Strategies of Smart Preparation !
Few strategies of Smart Preparation
• Well thought revision plan,
The first & foremost step is to build a sound & feasible plan for your preparation.
Divide your entire time into a reasonable time chart with milestones in between & plan your studies accordingly. Do not overestimate the time you have. You are advised to leave free time in between so that if any module gets delayed you don’t have to change the plan.
Study the trend of previous year question papers & draw marks distribution of each subject to find out which topics are most important & which are least. Give priority to important topics & try to put them in early stage of your IIT preparation to avoid any possibility of them being left.
Review your plan periodically to find out if there are any lapses & how they can be covered up.
To summarize PAGE counselors believe that most of the student’s fail not because of lack of ability or intelligence but because of lack of desire, direction, proper planning & discipline.
• Strengthening fundamentals:
Most of the questions are based on fundamentals & their applications. So, the first step is to establish a solid base by mastering the fundamentals. For mastering the fundamentals you have to be focused. Don’t refer too many JEE entrance books. Decide about the books after discussing with your trainer at PAGE then stick to them.
When you start a new chapter, the learning curve is slow that you do not accomplish similar amount of learning every day even though you spend same amount of time everyday. So even if your learning process is slow, keep studying day after day without getting discouraged. All the subjects are equally important. Devote more time to subject/topic you are weak in (remember most of us tend to devote more time on areas we are strong & often shy away from our weakness). In most of the examinations minimum qualifying marks are there for each subject. Hence make sure that you do not ignore any subject & allocate adequate time to each subject
• Strengthening Application of fundamentals
Quality is more important than Quantity: Doing 100 quality & concepts based questions is more important than doing 1000 questions which have not been selected carefully. Remember that the purpose is to sharpen problem-solving skills. Start with conventional methods of problem solving but improvise constantly & build you own shortcuts & ways of attacking a problem.
While practicing the problem always try to solve the problem on your own. If you are unable to solve a problem do not hurry to consult the solution. Study the relevant theory again, paying attention to the finer points and the problem in the back of mind.
Experience shows that studying the theory with a definite problem in mind is very effective and also sharpens the problem solving skills. Remember that directly going through the solutions is not going to help you at all. The key in problem solving does not lie in understanding the solution to the problem but to find out what clues in the problem leads you to the right explanation. In case you are not able to solve the problem try to find out the reason by analyzing the level of problem & practice similar kind of problems so that you can master the tricks involved.
While doing problem solving try to strengthen and develop your conceptual understanding by analyzing deeply and correlating the problem with real life situations.
While practicing identify your strong & weak areas (subject wise/topic wise/question wise). Testing your preparation chapter by chapter can do this. Through a structured test you should be able to diagnose which chapter, which concept & what type of problems you need to practice more.
• Strengthening Speed/Strike rate & Examination temperament
Always keep track of your average speed of solving questions.
Participating in PAGE programmes helps in time & temperament management during the actual exams. It has been observed that most of the students loose 15 to 20% of their marks not because they do not know the subject but because they fail to apply the basic concepts correctly. This is basically due to examination fear & pressure. These marks that a student looses because of silly mistakes (calculation errors, confusion, fail to apply the right concepts, solving the problem by long method) can be reduced if a student regularly participates in online tests based on the pattern & level of actual exams.
The student can also simulate the exam like conditions through PAGE training program.
Get a feedback on your preparation by getting yourself tested by a body other than your school/coaching center. Testing by PAGE would give you an independent and unbiased feedback about your performance. It is preferable if these tests give feedback on National level.
Please remember that both speed & strike rate are important for success. Continuously develop the ability to do things fast & accurately.
Keep interacting with people who are preparing. Since the competition is on National level it is important to compare your preparation with other students preparing across the country.
In short we can say that our tests are not necessarily test of knowledge of basic fundamentals only but are also tests of application of knowledge to solve surprise problems with perfect time & temperament management.
Speed building comes through the following:
Memorizing land mark problems (remembering standard formulae, concepts so that you can apply them directly) Being strong in mental calculations (never use the calculator during your entire preparation, try to do first and second level of calculations mentally, remember as vocalization reduces reading speed, similarly doing calculation on paper reduces the speed. Working with choices (see all the options and do not go for last digit accuracy unless required by the problem) when you are doing subject wise exercises you can also calculate speed subject wise.
Here we would like to highlight one more point that just good speed is not enough because of negative marks, so a high speed with less accuracy may be harmful.
This originates the second important factor, the strike rate. Strike rate means the percentage of correctly attempted questions
Strike rate can be improved with the help of intelligent guessing. Intelligent guessing means guessing a question you are not completely sure but have some idea about. Your objective is not to solve the question but choosing the correct option out of the 4 given choices. So always try to eliminate the choices. Remember that if one choice is eliminated, chances of your guess being right is 33% (in comparison to a blind guess where the chances of being right is 25%) and if two are eliminated the chances of hitting the right answer are 50 %
So remember that a good speed or strike rate alone cannot give you success. One without the other is a good way to mess up a potentially good performance. So, what is required is a good combination of both speed and strike rate.
It is very important to understand what you have to attempt and what you have to leave. There is a limit to which you can improve your speed and strike rate beyond which what becomes very important is your selection of question. So success depends upon how judiciously one is able to select the questions. To optimize your performance you should quickly scan for easy question and come back to the difficult ones later.
Always keep in mind that normally questions in any competitive exams can be categorized into 3 areas
Easy : Approximately 25% questions in a paper are easy
Average : Approximately 60% questions in a paper are average
Difficult : Approximately 15% questions in a paper are difficult
The easy and average questions ensure selection whereas the difficult questions make the merit. You should focus on careful selection of the easy and average questions and avoid difficult questions in the first and second round and come back to them once you have completed the entire paper once.
Also remember that cut-off in most of the exams moves between 60 to 70%. So if you focus on easy and average question i.e. 85% of the questions, you can easily score 70% marks without even going to difficult question. Try to ensure that in the initial 2 hours of the paper the focus should be clearly on easy and average question, after two hours you can decide whether you want to move to difficult questions or revise the ones attempted to ensure a high strike rate.
Looking for your comments and votes.
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