Many students do not have a study plan. Instead, their study habits are random, unorganized, and ineffective. Random study habits lead to poor scores and a poor understanding of the material being covered. Performance often suffers without a study plan. Research shows that students who create and stick to a study plan have higher grades, test scores, and retention of study materials. Following three easy and effective steps we can improve our performance in studies.
Step 1 : Setting goals
Let us consider studying as a journey with a friend who has agreed to drive you to the destination. High achievement in the examination is your destination and your brain is your friend who is going to take you to this destination. The rout youtake to reach the goal is the method you apply in your studies. When you are about to start the journey and you want your friend to help you with it, you might tell him, “Dear can you drive me to a place tomorrow morning?.” Obviously, your friend will ask you, “Where do you want me to take you?” Your friend’s decision to help you or not, in most cases, will depend on your answer to this question. If you are clear about your goal, there is a greater possibility that your friend helps you. But if you tell him or her that you want him or her to take you but you are not clear where exactly you wish to go, your friend may not be there to take you. What you lack here is a clearly set goal. In studies too, students who do not have clearly defined goals will achieve very little.
What most students lack in the area of studies is proper motivation. It is impossible to be motivated if our goals are not clear. So the first step towards bettering our studies is to set a goal each for all the subjects that we are expected to study.
Make a table with all your subjects in the school and the marks that you scored last for that subject and what you want to achieve in the coming exam. Follow the example given below.
want to score
|2||Khasi/ Alternative English||58||75|
Step 2 : Keeping up to date with Classes
Let us consider again the journey with our friend. Suppose you are clear that you want to reach Guwahati railway station by 11 am on the following day and you want your friend to drive you to your destination. Your goal is clear. Your friend might ask you, “Where shall I pick you up from?” or “Where are you now?.” What will be the response of your friend if you reply that you are not sure where exactly you are at the moment and you do you not know where your friend should come to pick you up? We can be certain that such a journey is not going to take place. Similarly, Many students set goals for their exams. However, they may not be aware where they are standing with regard to their studies at the moment. Not knowing where to start is same as not knowing how to start or what to start. Such students will not be able to achieve high scores in the exams.
The second chart which each student needs to prepare, gives an overview of the present standing of each student with regard to their studies. This chart is significant as it evokes in the student an urge to keep himself or herself up to date.
Revision of lessons becomes a burden for students who keep their studies for a few days preceding exams. Step two will help you to keep up to date with your teacher in the school. Follow the steps below as shown in the chart 2.
- Make a chart containing the subjects that you have together with the chapters.
- Put a mark ( ̶ ) on the chapters that are already covered by respective teachers. (Eng. 3,4,5)
- Circle the chapters that you have already revised without leaving even a single point for the later. (Eng. 1,2,)
- When you have completed one circle on all the chapters that are covered by teachers revise for the second time and put a cross over the subject
|1||English||① ② 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12|
|2||Khasi/ Alt. English||① 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10|
|3||Social Science||1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11|
|4||Maths||1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10|
|5||Science||1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11|
|6||Health Education||① 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12|
A student serious about his or her studies will make sure that no chapters are left
However, no circles should be marked without making sure that every part of a respective chapter is understood and studied.
Step 3: Study Schedule
When a student is expected to produce the second chart before a teacher to check his progress, there may be a temptation to circle the chapters that are not actually studied in order to get a word of appreciation or to avoid a word of reproach from the teacher. He or she can do it easily without being noticed. To understand the danger involved here let us consider our journey again. Suppose you asked your friend to drive you to Guwahati and promised him that you would pay for the petrol and would bring some gifts on your return. But you neither paid for the petrol nor brought him or her a gift. In short you were insincere with him or her. It is likely that such a friend would say no to your request when you approach him or her for any help later. Similarly, when you encircle a chapter without actually studying it well, you are being insincere with your own friend (brain). It is likely that you would not be able to study well later unless you make up for your mistake. You can make up, in this case, only by making extra effort and studying well every chapter that you have circled.
To make sure that it is done one needs to make a definite schedule for his or her studies. The student is free to make a schedule as per his or her availability of the time. An a example is given below.
Beginning days of following this method required tremendous motivation and discipline.
Some might feel that preparing these charts is a tedious and time consuming task. Some others might say that they are able to achieve high score without any such method. The beginning days of following this method is little hard and require high level of motivation from the students. However, once the journey begins, the student will be surprised at the way he or she is progressing in studies. If one is able to get 85% or above without such methods, he or she can achieve 95% or more with this method. Or in simple words, it is impossible to score low marks when a student is faithful to this method.
In any journey, one needs to be clear of his goal, starting place as well as his rout. How fast your reach depends on the rout you take. If you have a rout that assures you good speed and and less traffic, will you choose one that may not help you to reach your goal on time. This method of planning your studies is a rout that assures you high performance. It helps you to keep yourselves up to date with what is taught and avoid unnecessary distractions. So why don’s you give a try?
So it is importance that each student approaches a teacher or someone elder to help him or her with the preparation of the charts. The student should also prepare the chart and get it signed from the teacher who agrees to guide him or her and once a while report to the teacher with chart no 2 to evaluate the progress.
Immediate preparation for exams
When the classes are over and you are on study leave you can make the second chart again. You need to count the days you have in hand before the exams begins. You also need to count the total number to chapters you need to study. Then divide number of chapters by the days you have ( leave one week before the exam free). By doing this, you will get the number of circles that you need to put each day. Suppose you need to put four circles each day so as to complete the full revision before one week of the exam, you need to make sure that you complete studying three chapters completely. If you have the whole day at hand, you have complete 6 or 7 chapters a day and when all the chapters are completed come back for a second revision. For Metric and PU examinations it is necessary that a student completes at least three revisions well.
Many students are unaware of their own capabilities. The number of chapters to be studied can actually frighten them. If you are such a student, let me ask you a question. How many hours do you need to complete just one chapter completely. You might need two or three at the most to study just one chapter. So if you need two hours to complete one chapter, when you spend six hours a day you are able to complete three chapters well. In this pace you will be able to complete 18 chapters in a week even if you exclude Sundays. However, it is possible only for a student who sincerely makes the charts and be faithful to it.