While preparing for our board exams, a lot of us do not realize how important it is for us to manage our time. It is not only about studying hard but also working smart. There are a lot of subjects and a lot of chapters for us to work with. This is where this very important skill may
Let us take a look at how we can manage our time well enough to score great marks in the board exams.
Read through the syllabus
Board exams are usually well planned with a well-outlined syllabus. The subjects and the topics are very clearly mentioned, and the board makes sure that it doesn’t cross these outlined syllabi. The board also usually mentions the weightage for each topic and the question paper pattern. Make sure you follow this very strictly so that you don’t lose marks unnecessarily.
Make a timetable
A timetable is one of the key elements to forming a good study pattern. It plays a crucial role in ensuring that regularity is maintained. It also allows time for each subject according to your strengths and weaknesses. A few tips while making a timetable:
- Make sure you have checked the syllabus and only include what is necessary.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses and allot time according to that. This will ensure the proper distribution of time for all the chapters.
- Make sure you allot buffer time for spill-over topics. It is not always possible to complete a task in a given time. Some additional time must be included so that it does not hinder the progress and flow of the timetable.
- Include time for revision. This is just as important as learning the topic. If a lesson is not revised, it will be forgotten, and this revision is made easier if it is scheduled on a regular basis. This timeslot should be included in the schedule so that you understand how much time is available.
- Prioritize. The bulk of subjects and chapters is very high when it comes to board exams. It is essential that you select topics that are of higher priority so that you can complete them first. This priority can be easily figured out with the help of the marking scheme and weightage that is usually mentioned on the board website.
Find your rhythm
When it comes to studying for prolonged periods of time, each one has a different method and pattern. This would not be the same for everyone. For example, one might find it easy to study during the night, while someone else might be able to learn better during the day. Based on your personal preference, make your plan so that it works best for you.
Believe it or not, taking breaks actually helps in moving faster. By this, we mean that you take breaks when required and not too often. The mind can only focus for a period of 45 min at a stretch and this can slowly be improved over time. One can plan short 5-minute breaks for every 45 min or 60 min to keep the subject moving and slowly increase the duration of continuous study. At the same time, make sure that the breaks are not too frequent that they ruin the flow of studying. Ensure that there are one or two long breaks, for food and relaxation as well.
Instead of reading monotonously in front of the book, there are many researched techniques that can greatly help you study more effectively.
- Using mnemonics: there are many things that require memorization. This may be easy for some but not as easy for most. Using keywords and mnemonics to remember them will help you remember them for a longer period of time. This will also help you move to the next topic faster as you have devised a mechanism to memorize quickly.
- Using ‘pomodoro’ technique. This is a technique that many students follow. In this, you are to sit down for a study session for a period of 25 minutes followed by a break of 5 minutes. Again, for the next pomodoro, you study and focus for 25 minutes and take a break for 5 minutes. This goes on for four Pomodoros after which you will take a longer break of 15 minutes. This technique ensures that all the 25 minutes spent on the task is with full focus and hence of more value than long periods of study.
- Goals and rewards. This is another very effective study technique. The mind always loves to work towards a reward. Keep a specific topic to be completed within a set time. If you end up finishing it, reward yourself with something of your liking. This will make your brain hard to achieve the goal for the reward.
Although making notes looks like something that would take more time, it can actually reduce the amount of time required during the final preparation, making your revision very effective. Prepare short, crisp notes that end up summarising the entire chapter. Use mind-maps, flow charts, and diagrams while preparing them. There are topics where you can make lists that include facts that need to be memorized. Values, reactions, names, and formulae are some of them which have to be memorised and these lists can come in handy.
Some institutions also have ready-made notes for each chapter. This could also be very timesaving if you are running short of time. There are many books with NCERT solutions for questions and mathematical problems. Students can refer to them when they are stuck or when in doubt, instead of spending more time on it.
Time management is a very crucial skill that every student must learn for their exams. It gives the additional edge while preparing for the exam and allows the student to make maximum use of what time is available. The tips mentioned above will help you do so. So get started, and all the best for your boards!