Study Smart: 5 Ways to Stay Ahead of The Game

Study Smart: 5 Ways to Stay Ahead of The Game

Students take a lot of stress preparing for their competitive exams or their exams in school. With cut throat competition


Students take a lot of stress preparing for their competitive exams or their exams in school. With cut throat competition, peer pressure, and the endless tuition classes, it is easy to waste time and get disappointed due to lesser marks.  So with the intention to help the student crowd of Udaipur, following are a few tips on how to make the most of your time and energy. Practice makes a man perfect, and with patience and practice, anyone can perfect the art of effective studying.

Study Smart: 5 Ways to Stay Ahead of The Game

1.       Taking Notes– Efficiently taking notes saves you a lot of time. Your hand prepared notes help you revise everyday and are quick reference during the examination days when it is not possible to read those heavy books in the limited amount of time.  However, making notes should not mean copying the whole book.   A smart way of doing this could be to allow yourself to make at most one or two pages of notes each day. In this way you will think about what should go in that one page of paper. You will filter out  the lengthy details and select only the  most important subject matter.

2.       Being Regular– Being regular pays a lot in the long run. Its human tendency to forget facts and formulae as days go by.  Start each day’ study session with a short revision of notes from the previous day. Regular revision will help you stay ahead of the game as you will then be able to quickly recollect what you learned a few days ago without having to search for those things in the books.

3.       Group Study – One of the best ways to test your understanding of the subject matter is to try to teach that to someone else. Explaining a concept helps you find the holes in your own understanding and gives you a chance to correct them. In a group of friends you are actively engaged in understanding and solving a problem.  This seems pretty intuitive—if you are sitting just reading a book, your mind might wander to other things and your brain won’t fully engage in the topic. But if you are sitting in a group focused on that topic you are more likely to actively engage in the subject and to think and learn as you go. Students who are in a group situation or have to teach others have a greater incentive to learn and to think as there are fewer opportunities for them to give up, or to let their mind wander when they struggle to understand or solve a problem.  But studying in a group needs to be done systematically.  If you engage in frivolous discussions, it is easy to waste time. For effective group  study sessions, these points may be helpful:

  • Meet 3-4 times in a week. So that the other days you can practice on your own what you learned in the group. This helps the slow players to catch up with the faster ones.
  • Meet with an agenda to complete certain concepts/ chapters and stick with it. Without an agenda, the group study might turn into a gossip session. So to make the most out of your time together, set certain goals and collectively try to reach them.
  • Divide the portion to be covered amongst the group members and take turns explaining it to the whole group. Then solve problems related to the topic together. This way everyone has something to learn. Solving problems together brings in a sense of competitiveness and increases your speed and efficiency.

4.       Take some time off—Reward yourself once in a while with some sort of enjoyment outside. This freshens the mind and brings in new ideas.  Sitting at your table all the time, buried in your books does not guarantee success.

5.       Self Confidence – And a final nit, self confidence goes a long way. You can score a lot better if you believe in yourself. Cribbing and self denial brings you negative vibes which further decrease your energy and motivation to do well. Do not hesitate talking to family or friends whenever you are stressed.

Preparing for exams with endless course material may seem like a daunting task. But doing it systematically and smartly can reduce that burden to a large extent. We hope these tips help you plan an efficient study routine for yourself.

Study Smart: 5 Ways to Stay Ahead of The GameBenazir Fateh is 26 year old graduate student at Iowa State University. She is pursuing her PhD in Computer Engineering.  Benazir likes reading, biking, cooking and writing.

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