Study tips for Board students

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Exams are universally feared. A famous saying in hind goes:

Swarnkar ne swarn jab diyo agni mein dal,
Kanp utho, pani bhayo, dekh prikshja kal.

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“When the goldsmith put gold into fire, it trembled and melted.” The implication is that even gold one of the best metals is afraid of exam, what then of human beings? There are certain reasons for the fear: a. Fear of failure, b. The consequences of failure, social and personal i.e. social criticism and ridicule and personal hurdle to progress, humiliation, and fear of future.

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There and many more reasons naturally and cause stress in Board or final Exams as they are the first signals for further steps in life. However, students are so stressed that they find themselves in a blind tunnel. But there are examples where the immensity of efforts involved didn’t dishearten the determined and motivated individuals. Dasrath Manjhi of Chhattisgarh cut mountain in 22 years single handedly and then the govt came to aid and there is now a motorable road where Dashraath Manjhi was ridiculed by all and sundry. There is a temple to him too. Let us go back to legends. Farhad, the lover, could not see his beloved the princess as a mountain obstructed the view. He chipped away the mountain though he was called a Diwana, or a lunatic. The idea to give these instances is just to show that for determined human beings there is no hurdle that can stop them from achieving their goal. Students should remember that millions before them have passed the same exam and come out with flying colors. Then why not they?

Last minute preparations: I would like to give practical advice here. We should not try to continue working without break or resting for fear of losing time. Our mind has a limit and we should not press it beyond the capacity. We need food to acquire energy. Similarly, the brain needs renewal. I had an important exam and had worked too hard to continue studying further the day preceding the exam. In the evening I saw a film in the cinema hall forgetting the exam. It was a desperate decision but it worked. it helped me a lot and I recouped my mental energy and passed the exam. The students should break the subject in manageable portions and prepare the most difficult part first. It will make them feel the burden diminishing as they tackle the easier parts subsequently. In subjects that require learning facts of large paragraphs, the best way is to read a para and note down the basic points. Dale Carnegie, the famous American Psychologist had once to deliver a speech. However, it was lengthy running into many paragraphs. He noticed that if he could remember one key word from each para, he could recall the whole para. He took one word from each paragraph and constructed a nonsense sentence: The words were a. cow, b. cigarette, c. moon and d. religion He made a sentence: The cow smoked a cigarette, jumped over the moon and spoiled the religion. Then when Dale Carnegie was delivering the speech, he imagined a cow in one corner of the hall where he was to address the audience. In the next corner he saw a cigarette, then the moon and in the last the religion. He delivered a very good speech and was naturally not only applauded but also got numerous paid invitations from other forums. Hence, I can advise that a strategy to prepare the subject should be planned and the workload handled with confidence.

Time management: Only a hobo doesn’t have any time management. He just suspends a bundle at the end of a stick and and leaves on a journey, only God knows where. Naturally, students are not hobos. Human beings have a hindsight, a current sight and a foresight. They can manipulate time in the best possible way that suits them. The universe has a time table and nature manages its time in a perfect manner. The sunrise, the noon, the moonrise; the change of seasons and the nature runs the world most efficiently. Even animals follow the scheme of nature whether consciously or unconsciously, is not certain. All know that 24 hours can never be extended even by a fraction of a second. Well, students have to find a way by time management to utilize every moment beneficially. Those who give themselves up to lethargy and are victims of procrastination, never get success. Then the usual belief is that, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” Well, I prefer to disagree. There are some who can keep awake and remain mentally alert till late hours in the evening but cannot rise early. While there are others who must go to bed early and can get up early. I advise students to recognize their type and if they can study till late, it is ok. They can make the sleep by staying in bed late. I was preparing for MA English from Delhi University. I set my routine, which I myself wonder how I could manage. I would study till one in the morning and would get up exactly at a quarter to five before other members of my family ever did. Well it taught me that if need be, we can set our physical clock to obey us and it serves us faithfully. Our students can do this if they are truly motivated to achieve things in life. Luck is hardly one percent in our favour, the 99% is hard work. Let us not be fatalists. We should be karm yogis. Draw a time table for everything, TV watching, chat on whatsapp or Facebook, running around with the earphone wires dangling from our ears all inclusive. Then balance that our time is divided judiciously not like an unthinking robot; don’t give in to your haphazard whims and mismanage and misuse precious time. I assure you that we certainly can manage our time without any flaw in our routine. With proper time management, we can become achievers. All great achievers have been great time managers. Naturally, after acquiring adequate education, skills and capability, we need a good job, it could be our own entrepreneurship or serving in some other concern, time management is essential. It should be backed by a hunger for work. Our youth know KFC foods. It is short for Kentucky Fried Chicken. The man who was very poor, had nothing to do and suffered from poverty. But he once noticed, that he could prepare fried chicken that others enjoyed eating, He started selling fried chicken on a small scale and today it is one of the world’s greatest multinational companies. Another instance: A man who had no job, once came out late from some restaurant and found the street empty. He felt an urge for a smoke but there was no shop selling cigarette. Suddenly an idea struck him. He opened a small shop on the street and by and by it became a large chain of hotels.

Students should not only be on the lookout for opportunity but also learn the other essentials for success. We have discussed 1. Stress management, 2. Last minute preparations, and 3. Time management. I am confident that if students follow the tips for study in the foregoing paragraphs, they can learn a lot and ultimately add their own experience to leave their footmarks on the sands of time.

Prof. M. S. Verma