Overwhelmed by syllabus? Follow these tips for effective study.
We compel ourselves almost all day on our time prior to exam to study trying to finish our syllabus. Working on 12 hours or 14 hours, a very unhealthy routing indeed. What we need is actually, making the study time shorter but more effective.
Exams turn into a nightmare, especially when you have neglected your textbooks all through the year, eventually and so begins a cramming race to cover entire year’s syllabus. With exams cutting the corner around, the same if followed by the masses, in general.
In such times of intense exam pressure, you first need to realize that investing 12 hours a day isn’t a healthy practice and if at all you are successful in adapting yourself to doing something like that. Small pocket study with full concentration and in between short breaks is more effective. At times like this, your focus should be on HOW MUCH rather than HOW LONG, of you study.
Following are few tips that can help you plan out your study sessions to be the most effective and help you focus on the important aspects:
1. Small parts, one at a time.
Avoid taking on huge portions, instead study smaller quantities of syllabus every day. Particularly, because if you hurry with the lessons you are left to cover yet, you won’t be able to memorize much for your exam day. A lot less juice for your brain to utilize in hand. Hence, it will be more advisable to divide your topics into small parts and take it in.
2. Don't exceed more than 2 hours at a single stretch.
According to stats and study, the optimal period of continuous study is 2 hours, and even more, each slot of time be of 2 hours, that can again be broken into slots of 25 minutes, and followed by break of 5 minutes.
Nevertheless, if you continue studying, it’s advisable to take a longer break after every 2 hours.
3. Regular breaks, keep the mind fresh.
Enjoy your breaks, ya that sounds right, you are supposed to enjoy your breaks to the fullest. When you take your break, you should be aware and keep your self-relieved from any stress or thoughts about the exam.
This time can be utilized to get in touch with your friends, discussing the syllabus or for planning the next round of study. And it’s more than necessary because, if your mind doesn't take a break, the next round of studying is not going to be as effective.
4. Focus on Core material.
Your study material and syllabus can be separated in elaborative and core material and as much as some core material contains significant principles, important theorems, formulae, graphs and materials that are elaborative constituting illustrations, quotes and samples etc.
As an experienced student would know, about 80 percent of the exam questions are most probable from the core material. Concentrating on the core material of the different subjects is more preferred than struggling with the unfinished syllabus. Make yourself familiar with the question patterns of the last few years and assure that you are not spending time on chapters that are unlikely to ask in the exam.
5. Keep the shift between subject categories.
Take into account that your lessons can be separated into three specific categories:
- Memory dependent subjects like Biology, History, and Geography, that comprise of all material that needs to be mugged up.
- Problem-solving subjects such as Maths and Physics
- Interpretation subjects as language study like English literature and papers even from other languages.
For the most effective study, you should alternate between each category of subjects in long study periods.
6. Learn and write.
Write down the important points that you come across on a rough paper or in your notebook after you read chapters. It assists you to retain information effectively. Read points aloud and write them after, and make sure that you HEAR and WRITE them and not just SEE them.
7. Improvise using note-taking strategies.
Note taking strategies can prove very effective in completing your syllabus and there are two prime methods to do so.:
- SQ5R is short for Survey, Questions, Read, Record, Recite, Review and Reflect.
- Cornell Notes: an effective 3 column , taking notes memorizing information and recalling easier.
8. Memorization - use visual clues.
Visual clues can help you come a long way in your memorization practice. Consider sticking chart papers on cupboards, walls and jotting down formulae and bits of information, difficult to learn else. Flashcards can also come in quite handy, one can follow them travelling or waiting in queue somewhere.
9. Revise within 24 Hours.
Recapped, Reviewed and Reinforced, the three Rs that are very important, especially if you are studying topics that you still are left to cover in the last few days. Constant revision is necessary from time to time, failing to which you lose 80 percent of the information you learned. With revision and practice , it becomes easier to retain and recall information .
10. Take more naps, sleep well to boost memory.
A proper sleep is an absolute necessity that turns the short-term memory topics that you just studied into long term memory, like something that can be recalled while you are sitting in exam hall. Hence a sleep of around 7-8 hours, for every night can make sure that all day’s studying is well retained by your brain.
If you follow these tips to effectively study for longer periods, one can successfully finish your syllabus in the last few days will keep you crack your board exams.
So get down to work, and shut the stress aside !
All the best!