Brain drain?

Tutorial


Secrets To Success:  Use aids like a coloured marker to underline key words while studying Try and develop a photographic memory by associating ideas with pictures.

The Indian system of education expects students to learn factual subjects by heart. This is not only a very old-fashioned and ineffective way of studying, it is also time-consuming and doesn’t always guarantee the student good marks.

Students walk up and down their dorm rooms trying to memorise subjects like History and Geography, in much the same way they would memorise poetry. While it works for poetry, it may not be effective in studying factual subjects, as whole text books cannot be learnt ‘by heart’.

Another disadvantage of this method is that if you forget even one key word, you may end up forgetting the whole text. Clearly, it is time for the concept of cognitive studying to be accorded due respect.

It is important to read the text, at least twice, to understand the information in  context. Then, read each paragraph and, from it, write the gist of the paragraph in one carefully worded sentence. You  should do this with every paragraph until you have assimilated the whole lesson. My father, late Mohammed Khader Nawaz, who was an eminent lawyer and educationist, taught me this very relevant lesson in education over 30 years ago.

He would take a letter, one from each of the carefully worded sentences from all the paragraphs he had read. Out of these letters, he would make an acronym.

For example, his favourite acronym was HOMES, which stands for the North American lakes of Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eerie and Superior. If you are able to do this with other paragraphs, then the acronym has served its purpose.

Remember, it is perfectly all right to write the paragraph you have studied in your own words, without using the exact words of the text. Your disciplined thinking and confidence will  make this process easy and time-effective.

Use aids like a coloured marker to underline key words. Try and develop a photographic memory by associating ideas with pictures. Usually, a person with a photographic memory does well in subjects where a lot of information has to be assimilated in a limited amount of time.

When reading, if you come across a word you don’t know, you should look up the meaning in the dictionary right away. In this way, the word will register in your mind and you will know the context in which it is used. A good vocabulary is indispensable for a student who intends to become a writer later on.

To do well in exams, you don’t necessarily need to study hard, but you certainly need to study smart.

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