‘How to score better marks in exams’ -must be the most searched topic of the student community, worldwide. Now is the time of the year when ‘exam phobia’ literally grips the lives of students and their parents alike, at least in this part of the world.
Of late, I have been receiving numerous requests from my ex-students on ‘how to prepare for exams’.
And, I thought of putting across a series of exam-related posts to guide the students all through this month. I hope comes handy to the readers.
Tip: Do not study to score marks. Study, to enhance your knowledge and understanding. Marks will follow.
Before I churn out subject-related posts, I am enlisting Study Skills that have been tried and tested for over two decades by me. This post is the first in the series. The steps below cannot guarantee immediate results, as I am offering no Aladdin’s magical lamp, but, when followed over a period of time it’s sure to help students to overcome their fears, and sail through. Thanks to my parents and teachers who introduced me to these ‘helpers’ called ‘Study Skills’. I am sure, many of you must already be putting in-use a couple of these skills not knowing the name of the technique. If not, it is never too late. Start now!
What are Study Skills?
In simpler terms, Study Skills are techniques or relevant approaches employed successfully over the years to make the process of study ‘enjoyable and effective’. Without wasting further time,let us look into ways of enhancing these study skills.
Ways to enhance your Study Skills
Note-making: My mantra over the years has been ‘jotting down ’. To successfully implement this, one needs to attend classroom sessions regularly. Make short and crisp notes of the lectures and teaching sessions. These notes come handy during discussions, revision and for completing written work. Also, you will find them very useful on the day of your exam.
Create Flow-charts: I can vouch for these life-saving charts as I’ve made them in loads as a student and still make them. They are also known as ‘Mind-Maps’. These bring about clarity in concepts and are a ready reckoner during exams. I personally use them even while noting down some interesting recipes!
Mnemonics: Huh… Isn’t this word difficult to pronounce!?
Well, the technique is much easier than the word itself. I promise. Mnemonics are a collection of various techniques used to memorize and retain the information we acquire. It is a short cut we use in the form of an image, a rhyming sentence or with just a word to co-relate and associate with our information.
For example: To remember the order of taxonomy:
Use: Kids Prefer Chocolate Over Fresh Green Soup (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)
Tip : Remember that there is ‘a’ ‘rat’ in ‘Separate’
Learn to draw your diagrams: Yes. As a student of sciences, please know the innumerable diagrams with the name of parts, perfectly. This almost solves your issues with rote-learning or memorizing the whole answer. It is near impossible to remember pages and pages of texts in Science subjects. Once you know to draw the diagrams and can name the parts, half the battle is won. Next, you just need to elucidate the diagram in your own words. Try it!
Remember to read the text-book thoroughly: Nothing will ever come out of that ‘precious book’ of yours. If it does, then it is considered ‘out of syllabus’. So, make sure you have read every lesson, every line, every word of the text book. Underline, highlight, jot down points as you read. These will come handy later as a ready reckoner. If you do not believe in scribbling in the book then use ‘sticky notes’- easy peasy. Also, keep jotting down points as the teacher explains the lesson. Go through the ‘summary’ at the end of the lesson and also try to solve the exercises at the end of each.
Tip : Utilize the Text-Book to the maximum.
Write in your own words: I repeat- Please write the answers in your own words. Don’t borrow words of the Study guides ( so abundantly available in the markets). This rule holds good especially for subject-based exams that test the understanding of the students. When I say ‘Write in your own words’, I mean to say that- the answer should be relevant to the question asked, but, frame it according to your understanding. Go through the guides and model papers only when it is time for revision.
Practice, Practice, Practice: There is no short cut to success in exams! Practice your mathematical problems repeatedly, try writing down the new words and meanings when it comes to languages, ‘write-memorize-repeat’ your formulae and chemical equations. Also, keep practicing to write answers by managing your time well. Stay calm!
And all along, do not hesitate to approach your teachers, family members, well-wishers and friends for any help.
There are always people around to solve your issues provided you keep your communication channels open. If you require any assistance with respect to this article, feel free to Contact Me