Tips to ace in your exams

As students, we certainly know what to study and when to study. Well, the lessons are imparted in every class.. But do teachers teach us how to study..? It is really surprising that we are rarely taught ‘how to learn’ effectively!
We are always told that, ‘working smart is more important than working hard!’ But the process is still unknown.. So, here are certain tips to ace in your exams and will surely be helpful for those preparing for entrance exams!
• Create a study plan:
Plan your things accordingly before you sit to study. Know beforehand an exam what you want to and don’t want to study. Plan things ahead. Know what you are going to cover on which day and how you will be revising before your exam. It is very important to get your plan in mind. It can really help you do well in an exam.
People who plan from before are able to do much better than people who don’t.
• Plan your Exam Stratergy:
Planning the way you attempt various questions is quite crucial to crack the entrance exam. You do not have to approach the question paper the way it is intended to be. The important thing is not to waste time over questions which seem to be difficult. Finish off all the sections which you are really good at so that you can dedicate more time for the difficult ones.
• Train your mind before the exam:
Your mind should be prepared to perform well during an exam. This requires consistency over a long period of time. If you are planning to give your exam in 9-12 slot, you should practice solving papers at the same time so that your mind is trained to be super active during that period.
• Practice Previous Year papers:
Practicing previous year question papers should be left for the last couple of months before an exam. These are actual questions which have appeared and you should time yourself while answering them so that you can compare your scores.
• Use fewer books for theory:
Students have a habit of referring innumerable books for each subject even though most of them convey the same thing. Having too many books would lead to confusion during time of revision and most of your doubts would remain unresolved.
• Read the Questions carefully:
Examiners try to trap students by playing around with the question and options. So read the question carefully to understand what is required and see the options with great concentration. Watch out for the questions which are designed to have more than one correct answer and you are supposed to choose the option with multiple correct answers.
• Stay Physically and Mentally Balanced: 
Keeping yourself and your mind healthy is quite neglected during exam preparation but it can have adverse effects in the final outcome. Exercise daily and sleep well so that your mind and body are fresh when you are taking the exam. Avoid sleeping late and tune your mind so that it works best in the time slot of your final exam.
• Practice, Practice, Practice:
Finally, there is no substitute for practice. Much of exam preparation is practice. Use this time very effectively by using a well prepared plan, save time and improve accuracy.
• Shorter study sessions work better than long, strenuous sessions:
Psychologists have found out that students learn as much in one-hour sessions spread over four days as they learn in one six-hour marathon session. It means that students could cut their study time by at least 30% by using a well-planned study schedule or time table. Consider this: When you study for a limited time, it makes your brain work more efficiently. During study breaks, the mind absorbs information automatically, without any conscious effort on your part!
• Smart work is better than hard work:
The attention you pay to the subject and alertness of your mind matters more than the time you spend on it. For competitive entrance examinations, especially, one does not count the number of hours he/she is spending in front of books; Rather, you need to measure the amount of focused study.
• Keep yourself far away from distractions during competitive exams:
This is one of the important tips for competitive exam or if you are getting ready for an exam. Remember that you should be far away from any sort of potential distraction when you are studying or getting ready for an exam. If the place you are studying has a lot of noise, then you should go somewhere there is peace. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by these petty things. They could really take up a whole lot of time.
• Don’t be very social:
Also remember to be as less social as you can. Don’t attend too many parties, have too many drinks with your friends or do things that you shouldn’t be doing. Spend that time on studying. Remember every minute counts when you are getting ready for an exam because you really don’t know what you might get. By that we don’t mean you should completely lock yourself up. But what we mean instead is that be a little selfish and focus on yourself. Exams are important after all and you need to be more into your books.
• Do not slouch or study when you are sleepy: You shouldn’t be studying when you are sleepy. If you do that, it would actually become a huge waste of time. For example, people usually feel tired and exhausted an hour or two after having lunch. Post dinner studies must be avoided. If that is one of you, then make sure you to have a proper study schedule later. You must study during those times when you are ready for an exam. If there is a lot to cover, then you can simply prepare the notes from beforehand, get a nap or recharge yourself or something with a refreshing drink and then come back to study. It will definitely work.
• Do not schedule similar subjects one after another: 
It is better to study different subjects one after another rather than clubbing similar ones. It means that studying Physics after Mathematics might not be a good idea. You can sandwich History or English Literature in between and your brain will be able to absorb all three subjects much better.
• Drink some coffee:
If you want to do well in an exam, you must remember to take care of the small things. For example, drinking enough tea/coffee. Now we don’t mean you have to drink 4 cups of coffee a day. They are not that great for your health. But you sure can drink one cup when you are trying to study and finish something important and you feel dizzy or tired instead. When it comes to tea, there are several options instead such as herbal and green tea that can actually refresh your mind and help you do much better during exams.
• Know your strength and weakness: 
Everyone has specific strengths and everyone has specific weaknesses. It’s pretty certain that if you are not clear on your weaknesses then you are not clear on your strengths either. Playing to your strengths and sailing through the weaknesses is the best exam strategy you can bet on.
• Use colour for the books:
Contrary to the popular idea, books that are neat always don’t mean that you are an excellent student. Books may look unused . You should colour the ideas in red, the dates can be kept in blue with the other facts in colours such as green or yellow. With these colours, you will actually be able to revise much better. When you colour your books, you are able to remember things much faster. This is actually a very good strategy and one that can help you in the long run.
• Save enough time for revision:
When you are getting ready for an exam, don’t forget to revise. It can really help you remember a lot of important stuff during exams. Make sure to revise at least 2-3 times before you sit for an exam. All of this matters a lot. So keep that in mind.
• Start with the most difficult or boring subject: When you are fully alert, go for the difficult topics. Keep the easier ones for the times when you feel lazy to study.
• Study hard:
After giving you all these important points, we would like to remind you to study hard. Yes! Keep all of these points in mind and make sure you are studying enough. Don’t distract yourself and pay complete attention to the study material. Working hard is extremely important if you are really planning on doing well in a particular exam. It can really help you a lot. So make sure you are spending at least 6 to 7 hours on studying. And when you do, study solid! Don’t waste a minute of your time.
• Don’t get stressed out during the competitive entrance exams:
Finally, we would suggest you not to stress so much when it comes to getting ready for an exam. We realize how crucial it is for you to ace an exam. But if you want to do well, don’t worry so much about it. Just study hard and do your best and we promise good results will show.
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A student activist, enthusiast blogger, an imminent philosopher and a final year student of Lakshmibai College, Delhi University.


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