A large part of a student's everyday life is buried in books, classes, and exams. Every student has their own study pattern based on their capacity. Some students are slow while others are fast in learning or getting settled in a new environment. However, students facing upcoming competitive exams will have to do more than just studying.
Before finding out the essential details about competitive exam preparation, students must be aware of the challenges they will face before exams. The most common reaction students express is stress and tension on how to prepare or from where to start studying. But remember that there is always a solution to any problem, and it requires proper planning.
Students need to understand how to crack exams before starting to prepare for them. A student needs to review the whole syllabus, know all the details about the exam, have all the study planner for competitive exams, and the subject that they are required to study to start planning to prepare for any competitive examination.
Below are some important tips that students can follow for competitive exams.
The P's to Remember:
Inculcating any form of activity takes time to become a habit. Students need to inculcate the two P's to excel in any competitive exam. They are:
The advantage of Planning and Preparation is that students will have a solution beforehand that can be implemented during the process of studying. A study plan for competitive exams is necessary for any student to excel. When students have more time to prepare for an examination, it will help in giving enough time to do revision and attempt mock tests.
Students can implement habits of focusing that help balance and sync their school/ college time table with their home study schedule. Students can schedule a time to revise the topics learned in school and test themselves during class tests.
Prioritize the Easy Lessons:
The best way to start preparing for a competitive exam is to prepare for easier topics in the subjects. Once the easy subjects are out of the way, it becomes easier to prepare for the difficult ones. So, remember that the easy way to prepare is to choose the easy subjects.
Clarify the Basics:
To top any competitive examination, clarifying topics is necessary. The questions asked in exams will mostly be objective type questions. There will be a time constraint to finish all the questions at the examinations.
Any competitive exam will judge a student based on their knowledge of the subject. There will be questions based on various concepts and to answer those types of questions students need to have a clear understanding of the basics.
Understand the Concept:
Whenever a new topic is taught in the class, make notes, and try to understand the concept. It is advised by the toppers of various competitive examinations, that solving previous year question papers will give an idea of the question paper pattern.
Do a Self Evaluation:
There may be time constraints for students during exams, so it is advisable to keep track of time. Therefore, students need to evaluate time-to-time terms of their preparation and keep track of improvements made after studying.
Learn from Your Mistakes:
It is very natural to make mistakes during exams or while preparing for exams but correcting the mistakes on the spot will be helpful. Students can rectify their mistakes and make a note of them. These notes can be helpful before the exam when there is a limited time to revise the whole syllabus.
Stick to a Plan
Students should plan on how to start preparation before any competitive exams. Make sure not to divert from the plan. In the beginning, specify the break times and how much time it will take to study and follow the timetable diligently. It is better to have multiple shorter study sessions than a long strenuous session as shorter sessions increase the efficiency of the brain function.
Manage Your Time and Revise:
Smart work is always better when the student is preparing for any competitive examination. A student does not have to count the hours spent on studying. But students should be fully attentive while doing study preparation. They need to minimize distractions while studying and find out a time that is most peaceful for preparations. Students can prefer studying in the morning or night, depending on their comfortability.
Stay Positive and Confident:
Finally, all this hard work will give results only if one is positive and confident. If the hard work is done, no one can stop a student from shining. On the exam day, being as calm as possible and positive will help score a good rank.
Now, the students will have a general map to follow before attending a competitive exam. These tips to crack exams will be useful. There are a few important competitive exams for which the students will need guidance for preparation.
Check about the most important competitive exams and the tips to crack them.
National Entrance Eligibility Test (NEET) Exam:
The most common and popular competitive exam in the medical field is the NEET (National Entrance Eligibility Test). Students who dream to work in the medical field as doctors, surgeons, medical professionals take up the NEET competitive exam. Every year, more than 70,000 students write the NEET exam. Medical aspirants need to follow the following tips on how to crack the NEET competitive exam.
Before preparing for NEET, students should know the rules and pattern of the question paper. The NEET Exam consists of a total of 180 questions based on Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Zoology subjects.
The Downward Pyramid Preparation:
Each subject that appears in NEET will have important topics to focus on. Rather than trying to study every little topic and subtopics, filtering out the topics like a downward pyramid will give students the time to cover all the major topics. As a result, students will be able to concentrate on the parts that are not covered.
Prepare a Schedule Chart:
Medical students will have a lot on the plate before the preparation begins. It is better to prepare a timetable and schedule the subjects to be covered based on student's comfort. Preparing a timetable will save time and will keep the student on track with what to study next.
Highlight the Key Points:
While preparing, students should make sure to take down the important points and highlight those points. Understanding the concepts is important. Students can make key points and highlight them to summarize the topic more easily.
Medical students need to focus more on the topics to prepare and to stay focused. A positive mindset is important as it does not lead to stress. Students need to take care of their mental and physical health by having nutritious food and having a proper sleep.
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Exam:
UPSC is commonly known as Union Public Service Commission which conducts a huge list of competitive exams for government jobs.
Few exams conducted by UPSC include:
- Civil Services Examination (CSE)
- Engineering Services Examination (IES)
- Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE)
- National Defence Academy Examination (NDA)
- Naval Academy Examination
- Combined Medical Services Examination
- Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA)
- Indian Economic Service/ Indian Statistical Service Examination
- Geologists Examination (GE)
- Central Armed Police Forces (AC)
These competitive exams are opted by students who are willing to take up civil services. Students write various civil services exams under UPSC. Students in this domain should know how to crack the UPSC competitive exam.
There are specific tips to follow for students to write any of the UPSC exams. They are as follows:
Organized Study Pattern:
Students appearing for UPSC exams should have a systematic pattern of studying. The subjects covered in UPSC competitive exams are general knowledge and history. For these subjects, it is necessary to understand the concept and remember it. Students can fix their timetable based on their easy to though subject preferences.
Revise Through the Test:
After completing a chapter or a topic, students can take up small tests based on what they have learned. Students can also conduct self-tests and find out in which topic or subject they are weak in and improvise accordingly.
Gain General Knowledge:
Competitive exam books are always a helpful guide for the student's preparation. Although, students need to prepare from other resources apart from textbooks and guide books. Generally, UPSC competitive exams have history, geography, polity, and general studies. Students need to refer and gain general knowledge.
Time management is the most important aspect of all. Without knowing how to manage time, one cannot complete any task. Every student has 24 hours a day, and the challenge of managing time according to their respective schedule is the real drill. Students need to have their schedules divided in such a way that they have time for preparation and rest as well.
Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main:
The Joint Entrance Examination by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is a competitive examination written by students who are in the Engineering field. Students who take up JEE Main should know how to crack JEE Main.
This competitive exam consists of subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. All the 3 subjects have 3 levels of questions asked, and they are Easy, Medium, and Hard. All the subjects are of equal importance, so students should balance their preparation.
Students aspiring to take up the JEE competitive exam may follow the below tips.
Study Guide Materials:
Since the subjects are both theoretical and practical, students need more than just book revision. Taking guides and reference books or previous year questions papers will always help students to understand the concepts clearly.
Before flipping through the pages to figure out what to study, students should know the latest exam pattern and syllabus of the exam. Students can build a study planner for conceptual clarity of the subjects. Solving question papers will help in improving the speed of solving the question.
JEE Mains includes subjects that mostly deal with formulas and numerical. It is advisable to write the formulas down on a sheet of paper and stick it on the wall or study board, so while preparing, they can have a visual memory of the formulas as well.
Pre-Plan the Question Paper:
Before the day of the examination, students should have a clear understanding and idea of the question paper pattern. Many times, students tend to ignore the pattern of the question paper. They may not know which section carries how many marks. Ignoring the pattern of the question paper will not be helpful as it may consume more time while writing the exam. Students may not know which section to attend first. So, it is necessary to have a plan beforehand on how to begin with solving the paper. JEE Mains competitive exam mostly consists of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). Therefore, students can plan accordingly.
Common Admission Test (CAT) Exam:
Common Admission Test (CAT) Exam is an online exam conducted for students who are willing to pursue an MBA or PGDM in Business Schools across the country. The CAT exam paper pattern includes Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Type In The Answer (TITA) questions. The CAT exam has a total of 100 questions divided into 3 sections.
The total marks awarded are 300 and the time allotment is 180 minutes. For each wrong answer, there is a negative marking of -1 mark. The syllabus included in the CAT exam is quantitative questions from geometry, algebra, number system, logical reasoning & data interpretation in mathematics, and verbal ability & reading comprehension.
So, the entire paper pattern includes Mathematics as its core subject. Based on this, students need to have an idea of how to crack the CAT Exam.
Here are some of the tips to crack the CAT exam for students.
Need for Speed:
Since the CAT exam consists of questions related to mathematics which deals with numerical; students need to improve their speed while answering the questions. As the practice continues, students have to focus on their speed-accuracy by setting up a timer during preparation. Students can solve the previous year's question papers for more than one time to keep track of their solving and answering speed.
Calm and Confident:
Students may take up unnecessary pressure during the exam. Stress could make students forget what they had prepared. The CAT exam will need students to remember formulas and equations for solving the question. It is important to have a calm mind and be confident to attend the exam. If students can fix a positive mindset, it will improve the chances of scoring good marks in the exam.
Often students do last-minute preparation, i.e., a day or night before the exam. Maybe a routine like this may help in small class tests. Preparing at the last minute is very common among students. It does not help if the preparation is for the CAT Exam. Therefore, it is advisable to start preparing weeks before the exam.
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Test:
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a competitive exam for students who are willing to get MBA admission in different colleges and universities in India and abroad. The GMAT is a standardized test that includes mathematics, verbal skills, and analytical writing. The GMAT exam is generally computer-based. Although in areas where the network is limited; the exam will be a paper-based test.
The Graduate Management Admission Test exam consists of three sections in the question paper. Students will be attending analytical writing assessment, verbal ability, and quantitative-based questions in the questions. GMAT consists of a maximum of 800 marks.
The score obtained can be valid for five years from the time of results. On average, students can complete the GMAT exam in 3 hours. Business aspirants who are taking up GMAT can follow the given tips on how to crack GMAT.
As mentioned above, the GMAT exam is a quantitative type exam that includes mathematics. Students need to become familiar with the necessary formulas. Here, in GMAT memorizing will be very helpful to improve study practice. Keep all the formulas on the fingertips. For slow learners, it is advisable to start the preparation as early as possible.
Erase the Errors:
While preparing, students may tend to make mistakes that are very natural while practising. The important point to remember is that students should clarify their doubts on the spot and not skip or delay. Erasing all the mistakes and clarifying the doubts will help students have a clear understanding of what they learn.
Improve Visual Stamina:
For an exam that includes more numerical and formulas, students should improve their visual capacity. Students need to efficiently analyze charts, tables, and symbols in the GMAT exam. Students can also make use of various test materials for preparation.
The Most Important Trick to Pass Exam- Relax:
When it comes to getting ready for a competitive examination, stress will not help. Students should not worry too much about it and focus on studying smart. Students may, at times, feel pressured. In such situations, they may want to take the shortcut.
Sometimes shortcuts may be helpful if it is planned smartly yet in most cases, shortcuts do not favour. In such situations, students need to follow the tips as said.
Adapting to follow the tips may be difficult. Students can use certain tricks to get along with following the tips and inculcate them for competitive exam preparation. The trick is simple.
The topmost priority is to take care of the physical self and stay healthy. Students can come up with ideas such as having sticky notes, creating visual flashcards, etc. Determination is the key to success. Students need to stay determined throughout. Do best, and the result will speak for itself. Make sure to stay healthy and fit and not to fall sick before the examination.