Answer by Ahmad Ali:
This is how I succeeded in 8000 students from many colleges. I got 3rd position yet did not spend my time in collage more than 2 months. I have been learning different study methods and googled many a tips.
There are two important researches, I would like to share before my study method. First research is on human memory graph and other on human concentration span.
First research tells us that, when you read something your memory of what you read or heard is horizontal, and it slowly declines. But when you remind it second time, its declination is very slow as compared to without reminding. This speed decreases with every reminding of the thing you want to be memorable of. Its explained in this picture.
Dont try to just memorize and be tensed about why I forget it soon. Try setting a remind plan without any tension. Read it, then leave it. Read again at evening, then again next day and then next week. Exam yourself 15th day, and then remind after one month. Your memory graph will not decrease so easy now.
Second research is about human attention span,
As its clear from the above picture, human attention span is at 30% after 45 minutes. That is the time schools assign to one class mostly. In universities it is increased to one hour. Increase it slowly, but better change your activity for some minutes after one hour and then start again with attention of 90% after being refreshed.
- Another important consideration is the productive hours. It may be different for few people but mostly early morning is the most productive time.
- Remember to keep the room temperature a little warm. It will help in focusing.
After a lot of study about how to study I devised a plan, which was refined with time and according to the results. Now here is a refined plan which I attempted and got successful.
Planning and managing your study
- Make a timetable, mine was 11 hours for study. It is first step to success. (I was studying, and interested in it, so I was giving my most of time to studying, you may have less than 11 hours of course. It just shows my dedication to study and dreams I had after studying. I was in a poor family, I knew without hardwork, I wont be able to get along. After getting position, I was able to continue my study free. I also received prize money from government and a special training for more motivation and visits. Yes a Talent Award too.
- Humans can concentrate for 40 minutes on a subject, or maximum 1 hour. Do change your study material/subject after every 40 minutes or 1 hour. But later on you can increase this time slowly slowly to 2 hours. I did this.
- Start time table with learning new things, after looking at the last day topics. Learning new things at start gives you hope and makes you motivated.
- Re-allocate your time in timetable after every maximum two weeks.
- Take your exams every 3rd day or after one week and re-allocate your time in timetable after the exam results. (# 4 point)
- Study each subject three times a day, design time table such that every subject has 3 shifts per day.
- Dont start one subject or module after the other, take a break of 5 to ten minutes. In this time eat some chocolate, fruits and vitamins. Do some sit stands and go out to look in nature and have an analog(natural phenomena) thinking to refresh. This is a right click and refresh for you on your desktop to start another application.
- Take notes in the first shift, and rehearse them in second shift and so on. Notes should not be exact copy of the book text.
- Have some extra time to look topics of this day you have studied, at the end of study time table.
- Second day, start with looking at the topics of the last day. But never do an exam at the start of study time. Increase difficulty slowly from start to end.
- Do some statistics on important and less important subjects or difficult and easy subjects and divide time with statistics methods. For example by first assigning the difficulty level to each subject like 40% and 60% etc.
- Exam your self some time in the middle of the time table.
- If studying something which could be easily implemented in home or lab, dont miss it. I, when studying biology, had tried to produce a new family of a tree though it was just a try and nothing resulted. I have even, did programming to simulate the physics concepts.
Subject specific study techniques
- For math subjects, try to solve a question, if you fail, just do it with your hands by looking at some help book. After you finish copying by hands, you will infer what was missing. This is called learning with hands not mind. This is because some time an answer tells you about the solution in maths.
- For physics subjects, start with writing the topics equation, prove it on paper same as stated above in (math method), then start with the theory. Attach equation with the topic.
- For English, write difficult words on the note book. learn them first.
- For theory subjects, read a lot on the same topic from different sources, read the topic on book, leave it. Now read it on Wikipedia and leave it. Learn it on some other book. This is easy and very useful method. Don't try to learn from your book only this will bore you and you wont remember good.
- End preparing for exams about one week before. Design your exams timetable so that your intense preparation ends about one week before the first day of paper. This will help in
- Tension free preparation. Inside your heart you know I have one week, as a backup.
- One week extra preparation. The last EXTRA week is now more valuable than one month. Everything you will do in this week will be extra and very motivational for you.
- If there is 2, 3 days break between papers, don't stick with one subject. As mentioned above it kills productive study and focus. Change study module for the sake of attaining mind focus and refreshment, at least.
- Review your notes the day before paper. This will give you an overview of all topics plus strengthening the memory connections for those topics.
- After paper is over. Dont through question paper into dust bin, thinking that its gone now. It can help your mind settle down. Read and examine how much you done right.
- Keep calculating marks you obtained in each paper and adding to total. It will motivate you, like we do in scoring games.
- Dont forget the one and only solution for refreshment and energy of mind, the exercise in exam and healthy foods.
- Don't listen to love music or such type of songs. Listen some good motivational music like "K'NAAN – WAVIN' FLAG".
- Do take some time for spirituality or loneliness, for many reasons its important.
- Play some sports or exercise, not too much.
- Eat different things in in daily life and especially in break times.
- Listen to news for some time. If learning English, listen to BBC.
- Play with children, they are also learning, observe them and their interest.
- Do spend some time with family and share your status.
- If possible, do have some time to teach some one. It will be best, if you can teach what you are learning yourself.
- For your tasks apart from study, make a to-do list. Its very important to lessen the distraction and burden from your mind.
- Understanding the problem, half solves it.
- Imagine your success every day, imagine the future. You are investing on your future.
- Spread knowledge.
* If you note I have written number 1 for no love music, in the details, I mean we should have zero distraction out side and inside of ourselves to create a creative state of mind, give all your attention to study when you study!
Do one thing at a time. Dont have an other part of your mind allocated for the mobile phone beside, or an open Facebook tab.