As an aspirant, you certainly know what to study and when to study. Aren’t these lessons imparted in every Institute? But do teachers and Institute authorities teach you how to study? It is surprising that during our entire school time, we are never taught how to ‘learn’ effectively. Every day, new research is being conducted on education, teaching skills and learning methods, which we can use to learn scientific ways for note taking, textbook reading, memorizing and effective reviewing, which will come in handy for cracking competitive entrance exams.
Some Useful Tips and Tricks for Competitive Exam Preparation
1. Have a shorter study period
Don’t keep your study period too long if you really want to excel in an exam. It is really better to break your study sessions rather than going into a marathon. The thing with marathons is that they can help you cover a lot of stuff at one go but the downside is that it could really make you feel tired and frustrated. And that is something you should avoid if you are aiming to ace a competitive exam. Study for two hours straight. Take a 15 to 20 minutes break and then get back again. Taking breaks is really important.
2. Sync your institute timetable and home study schedule
Whenever you see your teacher covering a topic in class, make sure to cover it as soon as possible so that you can revise the topic from beforehand.
Also make sure to prepare the notes for revision. Whenever there is some test in your class, you should be prepared and that you can only do that if you memorize the questions, brush up diagrams and learn them as well.
3. Do not slouch or study when you are sleepy
Sitting with books when sleepy is a total waste of time. If you have too much backlog to cover, just do something light at the time like clearing your desk or arranging your school bag to let the sleepy phase pass. Also, you can take a 15-20 minutes nap to charge your mind for your study time.
4. Smart work is better than hard work
The attention you pay to the subject and alertness of your mind matters more than the time you spend on it. For competitive entrance exams one does not count the number of hours he/she is spending. Rather, you need to measure the amount of focused study that you are doing.
5. Do not schedule similar subjects one after the other
It is better to study different subjects one after the other rather than clubbing the similar ones. It means that studying Reasoning after Mathematics is not a good idea. You can club history or English grammar and your brain will be able to absorb all three subjects in a much better way.
6. Minimize distractions
Get rid of TV noise blaring somewhere in the room, running errands in between studies, and people shouting in your ears. Of course, you cannot control all your family, but you may adjust your time table to study early in the morning or late at night when there is complete silence and no disturbance at all. This will help you to concentrate better.
Start with the most difficult or boring subject when you are fully alert. Keep the easier ones for the time when you are lazy to study.
7. Plan your study time
Plan your things accordingly before you sit to study. Know beforehand an exam what you want to and don’t want to study. Plan things ahead. Know what you are going to cover on which day and how you will be revising before your exam. In such cases, it is very important to get your plan in mind. It can really help you do well in an exam. People who plan from before are able to do much better than people who don’t.
8. Take small breaks
A few small breaks must surely be taken. Taking breaks is very important. If you study too much at one go, you may not remember a thing during exams. If you are studying all morning, take some hours off during the evening and play a game or something. Before sleeping you can maybe study for a few hours. The whole point here is to study hard but not so hard that you can’t cope with it. Make things simpler for yourself by doing the right stuff!
9. Drink some coffee
If you want to do well in an exam, you must remember to take care of the small things. For example, drinking enough tea/coffee. Now we don’t mean you have to drink 4 cups of coffee a day. They are not that great for your health. But you sure can drink one cup when you are trying to study and finish something important and you feel dizzy or tired instead. When it comes to tea, there are several options instead such as herbal and green tea that can actually refresh your mind and help you do much better during exams.
10. Study during the early hours of the day
Difficult topics can be studied in the early hours of the day. The best time to study is in the morning itself. So make sure you have got enough sleep at night so that you can get up early and cover whats important. Sleeping is also very important if you are trying to get ready for a competitive exam. To be honest, it will help you remember a lot of stuff in the long run
11. Read the text thoroughly
Next what you should do is read the text properly and thoroughly. If needed, read every chapter thrice. Make sure you have seen the headings, the introductory part properly, the sub heading etc. It will surely give you a good idea of what will be coming for your exam.
12. Don’t study at odd times
When we say that you should not study at odd times, we mean you shouldn’t be studying when you are sleepy. If you do that, it would actually become a huge waste of time. For example, people usually feel tired and exhausted an hour or two after having lunch. Post dinner studies must be avoided. If that is one of you, then make sure you to have a proper study schedule later. You must study during those times when you are ready for an exam. If there is a lot to cover, then you can simply prepare the notes from beforehand, get a nap or recharge yourself or something with a refreshing drink and then come back to study. It will definitely work.
13. Remember the keywords
What you should do is remember the keywords. For that, you can highlight them and whenever you are studying, keep them in mind. The keywords are very important and shall be needed when you are getting ready for an exam.
14. Save enough time for revision
When you are getting ready for an exam, don’t forget to revise. It can really help you remember a lot of important stuff during exams. Make sure to revise at least 2-3 times before you sit for an exam. All of this matters a lot. So keep that in mind.
15. Use colour for the books
Contrary to the popular idea, books that are neat always don’t mean that you are an excellent student. It could look as if the books are unused. You should colour the ideas in red, the dates can be kept in blue with the other facts in colours such as green or yellow.
With these colours, you will actually be able to revise much better. When you colour your books, you are able to remember things much faster. This is actually a very good strategy and one that can help you in the long run.
16. Get a proper diet
Exam time is usually very important. So make sure you have a proper diet prepared from beforehand so that you can be ready for the exam in the best way possible. Diet can really make or break things so you have to be very careful about that. By proper diet, we mean eating enough protein, fats and little bit of carbs. Drink enough water and don’t forget to add vegetables in each meal.
17. Get enough exercise
You should remember to give your body enough exercise. For those of you who do not know, exercising is really important and can actually take you a very long way. It is essential when you are getting ready for an exam. It will keep your body stress free and help you get ready for exams fast and easy. Those of who have tried this have been amazed at the benefits.
18. Don’t be very social
Also remember to be as less social as you can. Don’t attend too many parties, have too many drinks with your friends or do things that you shouldn’t be doing. Spend that time on studying. Remember every minute counts when you are getting ready for an exam because you really don’t know what you might get.
By that we don’t mean you should completely lock yourself up. But what we mean instead is, be a little selfish and focus on yourself. Exams are important after all and you need to be more into your books.
19. Don’t get stressed out
We would suggest you not to stress so much when it comes to getting ready for an exam. We realize how crucial it is for you to ace an exam. But if you want to do well, don’t worry so much about it. Just study hard and do your best. And most importantly, make sure to keep yourself healthy and fit during such times.