Study tips for competitive exams

Students today are expected to appear for a whole host of competitive exams after their school ends, in order to get admission into the colleges and universities they are interested in. Often, these exams are so tough that students have to start preparing while they are still studying in school. This is especially true for engineering or medical entrance exams. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while studying for competitive exams:

Research the exam

Before attempting or starting preparation for any exam, it is important to know important details about it. Firstly, knowing why the exam is conducted, what kind of skills and knowledge it aims to test is extremely helpful, as it would affect the way you answer and what areas you focus on. Furthermore, understanding how the exam is conducted, what the time limit is, how the test is structured and what kind of sections are is necessary in order to plan your strategy for practice as well as the actual attempt.

Find the right resources

A huge part of your preparation is dependent on the resources you have. After researching the exam itself, it is also important to figure out which books and textbooks are recommended for the preparation. Most of the time, online forums or the official website of the exam will show certain top resources which should be referred for best practice. If needed, you can also join tuitions or special classes for anything that you are unable to do by yourself. 

Schedule and organise

The level of organisation is often a determining factor in a person’s success in competitive exams. Preparing a day by day schedule of topics to be covered, and setting achievable short term goals is essential. This not only helps you cover everything important, but also allows you to track your own progress and find out where you are lacking. Managing the time you have, dividing it across all subjects and sticking to your schedule can be the key to excellence in such exams.

Consult with others

Asking for help is never a bad thing, especially when it comes to something as important as competitive exams. While mock exams or textbooks can give you an idea of what to expect to a certain extent, it is never the complete picture. In order to understand what the actual process is like, or what things you need to focus on, it can be helpful to consult with other students who have appeared for the exam before or even teachers who have helped others prepare for the same. 

Focus on your health

While preparing for a competitive exam, it is easy to get carried away with studies and forget about other aspects of your life. However, this is the time that you need to be even more focused on your health. Neglecting your health can mean that you will not be able to concentrate at your highest level and you may even miss out important days of study due to illness. Ensure that you eat healthy, drink plenty of water, get at least 8 hours of sleep and exercise regularly. This will also help with keeping stress and anxiety to the minimum. 

Get rid of distractions

In today’s digital age, distractions are everywhere. Mobile phones are an endless supply of distractions with movie streaming sites, music, gaming, social media and much more available at one’s fingertips. Most of these platforms are highly addictive and are meant to keep one engaged without them realising how much time they have wasted. This is why it is important to be vigilant with screen time. Ensure you set boundaries about how much time you spend online. If possible, keep your phone switched off and away from the study area when you are working and only check it at break times.

Be consistent

Perhaps the most important of the list, consistency is the key to success in any aspect of life. Once you make a schedule, you must ensure that you stick to it every single day. Sometimes, students are very sincere with their studies for the first few weeks of preparation. But as time goes on, their motivation wanes and it becomes harder to stay consistent. However, it is important to not give up and lose enthusiasm. Students must find ways to stay on track. Ignoring studies for days on end and then trying to cram at the last minute never works and it also puts undue pressure on the students. Thus, above everything else, stay consistent throughout the preparation period.