A few weeks back, we asked a question to all you.
Hey, Folks. What’s your biggest frustration related to your studies? Please Comment.
Do you know what was the first comment? Take a guess.
I thought it would be something like exam phobia, mobile phone addiction or as big as beating procrastination.
However, it was “BEING NOT ABLE TO COMPLETE SYLLABUS ON TIME EVEN AFTER HARD WORK”
The problem that some of you must also be facing is with their syllabus being so huge that they are unable to complete it within the required time.
In other words, I would say “not able to make a good plan to complete everything on time”.
This is where most of us lack.
But hang on. This is not what it looks like. It’s a bit complicated.
Each and every work which is to be done is generally divided into two modes:
- Planning Mode
- Robot Mode
We will be discussing both of the modes in details for better understanding and you can get a clear blueprint to follow.
Disclaimer: In the forthcoming paragraphs, both of the modes will be discussed more or less in context of studies and how to complete your syllabus on time. However, nevertheless, these modes can be applied to any given task to get better results.
THE PLANNING MODE:
‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’ – Benjamin Franklin
This quote is not new for me and I have used for more than once.
If I would have to attribute a single trait which helped me achieve whatever I did during my whole life it would be Planning.
Yes, having a good plan at hand before starting out helped me to score good marks, travel new places and learn skills.
I planned rigorously and followed it religiously.
I never cheated on my plans and never made a plan which seems unachievable at the beginning itself.
I divide my plans more or less into two sections.
We all know these; These are the plans which cover a task from start to end.
In our case, it would be our examinations preparation period i.e. 1-3 months.
I plan for it from start to end. These plans are more sort of directive instead of operative.
That means I make an outline (blueprint) for the whole 2 months’ period in advance.
I answer a few of the questions myself; Like –
- How many revisions in total do I want to do in this total time?
- What will be the time span of each of such revisions?
- Which of the modules or practice manuals I’ll be using?
- How many of the mock tests would I be giving?
I do not get into much details of each of the questions, I just answer them in one word and one line – just to get an overview what I want to achieve with this planning.
Preparation of tick list:
and the same kind of checklist for mock test and other things.
One more thing that I think you should definitely do when creating your plan or schedule.
Remember Parkinson’s Law:
“Work expands to fill the time you allot for it.”
Additionally, your brain’s ability to work effectively starts to diminish after 25-30 minutes (on average, and not always, and blah blah caveats blah blah).
Keeping these limitations in mind, you’ll study most effectively by planning to achieve something in a limited amount of time. The Pomodoro Technique is an excellent way to accomplish this.
Once you have made a plan, the next task comes to work on it. Walking the talk.
Now, comes the part where you need to put in all the work.
Believe me, this is the most important part of the process. A good plan is of no use if you don’t put work into it and make it happen.
Here a few tips to make your Robot aka working mode more successful (more specifically while studying):
Try Active recall, instead of passive recall –
I am sure that it must have happened with you that while going through your modules, you must have felt that you know each and everything, all highlighted concepts live in your mind, you even remember all the section numbers.
But, when the real test comes, you fade out and panic because now you don’t remember anything from it.
Why does it happen?
Our mind is really good at recalling things, but only once we give it a cue (a signal).
When you see that highlighted portion of your book – your mind feels “Yes! I know it”
But in the real test situation, there’s no signal for your mind to recall it. That’s why, even if you try hard to recall it, you will still fail.
Solution – Active recall
The only solution to this problem is doing active recall.
In simple words, it means trying to recall things without having your notes in front of you. Active recall is what you will need while attempting your examinations.
This means trying to remember what you have just studied without even looking at it. This might look hard at first but will really pay you off in the long term.
Mock yourself with Mock Tests:
If you ever ask me what is the best way to clear your exams in one shot.
I will never suggest anyone, ANYONE, to attempt the main examinations without practicing with mock tests at home.
Seriously, I have advised each and every one of my friend to attempt mock tests in the last 15 days of the examination.
There’s a science behind it – It prepares your mind for the real test time situations, time management, how to handle new questions, pressure and other issues.
Have you ever heard that Virat Kohli tried to play the international match without sweating out in net practice?
Even of this stature and being awarded as one of the best batsmen in the world – He does practice daily. Simply, he understands the importance of practice.
That’s all for today. I hope I solved your queries to an extent.
If you also want your question to be taken up or have anything to add on. There’s a post on our Facebook page right now:
Just go there to give your question in the comment section.
May be we take up your question as our next article.