How to prepare yourself for competitive exams...
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
There is nothing in this world which cannot be achieved, the formulae to achieve something, no matter how difficult it may seem initially, are very simple and these are, discipline, persistence, focus and never die attitude. If we peek into the lives of some extraordinarily successful people, we can easily see these traits in them. We can further divide these broader terms into several sub categories, such as:
Plan: - To achieve any goal successfully, we do need a plan and it should be prepared smartly. In case of preparing for IIT-JEE or Medical entrance exams, you need to have a tentative idea of the dates of these exams conducted in a year and based on this information you need to calculate how many days are there for each paper for the effective preparation.
You need to understand that one cannot be master in all the subjects, so it will be futile exercise to give equal amount of time to all the topics/subjects, try to formulate the idea where you can easily distinguish or make a list of those topics which are more important and another list of those which are less important.
Competitive exams are like war, nobody is going to spare you if you are weak and having no plan, so making a strategy becomes more important. Try to work on your strengths and on weaknesses as well, identify the high scoring topics which are most of the time difficult one, give them some extra time. Don’t get carried away by initial success; don’t stop till you achieve the ultimate goal.
List: - First go through the entire syllabus of the exam, once you have the overall view, create a list of study materials and books you will need for the exam.
Routine: - This is very important, you have to follow your routine day in and day out; this is the part of being persistent and disciplined, you cannot afford to deviate from your routine, set your daily, weekly and monthly goal as your short term goal and quarterly, half-yearly and annual as your long term goal, mark “finishing dates” on calendar or on mobile reminders and try to finish them before the due date or due hour. Try to follow the clock, because once you get driven by the time, your brain automatically adjusts to get in the mood to study the subject within few minutes. It doesn’t matter that you like the topic/subject or dislike it, mark my words, this is the necessity for the preparation of competitive exams such as IIT-JEE/NEET or any other competitive exams.
Practice removes imperfection, so, making notes, revising them and practicing the test papers are of utmost importance, and one cannot leave any one of them incomplete.
Study Duration: - Duration of a single study session should not be more than 45 minutes; you must take a recess of at least 10-15 minutes after a session of 45 minutes. Limiting the time of single study session makes the mind to reciprocate beautifully; it absorbs more knowledge and becomes more efficient.
Don’t study when you feel sleepy, it will be a total waste of time, instead of studying, take a short nap or sleep till your body and mind responds efficiently.
Study smartly: - Try to observe the efficient attention span of your mind, the attention and alertness of your mind matters more than the time you spend on studies. You need to study with absolute focus; you need to reduce the distractions as much as possible. Your study room should be in the isolated area of the house, where the TV noise should not reach or members of the family should not disturb you.
The topics which are boring or most difficult should be given time when your mind is fully attentive and alert. Keep the easier ones for the time when you feel lazy to study.
No overlapping of similar subjects: - Don’t club similar subjects together, for instance, if you are studying Mathematics, so it is not a good idea to club Physics with it, try Chemistry or any other subject which has no or lesser relevance with Mathematics.
Textbook Reading: - Dr. Walter Pauk was the pioneer of an idea about effective reading method, in this method he proposed that one should approach OK4R method, here OK4R stands for:
O -- Overview - He suggested that one should first read the title, introductory notes, summarizing paragraphs and all the headings included in the reading material. This will give a general idea of what topics will be discussed. It should be done on chapter by chapter basis.
K -- Key Ideas – He asked to skim the text for the key ideas, key ideas as usually found in the first sentence of each paragraph. Pay attention to italics and bold, the bullet-ed sections, itemization, pictures and tables.
R1 -- Read – Read your assignment from start to finish, you will be able to do it quickly because you already have the “Overview”.
R2 -- Recall – Try to write the key points in your own words which you just have studied. It has been “proven” that most “forgetting” takes place immediately after initial learning. Dr. Pauk says that “ONE MINUTE SPENT IN IMMEDIATE RECALL NEARLY DOUBLES RETENTION OF THAT PIECE OF DATA”.
R3 -- Reflect – To really keep the information permanently, relate the information to other knowledge, find relationships and significance for what you’ve read.
R4 -- Review – This should be done by short quiz and then again later by tests throughout the term. Several reviews will make that knowledge indelibly yours.
Marking Important Points : - One should mark or color main ideas and key points in the books(of course yours), main ideas should be in red, number and dates in blue additional or supporting facts in yellow.
Last but not the least: - Take a break and relax every now and then, it helps to rejuvenate and to have the fresh energy and solid focus, you may watch movies, listen music, or indulge yourself in some kind of sports.
Our Best Wishes for your competitive exam preparations
Team Infinity Vision