We have all been in a situation where no matter how long we study, the result is not satisfactory. We sit with our books for long hours while thinking about the last show we watched and expect to magically remember every word that we read. This becomes a common thing with students preparing for difficult entrance exams like NEET, JEE etc. where they need to study for almost 14-15 hours a day.
Who are we kidding?
But, let’s not be too harsh on ourselves as to err is human. We need to fool the procrastination and beat it at its own game. We need to start studying smarter along with working hard to get the optimum result out of our time. It is not necessary to sit with books for 14 hours straight to get good ranks in JEE, NEET, AIIMS etc., if you follow some smart study tips. You can prepare well for NEET and JEE in less time with effective study techniques.
Some Interesting and Useful Tips
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1. Spaced repetition
It is a foolproof technique to memorize things long terms. In this, whenever you read something you want to memorize, like hard facts or dates, you repeat it at given intervals of time to store it in your memory. You first repeat it in minutes, progressing to hours then days and weeks. Eventually, you’ll only have to repeat things once a month or even year to retain it in your memory. It stores things in your long-term memory as opposed to your short-term one. So, you can learn things better by revising it in intervals of time rather than cramming it in one sitting.
2. Use Mnemonics or stories
Attaching a story or memory to a certain piece of information will make you recall it quicker. For instance, you can take mnemonics. Mnemonic techniques mask the information you want to memorize into patterns that the brain remembers better than the original.
E.g. the order of taxa in biology can be remembered by:
“Dear King Philip Came Over For Good Soup”
(Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)
Associating funny stories or incidences to our syllabus can also have the same effect. It is easier for the brain to recall these simple sentences or rhymes rather than lists of words that are totally foreign.
3. Audio-Visual memory
The things that we see or hear are stored relatively longer than the things we read. Audiovisual signals like watching a video or listening to a recorded video lecture on repeat are bound to trigger a memory. An excellent measure of this could be through online learning. Recorded lectures and live online classes are a foolproof way to revise things and refresh your memory. Reading loudly and repeating things to yourself will make you memorize things for a long term. This is the reason, we remember nursery rhymes even decades after memorizing them.
4. Study in Chunked Sessions
Your mind starts to slack after studying for an extended time and stops retaining the information. Instead of pushing through it, take short breaks of 10-15 minutes after studying for 45-60 minutes. Reward and relax your mind with fun activities during the break. It will help you pay attention to what you are studying when you sit for the next session.
5. Study at a dedicated area
To utilize your study time well and to avoid any distractions, decide on a particular study area. Make sure you don’t study anywhere else than the dedicated area. It can be your study room, balcony, terrace or any area of your house.
6. Don’t Open a New Tab
When learning online, you might feel the urge to open a new tab every time you feel bored, but you don’t know that once opened, it eats away a lot of crucial study time. When attending live online classes, make sure you don’t do unnecessary browsing. If you find it difficult to control yourself, you can also use apps like StayFocused, which help you decide how much time you want to waste on social media. These protect you from mindless clicking and keep you on track with your learning.
7. Revise regularly
Never wait for the last-minute revision of the syllabus you covered for the exam. Regularly revise what you have studied and check your preparation level by taking tests. If you keep revising the topics and concepts weekly or fortnightly, you can save a lot of time for the final revision.
When you want to memorize things, study groups are not the best idea. Study groups are helpful when debate and dialogue are free-flowing, and that is not what you want when you try to memorize large chunks of your syllabus for medical and engineering exams.
Regularity in studies is important. Would you rather memorize large heaps of information at the end of your week or small packets of facts daily? The people who study daily are more inclined to memorize things longer. They also have time to revise, which is a key feature to effective studying.
These techniques will help you perform better and make your study process worth looking forward to. So, follow these smart study tips and see a significant decrease in the amount of time required to learn things.
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