Preparing for exams demands a lot from students. Giving up on their social lives, avoiding all of the things that they love wasting time on, sitting in the confines of their homes, book in hand etc. It gets boring after a while, that’s for sure. What makes it even more boring for students is the repetitive, seemingly endless practice that they have to do, in the name of ‘working hard’.
It is high time that students realize working hard and working smart are two different things. They are not mutually exclusive, however, and a fine balance of hard work and smart work is what is needed to maximize efficiency. Preparing for a competitive exam? Struggling with mathematics formulae for the board exams? Start putting your brain to use, instead of just your hands, figure out new and exciting ways to get work done.
Devising new techniques to study
Every student has a personalized method of study. They follow a certain plan which they know suits them best. Therefore, it is them and only them that can improve on this existing, supposedly ‘efficient’ study plan.
New techniques to study and learn topics, which help in better retention and learning, or rather the absence of these techniques, can be an impediment to student’s learning. It is better to experience with newer methods when you have time so that you can end up saving energy for the more difficult topics.
Visualization is the way to go
Studying everything from a book or notebook can become extremely monotonous. Students end up wasting a lot more energy when they study from a one-dimensional material such as books, as compared to other visual aids.
How to work smarter? Get on the internet. Fire up YouTube and watch videos of the topics that you struggle with. Draw mind maps or flow charts for important concepts that you need to remember. Visualization as a learning technique is perhaps the best method to begin working smarter, in conjunction with working even harder.
Make studying or effort rewarding
Another interesting way to spice up your exam preparation is to make a list of topics that need to be covered, start with the easiest of them all, and reward yourself for each topic that you tick off the list. It becomes that much easier to get things done when you know you’re going to get something at the end of it all, as opposed to performing these tasks just for the sake of preparation.
For instance, choosing 5 physics topics, and tying them to progressively better rewards, with the final reward being an hour of your favorite pastime, is a good way to train your brain. As we said, put your brain to use, and work smart!
Working hard is, no doubt, the first and foremost step to exam preparation, but working smart is what can sometimes make the difference. All exams are extremely competitive nowadays, so what is the harm in giving yourself an edge over the competition? Work smart, not just hard!