, more so for girls.
There is no need to emphasize upon the importance of the food that you take and its impact on your preparation, energy levels and confidence. Students, however. either become very irregular about their meal timings or become conscious that if they eat stomach full then they may feel lethargic.
The solution lies in my personal tried and tested method, to increase the frequency of your food intake: instead of having more at one go, eat less at smaller intervals and you would see that you are neither feeling lethargic nor low on energy.
Note – Do not eat rich snacks such as sev, chuda, burger, pizza, chips, or French fries etc. We have too many such varieties in India!! The reason why you should not is that, preparing for such exams will give you very less time to exercise, thus increasing the risk of you putting on weight, besides these items will take longer to digest and may defeat the entire purpose of eating less, yet frequently.
Proper rest and sleep
Another neglected aspect of a student’s routine is his or her irregular and inadequate sleep. Studying is hard work, as mental tasks drain more of your energy, and as with every machine, you too need to give your body and the brain in particular, a chance to re-generate; a process that happens while you sleep.
By sleeping adequately you would not only improve your ability to learn and grasp new information but also form newer memories better and faster.
Note – Take short naps in between, not more than 30 minutes, or else you would go into deep sleep mode and will feel sleepy on waking up. Whereas, a short nap in between, is like fast charging your mobile and would refresh you and make you energetic again.
Have patience and do not worry too much
We all, more so in India, must completely trust the Law of Karma in its entirety, which clearly states that if you work for something you are sure to get the result. Keep this in mind and just focus on your efforts. It is logical too, an action has to have a result and, if your actions are in the right direction and you are working diligently, you are bound to get results commensurate with your efforts.
Whatever may the result subsequently be, you should take it in your stride and analyze what went wrong, correct your course by even discussing it with your elders, teachers, etc. and once again try. If however, the result still does not come to your expectation, you should consider taking the next best option and then putting your efforts into whatever you have chosen.
Life is not a 100-meter race, but a marathon. It is only, in the long run, we would realize what we have achieved or not. So have patience, our society is replete with examples of those who were not very bright and talented in the beginning, but made it big eventually.
Throwing in some additional tips
1. Study different subjects in slots to keep the boredom getting into you. This will also enhance your ability to grasp topics better.
2. You should preferably keep the morning hours for conceptual learning, as the ability to grasp complex concepts is better in the morning than in the evening. By evening our mind is more cluttered with various things and putting it into doing something which is more of a process, such as solving questions, is better.
Note – This may differ with some, thus, one should check about his or her own time slots for conceptual and/or process learning.
You may even try sitting at the study table than on the bed, I have personally found that sitting on the bed sometimes makes you stretch, lie down, or downright sleepy.
Think over what we have just discussed, and I am pretty sure that if you follow the suggestions, you would see an improvement not only in your process of studying but also in your results. Good luck!!