The first step towards your preparation for any competitive examination is to understand the prerequisites for the examination. You must thoroughly scan through the syllabus of the exam (you get that easily on the Internet). Besides the syllabus, you must make a note of the weightage of various subjects, so that you can plan your preparation accordingly. Scanning through a few previous years' questions papers helps to get an idea about the exam pattern.
1. MAKE AND FOLLOW A TIME TABLE
Once you understand 'What to prepare?' it's your turn to plan 'How to prepare?' Make a time-table with both short-term and long-term goals that would help you in timely preparation for the exam. A time table makes you more disciplined and helps you to get rid of haphazardness.
Few points that you can consider while making a time table are:
- Set realistic goals that you can achieve (neither too low nor too high targets)
- Block your study hours during those times of the day when you think you are the most productive & can concentrate better
- Block more time for the more difficult subject
- Do not block study hours at a stretch, block some time for short breaks in between
Making a time table is easy, but following the same is a more challenging part. Do not procrastinate, the tasks assigned for today must not be pushed to tomorrow.
2. FOCUS ON CONCEPTS- NO ROTE LEARNING
Focus on understanding the concepts throughout your preparation. Do not adopt rote learning technique. Understanding helps you to remember the concepts for a very long period of time. Moreover, with a clear understanding of the concepts, you can comfortably handle questions related to those concepts.
You can also create your memory tips or interesting acronyms to remember formulae or equations or difficult terminologies. You should always make your own short notes in your own way, as they help you big time to revise a few days before the exam.
3. SELF-EVALUATION IS VERY CRITICAL
Studying alone doesn't make your preparation complete. You must evaluate yourself time-to-time for an effective preparation. You must write sample papers for the competitive exam you are preparing for.
You must consider a few points while writing sample papers:
- Set up an exam-like environment and attempt the sample paper at a stretch without taking breaks within a specific time. For example, if your exam is going to be of three hours, you must attempt the sample paper also in three hours
- Evaluate and analyse your answer sheet well. Quickly scan through the questions for which you gave incorrect answers or couldn't answer. Do not forget to revise those topics quickly
- Check your speed and accuracy while writing sample papers
- Sample papers help you to gain confidence and also help you to get used to writing exams. It also helps you to come up with your own strategy of attempting the questions
- Avoid guesswork if there is negative marking in the competitive exam you are preparing for
4. STAY POSITIVE AND CONFIDENT
'Belief' is a very powerful tool. You must believe in yourself and your preparation. Ensure that you study the same way throughout the year, to avoid last minute rush and stress. Spend 10-15 minutes before going off to sleep to quickly recap all that you learnt throughout the day.
A bit of physical activity and meditation helps to improve concentration. Do not take stress throughout the entire preparation time, infact, stay away from stressful people. Each and every moment you must tell yourself " I Can, I Will" and trust me you will do it!