Without a perfect preparation strategy, new entrance exam aspirants have a natural tendency to study everything possible. It is natural for us to study each and every topic of each and every subject with hundred percent effort. And more often than not, we get really worried when we are not strong at one or more of them. However, after years of interacting with successful entrance exam aspirants, I realized that excelling at exams is about hard work, but also a lot of smart work.
When I was preparing for an entrance exam with a really wide syllabus, a teacher of mine gave us really good advice regarding this. He said that it is not possible to be an expert at all subjects. You will be good at some, average at some and bad at some. Now, your target should not be to be excellent at all subjects. Just try to be excellent at the subject you are good at, good at the one you are average at, and be average at the ones who are bad at.
This advice helped me a lot in clearing my exam. The article you are about to read elaborates upon this advice. I hope all of you read this very, very important exam tip.
Analyse your exam
The first thing you need to do when you start preparing is to ensure you know your exam in and out. Here are some things you should absolutely do:
- Take a look at your exam pattern
Make sure you have gone through your exam pattern and know its exact structure. Here
are some things you should thoroughly know:
- Number of sections
- Topic of sections
- Marks allotted
- Weightage of different sections
- Marking scheme
- Mandatory sequence of attempting sections (if applicable)
- Go through the exam syllabus
Now that you know the basic sections in the exam, and how important they are, peruse through the syllabus carefully. I would suggest you make a checklist of all syllabus topics which you can tick off as and when you prepare them.
- Analyse the previous year papers
Now, this very important task. You just absolutely need to go through and analyse the previous year papers of your exam. Here’s how you can do this vital part of your preparation strategy:
- Go through the papers from oldest to newest
- Do not panic at the number of questions you do not know. Just analyse!
- Now look at the papers of last five years
- Notice the frequency of different topics in the papers
- Notice what are the most featured and asked topics in previous few years
- Notice the difficulty level of questions of different topics and subjects
Recognise level in each subject
Now that you know you exam in and out, you need to know your own capabilities in and out. You know what will be asked. Now find out how much you can answer. Here are some ways to do so:
- Open your syllabus checklist again and mark how many topics you are confident about, and which ones you are not confident about.
- Attempt previous year papers and check your marks subject-wise
- Attempt mock-tests and check your marks subject-wise
Design your study plan accordingly
Great! By now you know both the exam and your capabilities. Now is the time to design your study plan so that your capabilities match that needed by the exam by the D-Day! Here’s a simple framework for doing this:
|Subject Competency High||Subject Competency Low|
|Subject/Topic Weightage High||Allot medium time||Allot maximum time|
|Subject/Topic Weightage Low||Allot low time||Allot low-medium time|
And there you go, voila!
If you have 100 hours of preparation:
- Allot 50% time to subjects and topics which are important for the exam and which you need to really work on
- Allot 25% time to subjects and topics which are important for the exam and which you are competent at
- Allot 15% time to subjects and topics which are not very important for the exam and which you need to really work on
- Allot 10% time to subjects and topics which are not important for the exam and which you are competent at
That’s about it. Hope you follow this technique and study smart! Don’t forget to go through the previous years papers carefully and know yourself and your exam inside out. Go on and create a perfect preparation strategy!
All the best!