The most common obstruction to success encountered by students is a lack of effective techniques for study and exam preparation. I have plotted a list of few tips which will help you to do better in your studies and exams.
Reading time: 5 minutes* *300 words/minute
Approach and Outlook towards Studies
Knowledge and Self Improvement Think that you are going to school to gain knowledge. You will learn new and newer things. Tell yourself that you have to study and do good efforts for self improvement.
Don’t look others Don’t worry about how others are studying. Some students, like myself, don’t study very much and still do well at school whereas some students study every second they can. Yes, I have seen people studying during GAMES period in schools.
Effort is important than results You will definitely want to get good grades In your examinations and thus you have to study. But, even if you do not get grades, just think that you have studied and gave in your efforts. You will realize the mistakes you did and correct them the next time. You will eventually be a better learner.
Be involved in your classes
In my economics book it was given, “Education involves teaching, training and learning to improve the knowledge and skill of a person”. You are there to learn, not to be taught. You have to be attentive to what the teacher is saying.
If you were distracted for a while or If you think that the instructor is moving fast and you did not understood some important points, interrupt by saying something like “I did not understood the point on xyz, can you explain/repeat again”. You might be criticized by the lecturer or the fellow students but do not think about them. You have to study means you have to understand the concept.
Don’t allow yourself to be confused between different points. Ask again if you are confused. Confusion is definitely very dangerous. Do not think that your friends will help you later. If you are dependent on them, you will have to struggle later.
Be regular and don’t miss classes If your class includes group activities, participate as fully as you can. Such exercises are done for your benefit. You can also enjoy them while gaining knowledge and discussing different ideas.
Always carry the required study material with you If you do not follow this rule, you will fell a victim to it and you will start missing several notes.
Review your notes every day
This suggestion is one which we have all heard a thousand times. Unfortunately, most of us never really believe it until we actually try it. Spend JUST 5 minutes or so each evening going over the notes from each subject.
Reviewing new material you learnt in your classes increases your maintenance of that material in your brain. This will help you because you will not have to spend all your time to understand different concepts during the exam weeks.
It enables you to identify points of confusion which prepares you to ask the questions you need to before the next lecture.
Where and when you study is important
A lot of people study in places where they cannot concentrate well. Places with a lot of distractions makes for a bad study place. If you study in your living room, you may find the computer or TV which may distract you. Remember that the right study environment for someone else may not be the best environment for you. Some people like to study with some background noise, while others need to study in absolute silence.
Choose a good place to study Pick a place that isn’t too hot. Heat results in induction of sleep. Pick a place that is cool so you can stay alert. Pick a place that is having good amount of light. Your eyes, too, need to feel comfortable. Make sure to choose the quiet places, not the loud, central places.
Choose a good time Different people have different times to be the most effective and efficient. But, I feel the morning time is usually the best time for every activity. You have just taken your rest. You have refilled your energy. Your mind has become active and has less distraction. I feel that a 5 minutes reading in the morning is worth twice than the evening.
If you are studying in your own room, close the door so that people know that they shouldn’t disturb you. The library, study hall, roof are good places to study. It’s better if you have a silent room in your house too.
Study with a variety of methods.
Studying by using a variety of methods will help you reach a deeper understanding of the material and will also help you mix up your studying habits and will keep things interesting.
Use devices and methods devices are a great way to remember a list of complicated terms, such as using DMAS to represent the order of operations in math. (Division, multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction).
Rewrite your lesson Write the important notes again from your book. Try to write them in your own words rather than the exact words from the book. This will let you to understand and work better. You will feel that you are writing well.
Know if you really have understood things When you are done with the syllabus or think so, take time and think if a certain question comes in examination, will you be able to write on it? Will you not forget the major terms and diagrams? If you are not confident, try to re-analyze the points and understand them.
Use library, Talk with teachers Your library is always a useful tool. Use your school’s library to check out books that help you understand the subject better, or talk to the librarian to see if she can help you find additional resources. Take advantage of school hours. Talk with your professor to get a better understanding of your lessons. Going to him will also help you because you will show him that you care for your studies and will promote the teacher-student relationship.
Read silently, Read loud, Imagine Yes, read the matter silently. Switch to loud reading after some time. This is what really seems to affect your mind coming back to your studies. Imagine the condition and scene about the topic which is being talked about.
I have seen people closing their rooms and studying hours and hours and hours without stopping. I still wonder how and why they do it. And then they complain “I studied so much that my head pains since ages.” You don’t need to drown into your books and die, instead swim in it gracefully.
The mind does better when you take a short break every half hour to an hour. This helps you absorb material and will get your mind feeling fresh for more studying.
Move out When you are studying in the same place you have a new atmosphere around you, loaded with information and information all around. Keep your body moving as it will make you more alert and will help your body feel better as you spent all your time on a spot. Get some fresh air and breathe slowly.
Usually my breaks are like this: For e.g. if there are 5 chapters in the syllabus, I’ll finish the 1st chapter and take a break of 30 minutes and then go back for the 2nd chapter.
Eat some small quantity of food during these breaks. Don’t eat more than half of your appetite( capacity to eat) as it will induce sleep in you.
Yes, that is what I meant. Sleep is very essential for your body and mind. It has been long known that what you see, read, hear will be stored better in your brain if you sleep right. You must have at least 7 hour sleep before you are ready to attempt an exam. I usually like to stay awake till 11pm or a bit more and rise at 6 am in the morning for the quick revision before the exam.
So the most fearful day has arrived. Now, start enjoying this fear. Think how you will kill this fear today. Bring necessary writing materials to the examinations. Do not bring something undesirable by the instructions of the invigilator.
Go to the bathroom before exam It may seem weird. Usually, the instructor will not permit you to go out of the examination room during the exam. There is stress and tension while doing and exam which may affect the need for going to bathroom. So, don’t think that you have no feeling to go, just take a few minutes there.
Don’t study at the eleventh hour Do not wait until the night before an exam to study! Never!
Do not study the entire night before exam You will not get the benefit of sleep. What you may gain from extra study time won’t benefit against the loss of alertness and concentration due to lack of sleep.
Don’t cram at the last moment before an exam. This only increases the feeling of nervousness which leads to panic and makes you anxious.
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