Making the eleventh hour count

Making the eleventh hour count

Every year, this season, lakhs of medical and engineering aspirants all over the country are on their toes bracing themselves up for their forthcoming exams. The last stage of preparation is the vital juncture which can enhance your performance. Hence, this stage undoubtedly demands a smart preparation.

The prospect of having to deal with the vast syllabi can make one unnerved and confused. But, with proper planning, a carefully crafted strategy and efficient time management, you can overcome these hurdles. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

Be careful while choosing reference material: The market is flooded with various preparatory aids for competitive exams. While selecting, give preference to books published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). Ensure that your preparation for all the topics is complete by solving a variety of problems. Only then seek recommendation from your professors or seniors for books to be used as reference material. Also, don't lay your hands on too many books as it can lead to losing productive time and result in confusion. Instead, depend more on practical know-how's.

Take mock tests: One of the most useful ways to prepare yourself for competitive exams is by solving previous years' question papers. So, take as many mock tests as possible so that you can identify areas that you may need to work upon.

Enhance your accuracy and speed: Since there is negative marking in some exams, accuracy and speed are essential factors to fare well in the exams. Therefore, it is advisable to keep track of the time taken while solving mock tests as this would help you know how much time you would need for each section. Doing this can help boost your accuracy and speed.

Chalk out a realistic study plan: Draw a realistic schedule and never take on more than what you can take on your plate. Analyse minutely on the approach to solving the problems so that you are comfortable to crack similar questions in the test.

Make notes: Making notes of important points, formulae, equations and problems would simplify your revision process. Selective revision might be risky as questions may be from any corner of the topic. In the initial stages, one should focus on the weaker areas and towards the end must work towards consolidation.

Be your own judge: At every stage, it is essential to analyse your level of preparation. In order to enhance your performance, it is necessary to identify your strengths and weaknesses and then devise your own strategies to work on them. Update your progress keeping a positive attitude. An optimistic and calm state of mind devoid of stress is a must.

Be organised yet flexible: It's never too late to be structured. Breakdown your goals as daily, weekly and monthly. Try learning to adjust your schedule as per your priority and convenience.

Talk it through: Sometimes, it may be difficult to grasp a certain concept on your own. Never hesitate to initiate a discussion about such concepts with your peers and teachers. A weekly study session with friends may be a good idea to enhance each other's knowledge on the subject.

Take breaks: Short study breaks build your retention power rather than cramming things up till the point of frustration. Taking regular but short breaks can also help you concentrate better.

With the various competitive exams around the corner, it is essential to make the most of the time available now. All the best!

(The author is chief executive officer, BASE, Bengaluru)

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