You & Exams

1)   How to prepare for and qualify in competitive examinations?

Fortunately or unfortunately, competitive examinations have become a strict norm for selection to various professional courses in our country. Notwithstanding the demerits of such a system, competitive examinations are a reality for the lac of students who appear in them every year.

In such a scenario, everyone wants to succeed. Success in these examinations brings immense glory and confidence to the individuals, besides giving them a clear cut break into the career line of their choice. However, seats are limited and not everyone who appears can be selected. This does not mean that those who are not selected do not deserve training in these courses. It only means that there aren’t sufficient seats to accommodate all the deserving candidates

Keeping these realities in mind, let us explore what it takes to succeed in these competitive examinations particularly at the undergraduate level

To my mind, the first prerequisite for success in these examinations is determination. The candidate must be quite sure of his level of motivation. Without a high level of motivation, no one can go through the rigours of the preparation process. Thus, you must be absolutely determined to put in your best efforts in your endeavor.

Once one is sufficiently motivated, one needs to be ready to give sufficient number of hours of his or her time in studies. This is real hard work and involves significant sacrifices on the part of the individual.“All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”. Therefore it is also important that the candidate does take out some time for relaxation either through sports, music or other art forms. Regular exercise (about 15 – 20 minutes) every day will help maintain a healthy body which in turn will house a healthy mind

The third requirement, is selection of the right study material. One should not go for shortcuts. Instead, he should try to understand the chapters / concepts in detail and practice sufficient number of questions. Therefore go only for standard textbooks, study materials provided, as correspondence courses and attending coaching classes at EXPANDING HORIZONS serve as supplementary and complementary material to the textbook material

The fourth consideration is an appropriate ‘Study Strategy’. A very common question which students ask is, How to balance the school studies with competitive exam study? I think that school studies can be incorporated within the broad framework of one’s competitive examinations’ preparation strategy. One strategy is to look at each chapter as a chapter to be learnt, a material to be mastered; rather than dichotomizing it as school and competitive examination related study material. Ultimately, if one’s clear about the concepts (for example, ‘Current Electricity’), and has practiced sufficient number of questions/numerical problems; one can face any examination whether of school or competition. One can use periodic tests in school as an opportunity to master the material that one has collected rather than restricting yourself to the limited knowledge and practice that is needed for doing well in the periodic test itself. Of course, you may not be able to complete all the practice material for one test but can always clear the concepts. You can use the rest of the practice material for revision and self evaluation at a later time. As the examinations come closer, practicing previous years’ papers is also key to doing well in these examinations

Also revise the important concepts, facts, problems that you would have marked during your 1.5 – 2 years of preparation before the examination.
On the day of examination, keep your cool and attempt the questions. Remember, if you have given your best during the last 1.5 – 2 years, you need not fear anything. Ultimately, only effort and not the result is in your hand, which you should do to your maximum capability as outlined above. Rest is your destiny or luck. So go ahead, give your best and leave the rest!
Most of us spend hours in front of the books, but, unfortunately our marks are not a reflection of it. If we have to see results we need to find the root cause of our poor performance. Here are some tips that can help you make your devoted time more fruitful:

  • Make sure you study only when you are at peace. Don’t try to study when you are angry or tired
  • Your study place should be permanent and the one corner that you like in the house. Keep it clean and tidy
  • Schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Let the targets be practical and achievable so that you don’t feel disappointed in case you don’t meet them.
  • You want to learn the facts real well then study on a daily basis. If you turn to your books once in a blue moon nothing can come to your rescue.
  • Pay thorough attention to what is taught in class and revise it at least once when you return
  • You could allot more hours to study on weekends when you don’t have school and relatively less time on the days that are hectic for you.
  • Every fortnight, revise all that you studied
  • More stress to the topics that you fear most or fetch low marks. The more you run away from it the more it is going to haunt you.
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It is necessary that you play too.
  • If possible study early in the morning hours when your mind is fresh and you are more
  • Yourself to others. You are an individual and you can’t be like anyone else, just like no one can be like you. Remember that your competition is with yourself, you have to outsmart your own previous performance
  • Try to understand the facts rather than just mugging it up. Thorough understanding of a particular topic enables you to tackle all kind of questions posed to you.
  • Try to include memory tricks and mind maps in your study so that even study becomes a fun process.
  • If you have a doubt, get it cleared by someone competent. When all things are clear in your mind you exude confidence and that gets reflected in your results as well.
  • Complete your class work in the class only so that you don’t carry any excess burden at home.

When you study devote yourself to doing just that only. Anything done with concentration and an innocent heart always bears fruit.

:) Wish you all the very best!!

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