The very first reaction that students have towards competitive exams is panic. While most schools and institutes provide you with syllabus, tell you about future possibilities and a lot more pertaining to career, there is one thing nobody bothers to tell students- HOW TO PREPARE. This is why many students find themselves trapped in a sense of confusion and panic. Yes, it is true that every student is unique and needs a specific style of preparation for competitive exams. However, preparing by following a general pattern that is common to the entire population is something that can make you confident about your preparation. Here’s how you can get success in a competitive examination.
Start with a schedule
The most wrong way to go about preparing for a competitive exam is by studying whenever you would feel like. While mood does play a huge role in how much focus you have while you study, following a schedule is equally important. Having a schedule doesn’t mean you have to study despite not being in the mood. It is a practice that is intended to bring yourself to the mood of studying at a specific time every day so that you don’t skip studying any day. Start off easy- don’t get yourself at the desk for a lot of time. You can slowly increase the duration for which you study in a day based on how much time you have for preparations.
Don’t study at a stretch
Yet another mistake people make while studying is studying for long hours. It might seem like the right way to study is to delve deep into books for super long hours. However, that is the biggest myth. This might be hard work, but hard work doesn’t always mean quality work. You have to be smart and give your brain enough time to process and retain all of what you are studying. As you study for long hours, your brain would become slow at storing information or even paying enough attention. This is why, while you study, take brief breaks so that your brain does not get exhausted.
Ideally, it is a good idea to only study for 45 minutes at a stretch and take a break of 10 or 15 minutes before you again start studying. During the break time, you can watch a light-hearted show, listen to music, play, or do anything that does not involve a lot of brain work. With that being said, don’t get into reading another book in your break time.
Define your study space
Many people are on the move when they study. They would start off studying at their desk and then shift to the couch, end up watching television for a bit of time, get to the bed with their books, and end up taking a nap. This is definitely one of the ways of totally disrupting your study schedule. The best place to study at is the desk and the best posture to assume while studying is an erect sitting posture, to concentrate completely. When you keep moving from one place to another, your mood would also change and thus affect the quality of your study. In fact, another reason why you should be at your desk while studying is so that your brain knows when you are at your desk, you are supposed to study. Each room and each space in a house have an aura of their own. When you try studying in different spaces, you mix auras- which would be a bad idea.
Don’t study two similar subjects one after other
If your syllabus has two subjects that are quite similar to each other, you should not be studying them one after the other. This would cause mixing up of the information. While this is one case, yet another case is studying on tough subject after other tough subject. Studying two difficult subjects consecutively would totally take away all your interest from studying and you would lose the will to study. Always alternate between an easy, interesting subject and a tough, dull subject so that you don’t lose interest in preparing for the competitive examination. The bottom line is- you should not couple two subjects one after other if they are similar or of the same level of difficulty. The basic idea is to bring about a diversity in the preparation process, to be focused.
Keep away from distractions
You might be an amazing and invincible multi-tasker and take pride in it. However, while preparing for a competitive exam that scares you, try forgetting about your multitasking skills and get yourself to focus on just one thing at a time. The whole idea of defining your study space also revolves around not mixing up tasks and instead doing one thing at a time. As soon as you start studying, make sure you put your phone on silent mode or switch it off. Also, try keeping your phone out of sight so that you don’t constantly have the urge to check your phone. Your desk should only have books and supplies related to studying. This will help you focus better.
In case you have a pet/pets, make sure you don’t have them in your room while you are studying. Pets can cause a lot of distraction while studying. Discuss your study schedule with your parents and siblings. This will send across a message to them that they are not supposed to disturb you during your study hours.
Make brief notes/ bullet points
Most people keep on studying and everything disappears into thin air when they don’t make notes of it. Notes play major role in both retaining whatever you study and helping you revise later on. While you make notes, another thing to remember is that you should stick to bullet points, brief paragraphs, and keywords. Nobody would want to read long, tiring paragraphs while revising. Moreover, bullet points make it very clear for the brain to recall and retain the information. Also, while you make your notes, try using colorful pens to make each point look separate. Colors help the brain focus better and be able to differentiate information from one another. Adding some colors to your notes would also make the process of studying a bit more interesting.
Don’t forget to revise
After you spend a significant amount of time making notes, what is the point in putting so much efforts if you don’t plan to revise? Just as easily as people underestimate the importance of revision, those are the ones that are most panic-stricken outside and inside the examination hall. With so much information that the brain takes in a short period of time, it needs constant reminders and refreshers to memorize concepts in a more concrete fashion. This is why, make it a point to do your revision every single day either before you sleep or after you wake up in the morning, without procrastinating. Revision strengthens your confidence and would help your brain focus on recalling information rather than getting distracted from stress during the exam.
Try out practice tests
We all know questions wouldn’t repeat themselves in each exam year after year. However, the idea of taking practice tests is not to have a short cut to finding questions from previous years in the question paper. It is more of a technique wherein you know what kind of questions would be there and how much time to spend on each question. Answering each and every question is just as important as knowing the answer to all questions. What if you know each answer but don’t have enough time to answer the questions? Trying a bunch of practice tests would help you manage your time in the exam hall better and you score good marks in Sarkari Result.
Eat healthy to feel healthy
It is indeed true that you are what you eat. Having a balanced diet is really important in ensure your brain functions to its highest potential. The blood flow in the brain, the production of right neurotransmitters and hormones, etc. play an important role in thinking, learning, memorizing, and being able to pay attention. Eat foods, like almonds, broccoli, green vegetables, dairy products, fresh fruits, etc. to give your brain all the needed nutrients. At the same time, avoid having too much of junk food or processed food that can hinder proper brain functioning.
This is how you can prepare for any competitive exam and totally crack it. While dedication and motivation are key ingredients, following the right pattern of studying plays just as important a role as the other two. Given you know your potential and take the right steps to crack an exam, there is nothing that can stop you from qualifying the competitive exam that you intend to qualify with high grades.