Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Study Strategies and Tips

When you study you should understand the concept to its depths. With concept oriented study work you need not memorize your papers. The concept will automatically stick to your memory. It is just like seeing a movie. When you see it and you understand the concept of the movie…. You can recall the movie and hey... You can also say the word-to-word dialogues from it!!! It is just the same with studies.

Step 1: Setting your mind and body to the STUDY MODE:

• Pick a brightly lit study room
• It is better if the room is calm.
• Gather all the materials that you need to study your paper. That includes study material, computer (if you need one)
• Cut off all the interruptions. Do not voluntarily message or send forwards from mobile. If you get any call from your friend /family member keep it short. Say that you are busy and will get back to them once you are done.
• Do not play any songs in the back ground. You can’t read for more than 3 hours that way.

Step 2: Study when you study

• When you read, understand what the author is trying to say.
• To understand it better challenge what the author is saying. Suppose if it is given that ‘Sun light takes 8 min to reach earth’… Challenge it. Question it. Then try to answer why the author would have written it that way. It is based on the calculation (speed= distance/time). But is the earth equidistant from the sun all the time? No. Earth follows an elliptical orbit. So, earth is not equidistant from sun. The 8min is just the average time.
• To understand the concept better, you need to think in different ways. Let us say that you are reading probability from math. Force your self to say five real time scenarios where you can apply the concepts. Try to think originally. If you are out of options.. Google always helps
• Spend enough time while reading. This will enable you to understand the concepts better,
• If you are a very mean examiner, what kind of questions would you give from that section? Think...
• If you are a scientist where would you use that concept? What is the scope of that area?
• Collect extra material and see in what ways it can be used.
• If there are formulae that jumps in to the concept out of no where.. Memorize it. If you have enough time…. Collect some info on it.
• Take notes/ Scribble notes on the text book if it is yours. Highlight important points.
• If you have to memorize a theorem... Read it slowly first. That will help you in sticking it to your memory better. You should be able to memorize a three line text word-to-word by reading it for 5 times.

Step 3: How to bring your focus back to studies when your mind disturbs you?

• Take a break after reading for 45 minutes. They do give intervals in the movies. :)
• Treat yourself if you complete reading it. Say a cup of ice-cream or a show that you wanted to watch
• Always keep the goal in mind. Say getting an A will impress your girl friend/ boy friend. Your parents will be proud of you. Your friends will think highly of you. Your teachers will be less mean to you...lol. Or you can get a scholarship.
• Let us say you are reading a very dull topic and your mind is wandering… Take a paper and put a cross on it every time your mind wanders. Your goal is to reduce the number of crosses you get.
• Another way to read a dull topic is to read it fast. It will force your mind power to its peak. Remember how much you can cover just 1 hr before the exam? You make use of most of your mind power. However, the results are only short term. If you want to remember it for long term... When you read it.. also thing where you can apply it and this has a better chance for you to remember it longer
• Read fast to revise fast.

Step 4: How to improve in math?

• There is only one success formula to math: practice, practice and practice.
• The more problems you solve.. the better are the chances for you the score more.
• Be good at calculations. Join an abacus class. Or memorize all the tables till 30 X 30.
• Do math for at least one hour every day. This has improved my score well. I was a failed candidate in math and was able to get above 95/100 by solving more problems
• Have a study group
• Check how fast you can solve it. It is MATHS.

Step 5: Conquer the exam fever

• Try to cover all the topics. Have a study plan
• Go through previous exam papers
• Interact with your teachers and listen to their classes. They would usually stress some points or questions which are bound to turn up in your exam
• Have a cheat sheet which has all the important formulae, theorems, definitions, tough words, drawings and stuff.
• Be relaxed and calm. You have done your preparation well
• In the exam, as soon as get your paper.. do a memory dump. It means writing whatever you tend to forget or get confused on reading the paper. Ex: Formulae... (Is it x/y or y/x?),
• Be prepared for surprises. These tend to happen at times. See if the question is time consuming. If yes, answer it later. Do not waste your time on it.
• For theory papers, always write the answer that you know best first. This will give a better impression to the examiner. Be careful about the question numbers though
• Highlight important points. Try to answer the question to the point.
• Improve your handwriting.
• Before answering the question… plan what you are going to write.
• When the exam is over… estimate how many marks you would get and compare it with your results. This will help you in planning better for future exams.
• After the exam… Enjoy :)

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