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‘How to Score better marks in Exams’ -must be the most searched topic of the student community worldwide. It is that time of the year when the ‘Exam Phobia’ literally grips the lives of students and their parents alike, at least in this part of the world.
You must be wondering then why again am I putting forth the same here in this post. Well, of late I had been receiving many requests from my ex-students regarding exams and how to prepare for exams. So, I thought of putting across a series of exam-related posts to guide the students.
Tip: Do not study to score marks. Study, to enhance your knowledge and understanding. Marks will follow J
Before I churn out subject-related tips, I am compiling a list of Study Skills that have been tried and tested for over two decades . This post is the first in the series. The steps below cannot guarantee immediate results like Alladin’s magical lamp but when followed over a period of time it will help the students to overcome their fear and will help them sail through.Thanks to my parents and teachers who introduced me to these ‘Helpers’.
Many of you must be already putting in-use a couple of them not knowing the name of the technique. If not, it is never too late!
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’
7 Ways to enhance your Study Skills
Make notes : My mantra over the years has been ‘Jotting Notes’. To successfully implement this, one needs to attend classroom sessions regularly. Make short and crisp notes of the lectures and teaching sessions.(I know that some of the sessions make you snore. But then, you can sleep with your eyes still wide-open) These notes come handy during discussions, revision and for completing written work. Also, you will find them very useful on the D-Day .
Create Flow-charts: I can vouch for these life-saving charts as I have made them in ample as a student and still make them. They are also known as ‘Mind-Maps’. They bring about clarity in concepts and are ready reckoners 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 name of the parts , perfectly. This almost solves your issues with rote-learning or memorizing the whole answer. It is near to 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 if possible as you read. These will come handy later as a reckoner. If you do not believe in scribbling in the book then use ‘Sticky notes’ eesy peesy. 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 lesson
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 that are 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 won 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 when it is time for revision.
There is no short cut to success in exams unless you are taking the wrong route! Practise your mathematical problems repeatedly, try writing down the new words and meanings in Language subjects, Write-Memorize- Repeat your formulae and chemical equations.Also, keep practicing to write answers by managing your time well.
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.