Guide for Last Minute Learners


If you are a sincere student, you would have already spent many hours studying for your examinations. But for those of you who are last-minute learners, Priyanka Sarang shows you the right way forward


Every student knows the golden rule - "Don't study at the last minute." But there are a few students who still start studying only a month before the examinations. So how do these students manage their time?

14-year-old Ninad Naik from Fr Agnel School, Vashi says, "Memorising doesn't really work for me. I need to understand the subject. For difficult subjects like mathematics, I require a lot of practice. The best way to learn is to read and write. I have been told that using two senses by reading and writing, as against just reading, is a better way to retain information. I also solve a lot of old examination papers. This allows me to test my knowledge and keep track of my writing speed."

There are quite a few ways of studying and preparing for examinations. One method suggested by teachers is that of making timetables. Timetables are a great way to schedule your day and keep an account of the number of hours you have as against the chapters you need to complete. Fazela Badlawala from MES Crescent English High School says. "I create a daily timetable depending on the work I need to complete. It lets me allocate time for last-minute revisions."

Making timetables is an individual project, so don't copy your best friend's schedule. Many things need to be taken into consideration while charting this out. Every individual is talented but does not necessarily have the same grasping power or IQ. Where some students might need one or two reads to understand a topic, others might need to read and write important points down. These two different methods of study require different amounts of time. Some prefer to study in the day while others prefer the night. Some can study for two hours at a stretch while others are comfortable for stretches as long as six hours. These individual styles need to be built into the timetable. One also needs to be careful not to under or over estimate oneself.

Ninad says, "If I study for more than two hours at a stretch, I can't remember what I studied and this causes a lot of confusion. Therefore I prefer to study in a manner that helps me. After all, it is important to score well in this competitive world." Competition has definitely changed students' attitude to exams, to the extent that today even toddlers are under stress. Fazela's mother Sakina Badlawala, who is a doctor by profession, says that she never pressurises her daughter beyond a point. She doesn't give much importance to marks but encourages Fazela to put in her best. And this might even mean that at times she studies with her daughter, reading out extracts from the textbook when her daughter is tired.

Vini Sawant, a teacher from St Joseph School, recommends that students should follow their own methods provided they are comfortable with them. They should revise chapters regularly as it sharpens the memory. Being attentive in class and completing homework and submissions on time also eases stress.

Finally, what counts is the effort put in. Results are a reflection of effort. Failure and success are both part of life and we have to learn to accept them gracefully.

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