In today’s dynamic world and cutthroat competition, it is not just important to work hard but also to work smart. Students in the 21st-century experience far more competition than ever before and must constantly compete in order to get into good universities and later secure jobs. This makes life very challenging and creates a situation where pupils are constantly in survival mode.
To tackle this, here are four tips that ensure that you are not just studying hard but also studying smart.
Managing your time
The first and most important thing is to wake up early in the morning in order to organize your day. This will maximize your time and encourage productivity. After this, organizing your day should ideally include making a to-do list that details the tasks you have to complete and your study breaks. Study breaks are important since they act as rewards and motivation to continue to work and give you something to look forward to. Additionally, by scheduling your study breaks you will be able to reduce the time spent procrastinating. You should also aim to plan your study schedule according to the syllabus so you can roughly estimate when you will complete all your work. Maintaining a schedule will allow you to prioritize and be realistic with your time which will lead to efficient time management.
Taking down notes
It is not just important to study the course material on your own but also important to pay attention in class and hear what the professor is explaining. You should, therefore, make it your habit to attend class and take notes.
There is no wrong way of notetaking however, you should paraphrase the professor’s words into material that is easier to understand so that you can understand the syllabus with more ease. In order to make this process easier, make sure to specially note down any ideas focused upon and their corresponding examples. Use these examples to help yourself understand the concept better and later, you can use these in your answers. Through this, the professor will also find out that you were attentive and dedicated to the course. Next, you will often be told to revisit your notes every day however this is unrealistic. Instead, aim to revise every weekend and set aside a day to do this specifically.
Reading course material
When preparing for exams and studying, you will have to read a lot of course material. In this scenario, always try to find the time to read more than once and utilize the first time to understand and the second time to highlight the important material and make notes. This will help you later when you have to revise since you will not have to go through the entire reading again. Also, make sure you understand the reading since this is the most important thing. Do not ignore words that are unfamiliar, instead try to understand their meaning so that you can understand what is actually meant instead of trying to derive the meaning through context. Next, make a list of these terms so you can keep revising it and attempt to utilize these technical terms in your answers to perform well.
Preparing for exams
Finally, there is no use of studying smartly if you can not achieve good marks. The only way to perform well in an exam is to prepare well for that exam and this can be done in a few simple steps.
The first step is to start preparing beforehand and not procrastinating. You simply need to realize that whether you do it now or later, you are the one who will have to do it. This will motivate you to organize your work earlier than later on.
Secondly, make a schedule that aims to cover the entire syllabus. This will help you cover everything in time and this process is made easier by the notes you made in the past. Rely on these instead of going back and re-reading everything. Instead read your notes, the highlighted material, and attempt to do past exam papers to familiarize yourself with the test format. This can also help you with your time management and make you realize what you need to revise and focus on more. By following these steps, you can be completely prepared.
In the end…
Exam season is not easy for any of us. It is scary because of the pressure we place on ourselves and is filled with stress and anxiety. While it is important to work hard, it is more important to realize that our mental health also matters. Remember to not be scared to ask for help and keep this in mind the next time exam season comes around.