Script Contributor – Trishha Jhaver
With exams just around the corner it is a race against time to complete the syllabus as early as possible. With so many subjects to focus on and lots of information to learn I’m sure you find it overwhelming to complete your work in time. What if I told you that you only need 1 hour…yes only 60 minutes to read, understand and master a chapter! With my tricks and techniques you’ll be nothing short of an expert in anything you choose to learn! So, let’s get going!
So without further ado let’s start…we have the clock ticking!
Learning a chapter is just like Hiking…climbing a mountain. You can reach the summit…but with a pre-plan!
Just like how mountain climbing tests your physical and mental endurance, studying a new chapter can be made easy if you use relaxation techniques before you start out. You can do a little breathing exercise, play a sport or simply read a book to unwind and loosen up.
Acquire the Gear –
Before leaving for a trek you ensure you have the right backpack, trekking shoes, warm clothes, etc. Similarly, before starting your chapter study ensure you have all the things you need right in front of you…your textbook, pens, notepad, pencils, water. This will avoid waste of time and help you maximise each minute of your learning time! Needless to add, keep your phone and other gadgets out of sight!
Focus on the core –
The person who has the strongest core muscles is the one who can excel in a difficult trek. Similarly, each chapter can be divided into core material ( from where 80% of the questions are asked) and elaborative material that makes up only 20% of the question paper. If you focus on the core material i.e. important principles, theorems, formulae, important diagrams and graphs and less on elaborative material such as examples, quotes, illustrations you will easily be able to learn your chapter effectively in the stipulated time.
So, let’s begin our exciting journey –
Step 1 – ACCLIMATISE –
Once you reach the mountain base camp what do you do? You look at the mighty mountain in front of you and get a basic feeler of what’s in store. You check the terrain, ask questions to your instructor, get the basic training on route finding, map reading, using pitons, wedges, and bolts, knot tying, rope management etc. Basically, you familiarize yourself to the task ahead.
Similarly, you spend the first 5 minutes acclimatising yourself to the new chapter –
- You quickly go through the chapter overview
- Skim through the main points, read a quick summary and acquaint yourself to the job ahead.
Basically, familiarize yourself with what you are going to be learning.
TIP: It’s always good to highlight the different sub-topics in the chapter so they seem familiar when you read them in detail.
Step 2 – STARTING OUT –
When you start the trek the beginning always seems easy so you generally get into a fast pace and quickly achieve the simpler milestones.
Similarly, while studying a new chapter the first few pages are always simple concepts…things that you already know through last year… it’s basically a quick recap and revision of ideas that you have previously studied. You should be able to cover these pages effortlessly and give yourself a jump start. 10 minutes of complete concentration should do the trick.
Step 3 – STOP & CELEBRATE –
(2 mins break) It’s always exciting to leave flags at major milestone in a trek to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishment. Similarly you take a few moments to make little ticks and stars on the pages covered so far and give a quick glance through all that you have studied and all that is still left to do!! A little celebration does a world of good!
Step 3 – Prepare for Altitude
(25 minutes) Once the easier parts are done is when the real thrill begins. As you climb higher the difficulty increases, the slope is steeper and you’re bound to lose pace but your concentration and alertness increases at every step. You are more careful and consciously balance yourself better to avoid tripping and falling. You break this journey into smaller units of difficulty and trust your guide. Be consistent and you’ll reach the summit in no time.
Similarly, now you start tackling the tougher concepts of your chapter. Here is what you can do –
- Focus and read each concept in detail once using a highlighter to mark the important points. You can spend time reading the difficult parts again till you are able to understand better.
- Then you can convert each sub-topic into a question and then make pointer sentences to learn it easily. Use bullet points or mind mapping i.e. diagram to remember topics better. Research shows that the smartest students can use of techniques like analogies and acronyms to learn effectively and memorize quickly.
- It is important not only to read the chapter but also reflect on what you have actually learned. You should ask yourself questions to test your knowledge every now and then…especially with the most difficult concepts. In case you get stuck somewhere feel free to watch a short Youtube video or refer to another resource to supplement your textbook.
- Slowly and surely…from one difficult concept to another you’ll reach the end of the chapter in no time.
Step 4 – STOP, CELEBRATE & Enjoy the View!–
(2 mins break)
Step 4 – The Descend –
(10 minutes) Going downhill is much faster than going uphill. Just like after you reach the mountain top you make your descend… after you complete your chapter you should take 10 minutes to do a quick revision of all that you have learned.
- You can take your textbook and skim through the main points of each sub-topic.
- You can use your notes and read through them. Remember to cover all concepts in the core material of the subject.
- You can test yourself with the practise questions given at the end of your textbook.
BONUS TIPS –
- Stay hydrated! Keep a bottle of water close to you. Keep sipping on it every now and then to boost your memory cells and give yourself a short breather.
- Munch Breaks – It’s always more fun to munch and snack on your favourite food like cereal, nuts and roasted tid-bits to stay alert and active through your study session.