Last-minute preparations have always been nerve-racking. So, strategically plan your study and maintain a pace that can help you achieve your goals in 2022. Undoubtedly, students require a lot of hard work but implementing some tips and tricks can benefit immensely. If you are clueless about where to begin and how to prepare for challenging entrance exams like NEET 2022, JEE 2022, JEE Advanced 2022, CUCET, or board exams, here are some effective tips on textbook reading, note-taking, learning methods, memorizing, and revising that play a key role in cracking competitive entrance exams.
Students who put in their true potential always emerge victoriously. The following study tips will help achieve desired success and ace any competitive exam.
1. Begin by creating an environment that fosters cognitive development
A good study environment fosters cognitive abilities and helps students eliminate all the exam pressure. The following postulates are a must for any student preparing for an exam.
- Students must mark the dates of their final exam on the calendar as soon as they are available. This practice allows them to set up a schedule and calculate how much time they need per subject/exam.
- Choose a place that offers minimal distractions and has good lighting. It has to be a calm and quiet place.
- A comfortable position is essential, but it need not be too cozy.
- Students should be careful about their posture while studying. So, choose a table-chair arrangement that is ideal for sitting postures.
2. Create your timetable as per your requirements
Students often hunt for study timetables online. One must understand that a timetable needs to be specially curated. Every student has to decide how much time they will require for preparation while keeping in mind the time available until the final exam.
So, formulate a timetable keeping in mind the holidays, school/ college schedule, family trips, and events that can hinder preparation. Consider the time you can realistically spend studying per day while acknowledging other obligations in life. It is vital to include breaks that can freshen up and rejuvenate your energy when planning days.
3. Minimise stress
Students must decide how to review and what they want to review three months before, a month before, and a night before the exam. Begin by focusing on the topics or subjects you struggle with the most. Keep them along with the ones that you find easier to study. Creating a balance is the key to success.
Students must also set breaks or a rest timer while studying. They can set the timer for every hour of studying. So, after an hour, they can take a break of 5-10 minutes. The activity they perform during break time is crucial. It should be healthy, such as a walk or some outdoor sport. Avoid video games as they add to stress rather than relieve it.
4. Discover your type: Customise learning
Students need to change their study patterns. They must adopt a personalized learning approach that depends on their strengths, needs, skills, and interests. Also, students need to discover what kind of a learner they are amongst the four major types:
- Visual learners: They retain information better when presented to them in the form of graphics, such as diagrams, arrows, symbols, charts, and more.
- Auditory learners: Aural learners prefer listening to information presented vocally. Reading aloud helps them grasp the important concepts quicker.
- Reading and writing learners: They rely on written information on worksheets and other text resources. They are note-takers that perform exceedingly well when they can reference written text.
- Kinesthetic learners: They are hands-on and believe in engaging all of their senses in coursework. Often such students find interest in scientific studies as they have the hands-on lab component to thrive on.
When you set your study habits according to the type of learner you are, it speeds up the process and ensures that the concepts stay with you forever.
5. Make note-taking fun
On average, a person forgets 33% of what they hear or study within 24 hours if they do not review it. Also, handwritten notes are better and improve memory compared to digital note-taking. Therefore, it is vital to take notes. The following note-taking tips will help you ace your preparation:
- Survey the topic: Do not begin writing at once. Students must take a few minutes to skim through the reading. Then write down the major headings, subheadings, and other key points.
- Read carefully: Reading carefully is half work done. So, students must develop a habit of reading the text section by section.
- Write down: The next step is to write the major ideas, keywords, and concepts presented in the text. Use simplified language but ensure that you do not alter the keywords. Use colored pens and pencils to make the text stand out. Also, try to follow a pattern in your study notes. For instance, you put all the headings in uppercase and the same colour.
- Try to relate: Try to develop personal connections as this practice enhances memorization. Recall whether the information reminds you of anything in your own life.
- Review: Lastly, students must reread once they have finished writing all that is essential as it increases retention.
6. Practice calming techniques
Studying is directly related to peace of mind. Students need to develop a habit of thinking positively about the outcome to achieve their goals. A negative, rushed, frantic approach lowers your performance. The following points will help you cultivate calm and positive behaviour.
- Practice positive self-talk
- Think rationally about all the situations. It drives away any negative thoughts. Irrational thinking pushes one to consider a situation far worse than it is.
- Set healthy sleeping habits: Every teenager requires at least 8-10 hours of sound night sleep to relax the mind and reduce stress. It is important to go to bed and try to wake up at the same time each day.
- Practicing yoga and breathing exercises during the preparation time helps maintain mental peace, reduces stress, and calms down nerves.
- Walking, running/jogging, bicycling, and swimming for a short time boost the mind.
7. Keep reviewing regularly
Often students wait for the last-minute revision of the syllabus they covered for the exam. It is then they realise that revising has become more of learning. Therefore, students preparing for NEET 2022 or JEE Advanced 2022 must regularly revise all they have studied and assess their preparation level. When you revise regularly, you will just have to read carefully, and it won’t take long. To maximize retention, you must revise key concepts from your notes weekly or fortnightly.
8. Keep textbook solutions at hand
The best study tips that you can get are the ones that help you save time. It isn’t a smart practice to spend hours trying to solve a question that you get stuck on. Textbook solutions offer accurate and reliable answers to the most challenging questions comprehensively. CBSE board students and NEET and JEE aspirants can access NCERT Solutions online to understand the important concepts and learn from subject experts.
9. Use Mnemonics and turn lessons into stories
Mnemonics aid information retention and retrieval for a better understanding. Students can create short forms that are easy to learn and grasp. This technique is especially helpful when learning Chemistry’s periodic table. Also, students can devise stories by weaving important details or facts of a topic into a story. These practices are far better than rote-memorization.
10. Create a separate booklet for doubts
Everyone has doubts when they study. You need not ignore them. Instead, create a separate booklet for every subject and keep it at hand. Note down your doubts while studying and ensure that you clarify them as soon as possible with your subject teacher.
11. Test yourself
Testing your preparation is one of the most important study tips that you can ever get. Students must enrol for mock tests and practice solving previous year’s questions. They boost confidence, help evaluate preparation, teach time management, and allow students to seek experts’ guidance.
12. Study tips for a day before the exam
Students must remember that the day before the final exam is for revision, not for cramming new topics. The following study tips will help you nail those final rounds of revision:
- Refer to your notes, not your textbooks, for revision.
- If you face difficulty in any topic, do not panic. Refer to audio-visual study material to quickly grasp the main postulates.
- Revise the important formulae and practice numerical-problem questions (only one of a type).
- Refrain from digital platforms to avoid distractions.
Conclusively, there are several study tips, but there are no hard and fast rules. Students need to pick up the tips and tricks that align with their habits and temperaments. If you have ample time left for your exam, you can try different things and figure out what works best. Devise a personalized study pattern and modify your routine for maximum effectiveness.
1. What are the secret study strategies of toppers?
Toppers devote a high percentage of their time to practice, up to 70% of their time. Practicing the important concepts helps them score higher in the examinations. Also, they develop a habit of recalling the information multiple times and in multiple contexts for revising the key topics and ensuring that they stay with them till the final exam.
2. What is the best time to study for exams?
Research experts suggest that learning is most effective between 10 am to 2 pm as the brain is in the acquisition mode. It is also good to study in the evenings between 4 pm to 10 pm, but no later than that. Mornings are also good if you have had a sound sleep. Contrastingly, studying late at night by sacrificing quality sleep time hinders the ability to learn and understand. Therefore, students must drop the practice of studying late at night.
3. Should I study for 16 hours a day to prepare for JEE Main 2022?
Studying for long hours continuously drains your body's capacity and hampers retaining power. JEE 2022 aspirants should study dedicatedly, but that does not imply studying for 15-16 hours. Studying 15-16 hours per day is possible but for a very short duration of only 2-3 days (if it is absolutely essential). If you are studying regularly and strategically, you require a maximum of 8-10 hours a day to nail any competitive exam.
4. Is studying at night harmful?
Research by Texas A&M Medical College observed that studying late into the night impacts a student's performance. In fact, it can result in a sharp decrease in learning and memory task performances. Therefore, students are advised against studying late into the night as the habit declines their cognitive efficiency when they are fighting against the natural body clock.