The exam countdown begins: Students, here is an eleventh hour preparation booster

How to prepare for your exams?
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The Hush Post: Exams are like guests. You know that they would arrive sooner than later, yet you keep living in the feel good factor “abhi to bahut time hai…”. When the guests’ visit is just a day away, if you haven’t prepared mentally and logistically, you have had it. Bitterness for a long time and slogging it out for long hours, is the only outcome. Anyhow, taking up exams with the right attitude is a great boon for your personal development and evolution. Students don’t realise it as much as their parents do. Going about your daily schedule in a calm manner despite the hurdles, is the key to unlocking your untapped potential. Nobody, but you alone possess the key to unlock it. Every body has a brain, so you cannot complain, I don’t have one. If somebody is brainy it is only that somehow he/she has deciphered out what needs to be done, and how. And then, hard work and the will, the killer instinct to do it, will lead you on the way to success. Here are a few tips for all those students who wish to score marks to their optimum potential. Its not just about getting marks  but the wonderful journey you embark on to reach your destination, your discovery of yourself and the happiness with which you encounter the odds. Read on….

  • Whatever we have seen or heard can have an imprinted in our memory. Greater the clarity, the better the imprint; the better the imprint, the sharper will be the memory. In order to create an image, the kind of attention we pay plays an important role. If we do not pay adequate attention, it is not possible to have a clear imprint, of what we read, on the brain. When the teacher is teaching, you carry an illusion that you are studying. Your thoughts are actually wandering elsewhere, therefore the image that should be imprinted on your brain does not get stamped. This is why you are often told to not let your mind wander when the school teacher or tuition teacher is teaching. So keep your mind focused when you are studying.
  • If any data is communicated through colorful pictures, music or rhythm, they are stored in the right side of the brain, 90 per cent of it can be recalled over a long time period. As soon as we begin memorising an answer, we also start forgetting it, unless it is not stored in the right side of the brain. You will remember things that you have memorised through pictures for a longer time.
  • The inventor of mind-mapping Tony Buzan’s way of making a mind map
  1. Start at the centre of a blank page—starting in the centre gives your brain freedom to spread in all directions
  2. Use an image or picture for your central idea
  3. Use colours as much as you can
  4. Connect main branches to the central image—it gives structure to your answer
  5. Make curved branches to break monotony
  6. Use one key word per line
  7. Use images throughout

You can make a memory chart with the question in the centre, make it horizontally down, or in a clockwise direction; numbering the points. Use highlighters, colored pens, draw pictures. Visualise the memory chart in your mind in your free time, make a separate copy for memory charts, you can flip through it while sitting idle, watching TV, listening to music

  • Its better to scan pages in your brain rather than rote learning. How to scan..
  1. Start with say 5 pages, initially take a glance
  2. Read points, sub–points, coloured font , bold font
  3. See the definitions, figures, italics, pictures
  4. Read these 5 pages two times carefully
  5. Now close your eyes, visualise the pages, if you cannot remember something, open your eyes, read that particular point again, continue with visualisation process (seeing the same pages in your mind)
  • Study for 45 minutes, take a 15 minute break, don’t make plans to study for 5-6 hours at a stretch—walk, drink water, take deep breaths, visualise what you have read in the last 45 minutes then continue further.
  • Revision does not mean re-reading from the book or text copy. It means to visualise all that you have learnt — the matter already is stored in your brain. We need to visualise, not re-read for revision.
  • Its best to read early in the morning after having rested sufficiently in the night. You learn better if you learn before sleeping and after getting up which means before and after a sound sleep at night or the afternoon nap. If you have an exam tomorrow morning, its better to study early morning rather than late in the night.  Do not study late in the night before the exam. What you read in the night before sleeping, it is saved in the long term memory. Do not sit to study immediately after dinner or lunch. The blood flow is directed towards the stomach for digestion and not the brain, so it will reduce the level of concentration. Some relaxation exercises before you sit for a study session can be of help. The capacity of memorising is better when one learns the matter before sleeping.
  • A table and a chair is the most suitable for studying.
  • No doubt the entire year’s hard work pays in the end, but the efforts in the last three months will definitely increase your chances of a good score. Accept exams as an inextricable part of study years. When you develop this habit, there will be a lot of difficult situations, like exams, which you will have to face on a regular basis. The attitude towards exams in the formative years will help you tackle difficult situations later — at your work place, at home or dealing with relationships. Later on, every difficult situation will be like an exam and you will be able to handle it a lot better if you have mastered the art of preparing for exams.
  • Don’t hesitate to clear your problems with your teacher/ tution teacher/ parents/ friends. Ask. Once you break the communication barrier, you are sorted for life.
  • Instead of cramming, imagine.
  • Students attempt sample question papers at home. But they do it at the time they wish to. Try and create a habit of solving question papers at home at the expected time of the actual examination. This will help your body tune in to the habit of facing real time exam. Sit for three hours without getting up to drink water or stroll, even if you feel tired.
  • With only one month left for examination, time is the key. Do everything on time. Prepare your daily routine– waking up, bathing, eating, studying , relaxing, sleeping, —just like you want it to be on the day of your exam.
  • Figure out different ways in which one question could be asked. In case of long answers, read points, sub-points, important matter only. If you are not very sure about knowing the answer, then read the answer completely, otherwise don’t waste your time on reading what you already know.
  • Don’t get anxious at the last moment, even if at the nick of time you don’t remember the answer during the exam, wait , solve the other questions, by the time you write the other answers,  the forgotten answer will flash in your mind.  Use visualisation method, remember the page, the highlighted points, bold letters, pictures of that page, and you will slowly get to the answer you are looking for. Don’t overburden your mind, recall slowly.
  • Don’t panic, don’t take instant decisions, until not required.

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