Desire for learning is the first thing study demands from you. It is your interest in it, your willingness or more exactly your thirst for learning. It is the desire or love of student for study which enables you to sit to study for hours and learn more and more…you should have the desire to learn! Desire to learn enables you to sacrifice for study and manage time for study. It enables you to study anywhere, any time. It creates a sense of responsibility in you about studies, a sign of success.
It puts you in sense of competition to learn more and more. It makes you generate new ideas and techniques for how to study effectively, how to concentrate, how to manage time for study. In short, it makes study your habit.
If you don’t have the desire or the thirst for learning, you study just to pass the exam, such study is no use because you take it as a burden on you. With such study you can just pass the exam with low grades or sometime you even fail. The aim of study is to get distinction in exam with high grades, which is only possible if you have the love or thirst to learn. Some students have this quality as in-born quality. Others adopt it by practice.
It is here we come to understand that reading is not only to utter the words of a lesson. Running on sentences uttering the words only and not picking what it says, is just waste of time. There is purpose behind reading. The purpose of reading is to assimilate what we read which means to learn and understand so that we can use it ourselves to answer the questions set before us during an examination. Reading is a brain-using activity. Reading means to get the main idea which is presented by an author in the lesson. Read every sentence with attention and pick up from it what the author has explained in it. While reading a lesson, use your brain work on the idea you get from lesson and make a sketch of it in your mind for reproducing it in examination.
Think that every information or idea in every sentence or paragraph is nourishment for your mind and you have to read to get the nourishment for your mind. If you want to study effectively, take this thought to heart. You should also use a high-lighter to highlight important part of your lesson, a sentence or paragraph. You may have to read a lesson three or four times. You may revise it many times to gain full command of understanding it. Once you are done with reading, close your book and write down on paper what you have picked up from reading. Doing so you will observe how much your reading was effective.
Remember that some subjects contain more data:
Like a science subject may contain scientific laws, principles, formulae, proforma, diagrams etc. It may seem a bit difficult to understand them. But never decide at first glance that it is difficult. Always think that it is easy and think that you are already acquainted with it. Thinking so makes it easier for you to understand them. Give it a read. Such subject may need more time reading than the other easy one like literature. Similarly, never skip a paragraph of lesson or a whole lesson thinking it is difficult. Different types of subjects require different types of mental approach while you read them. Suppose you are reading a science subject think scientifically; it helps you learn easily. If you read a book on business matters, think business mindfully, it helps you learn easily.
When you sit to study, throw off your mind of all the irrelevant thoughts which are likely to interrupt the process of your learning. If you are studying as well as thinking about a movie, you watched the previous night, you can’t study properly. Similarly, if you are studying as well as using cell phone for texting to friends, chat or doing other things, you can’t study properly.
When you study, think only about what you study, your mind should not accommodate any other thought, which put hindrance in the process of your learning. You should be totally focused on your study and cut off from environmental distractions while you study. No other thing or thought may interrupt your study. To study with full heed, you should study in surrounding with fewer distractions. Similarly you should study one subject at one time.
Memorizing is a part of study. By memorizing, I never mean cramming. Cramming should always be avoided because it puts an end to creativity. We study different types of subjects containing different types of data. We learn it and we need to have sketch of that learning in our mind for reproducing it in an exam in our own words. In a subject, there may be some information which need to be learnt as well as memorized. Like in Biology there are many biological terms which are derived from other languages, or name of medicines, such name should be memorized. Suppose you are studying chemical process in your book of chemistry.
This chemical process comprises of 10 phases, each phase has its scientific name. You study the process and understand it but you have to memorize the scientific name of each phase involved in the process as well as the sequence of phases. If you are writing the whole process in an exam and you understand all the process but you don’t know the correct names (usually scientific terms) of each phase or the correct sequence of phases then obviously the checker will give you less marks.
Making and Asking Good Questions:
A successful student has the habit of making and asking good questions. When you study a topic, try to produce good questions in it and try to find their answers, either yourself or with the help of a teacher. Producing questions in your lesson and finding their answers, eliminate ambiguity or uncertainty in your learning.
Here is an example, a student was studying about the chemical structure of atom, he read the sentence ‘protons reside in the nucleus of atom’, he started thinking in his mind ‘proton have positive charge, bodies having same charge repel each other, then how protons reside in same place, why don’t they repel each other’?
He made a question “How do protons (having same charge) reside in one place, why don’t they repel each other? He will definitely use his brain to find the answer or ask a teacher for it. By making such question you achieve perfection in your learning.
Learning from discussions:
Discussion with others on what you learn makes your learning more effective. When you study a topic and you discuss it with your classmate or a friend, you learn more, because you use your learning in terms of words. When ideas are exchanged on a topic, you come to know if there are some weaknesses in your learning and you try to improve upon. Different questions are raised in discussion which build your concepts and your full command over a subject.
Learning from Practical work:
Books are main sources of learning. Learning comes as a result of exchange of ideas. Learning flourishes when you use it practically. Especially, science subjects contain data which need to be worked on practically. You study about many scientific devices and learn how to work on them. But when you go to the laboratory and use it practically, you learn with perfection. Using your learning in practical form increases your confidence in your learning. Suppose an accountancy student studied ‘howto make bank statement’, he learns it from a book but if he goes to the bank and sees how bank statement is made practically, he comes to know many more things related to it, which he might have not learnt from book only. So always try to use your learning practically for getting perfection.
Planning – Making a schedule for study:
A very well-known saying is, ‘He who fails to plan, plans to fail’. Planning is very much important, if you want to be a successful student. A schedule helps you in utilizing your time more productively. It helps you to complete your course in a particular time. It tells you how much part of your course should be studied daily, weekly or monthly so that you can complete your course before the examination commences.
A schedule is made on daily, weekly or monthly bases. You may make schedule for your whole session having work for each day of session. It is good because you get the idea about your course and times available as well as you don’t need to make it again and again. It is good you make schedule from the beginning of your session.
How to make a Schedule:
- Count the number of subjects included in your course. Count the number of chapters and lessons or topics or exercises in each subject. Calculate sum of chapters or lessons or topics.
- Count the months or days you have for preparation of your course.
- Divide total topics of your course over total days you have for preparation, it will give you the idea and how much part should be studied daily so that you can complete your course. (You may divide your course on months, it depends on you)
- Make a table with rows and columns. Write the dates in the rows of one column and topic names or chapter names in the rows of other column.
Making schedule may take you one hour or two but if you do not make it, you may lose many hours because schedule creates punctuality in you and enables you to utilize your time more effectively and productively.
Example, supposing, a student reading in semester system (a semester has 6 months) has four subjects. He will first calculate how much chapters or lessons are there in each subject.
Book-1 = 15 chapters = 185 topics
Book-2 = 20 chapters = 200 topics
Book-3 = 13 chapters = 145 topics
Book-4 = 16 chapters = 190 topics
His entire course comprises of 185+200+145+190 = 720 Topics
He has 6 month for preparation or 30×6 = 180 Days
Divide total topics by total days you have for preparation, 720 topics/180 days = 4 topic/per day.
It means that if you study and prepare 4 topics daily you can complete your course easily before exams period. Remember you should not study 4 topics of same book in one day, better you select one topic from each subject for every day. You may increase the number of topic per day; it depends on you but that calculation tells you that at least, you should study four topics a day to complete your course in time.
After this calculation you should make a table (having rows and column) on paper with the help of ruler and pen. Write dates in rows of one column and topics names in the rows of the other column. Total days are 180 so you should make table having 180 rows or 3 table each having 60 rows.
- The reasons for the failure of repeat-takers are often markedly different from those of first-time takers. Accordingly, we must leave to another article an exploration of the reasons for repeaters. Some think that they can’t fail the second time. The truth is that, if nothing is being done amidst the first nature of failure, you will certainly fail again. Learn to sit-up and avoid mistakes of the past, imbibe new techniques and apply same.
- I am fond of the expression, ‘Fix the problem; not the blame’. I cast no aspersions upon any person, student or institution, I merely restate a view shared by many students in an effort to suggest solutions to those who may have experienced, or are apprehensive about the possibility of failing an exam.
- Work must be performed within bounds. Thus, I always recommend a study program to include all the priorities a student may have (work, family, study) and one which seeks to balance the need to work with the need to rest and maintain those other priorities.
Finally, no matter what you actually think, Say Thank You. Put a quick ‘Thanks; I really enjoyed’ something….anything… at the end of the test/exam. Teachers are human too, and appreciate hearing that. It will often make them smile and that can be the difference between a ‘B’ and an ‘A’ or vice versa.