Smart work and not just hard work is the key to success. Do you feel that you are not getting results in proportion to the amount of time and efforts you are putting in? Do you feel that you are not getting marks as per your expectations? Then, my friend, the problem is that you are lacking smartness in your preparation. The following is a list of all the ways in which you can convert your hard work into marks.
1. Don’t hurry to complete the syllabus
Many times in a hurry to complete the syllabus, we tend to miss out on deeply understanding concepts. We just rush through the syllabus in order to meet deadlines, thinking that we will redo it or revise it later. But this is very misleading and over time it becomes a habit because deadlines will always be there. As a student, you will always have to be on the run catching up with deadlines. That does not mean that you can compromise on quality.
Whenever you learn a concept, study it as if it is the first and the last time you are spending time on it. Obviously, you might need to revise it later, but then that is going to take much less time than redoing. With so much syllabus at hand, you cannot expect yourself to be redoing every single thing before exams. Therefore it is better to get clarity of the concepts while learning them for the first time itself. Yes, there are some concepts you might not get in the first go; don’t worry, it is absolutely fine. Give it a day or two. Try solving questions based on it. However, don’t delay it beyond that because after that you might even forget what the concept was and all the hours you had previously put into it might go waste. So, the point is that don’t rush through the syllabus without understanding each and every concept with clarity. In the end, it leads to more wastage of time than utilization.
2. Learn in Class
The best way to save time is to learn properly in the class itself while the chapter is being taught.Pay attention in class and try to get the essence of the concept in the class itself. If you have a doubt, then clarify it with the teacher then and there. Don’t think that when you get home and revise, you will be able to solve. Why waste time at home when you are devoting time in class too? Make full use of this time.
This way half of your work will be completed in the class itself. What you will have left for self-study will be more questions and previous year papers which will strengthen and clarify your concepts further. You will have saved a lot of time in this way. Now there is no need to redo or revise class work. What you can do is, directly start solving questions from your modules and books. Look through the previous year questions and try to judge where you stand with respect to them. No need to undermine your confidence in the process. You have just learnt the concept and your aim must be to eventually reach up to the level of these questions at least. This gives you the real picture.Try to find similar solved questions in order to gain clarity.
3. Set time limit for solving questions
In the hustle for preparing for competitive exams, you have to solve a lot of questions. The number of questions is very large but the time is limited. So, the best way is to set a time limit for a set of questions. For example, if you have an assignment of 50 questions, then make sets of 10-15 questions and set a time limit for each set depending on the difficulty level of the questions. Don’t set unrealistic time limits. It will only lower your confidence. If you make it a habit to practice questions within time constraints, you will not face problem in exams.
But you must not set a time limit for questions related to a new concept or a recently learnt concept. Obviously, in its initial stages, the concept needs to be built upon slowly and steadily. You cannot expect speedy solutions at that time. Take time to understand those concepts. go through solved examples and see the pattern of problem-solving. Once you get the hang of the concept, you can go ahead and attempt questions yourself.
There might be some questions you are not able to solve within the set time limit. Don’t worry, leave them at that time and move on. When the time is over, attempt them separately.
4. Read Smartly
Often you have lengthy and boring chapters to be read. The best way to learn such chapters is to read smartly. How is that? Read on to find out the steps involved.
- Go through the pages briskly to get an overview of the chapter. Read the subheading and quickly read on the surface to get the gist of the text. This way you will know which part is important and which part you can go through quickly.
- See which part of the chapter you feel comfortable in reading first.
- Now read that portion properly. By reading properly, I mean understand each and every thing that is written there.Don’t stop to mug up facts in between. Just imagine while you are reading. Picture those words in your mind just like you do when reading a story. This way you will also remember the text.
- Before moving on to the next topic, try to recall what you have read in the previous step. You will be surprised to realize that you remember most of it. There must have been some facts that you might have to mug up. Do that now and you are done.