Be it JEE Main, GATE, KCET or the ever daunting UPSC Exams, they all bring with them the need to excel in every aspirant. Competitive Exams are strenuous as they are and when you have to prepare for them all by yourself, they get all the more difficult.
It may be a difficult feat but it is not impossible. If the preparation done by you is efficient and effective, the "journey to success" in competitive examinations will be a smooth ride. Here are a few prepping tips that will help you when you are preparing for competitive examinations yourself.
1. Course material
This is the most crucial part. Once you’ve decided on the competitive exam you want to take, the first thing to do is gather all the course material. Get the textbooks and workbooks.
Get material photocopied from libraries. Get material from your seniors or teachers. Beg, borrow, (don’t) steal, but get all your required material. The importance of which the student understands only when they start studying.
2. Goal board
After the initial task of gathering material shift your focus towards motivating yourself. Since you’re doing all the preparation yourself the task of motivating yourself is also yours.
Goal boards work exceptionally well for this purpose. Go get yourself a big sheet of paper and write down your goals and aspirations and why it is important that you succeed. Add quotes that move you and motivate you. Stick pictures you find inspiring. Fill the sheet with everything that will drive you to give your hundred percent.
Now, hang this board in a spot that you will see when you wake up in the morning or find a spot that you will look at often.
3. Study everyday
The next most important thing is continuous steady preparation. Our brain takes 21 days to form a new neuron. You have to study at the same time every day to let your brain know that this memory is important.
So study every day at the same time for a fixed number of hours. Take short breaks often. Every 40 minutes, take a 5-minute break. This habit formation will come a long way in cracking that exam.
4. Time management
The only way to nail this is to work out a ton of practice papers. After you study a concept start solving practice papers and old question papers by setting a timer for the duration of the exam.
Since competitive exams make you race against time, do this diligently and do this often. Only practice will help you maintain composure during the actual exam. Talk to people who have already taken this exam. They will give you insight into how to better manage time.
5. Beat stress
Exams leave us so stressed that we hardly eat food, go to sleep at unreasonable hours and we think we don’t need to go outside as it is important to sit and study. What we often don’t understand is that healthy food, proper sleep and a little bit of exercise can help you avoid stress not only during examinations but life in general.
Eat a lot of carbs. They are the food for the brain. Get 8 hours of sleep. And get exercise in some form. Go for a walk or dance to your favorite song, just move it for a bit.
6. Leave social media
For the few weeks or months that you’re preparing for competitive exams just deactivate all your social media accounts. Social media eats up a lot of personal time.
In a social experiment, it was found that when a person quit all social media he had enough extra time to finish reading a book every day. That’s a lot of time! And when you’re preparing for competitive exams you can use all the time you can get.
Now stop reading articles on the internet and go study. You can do it! All The Best.