“If others can be University Gold Medalists, why can’t I?” was a question I challenged myself with in college. Initially, it sounded like a difficult dream. So what? If I am different, nothing is difficult.
Having decided to make my dream into a reality, I met a few examiners to find out what they looked for while assessing answers? The way I understood, they checked if –
- all relevant points to the question are covered.
- answers were written in own language, instead of rote answers from text books
- new points/observations made were justified well
I figured, If properly worked out, it was not a difficult task to score well. I got excited and a burning desire to achieve this took root. Next, I had to challenge myself to get the best out of my abilities. My strategy was four fold –
- Guru Samarpan: Take maximum guidelines from my teachers
- Self-discipline: Be sincere to yourself and
- Study Plans: Have a proper plan in place for studying
- Approach at Examination Hall
To elaborate –
- 1. Guru samarpan: I surrendered to my professors and lecturers completely. Once the teachers realised that I am devoted to them, they started taking more interest in my queries and doubts. They were happy to share their books, their notes, their knowledge and even their home.
- College library would lend only 2 books at a time. But my beloved lecturers gave me a free hand to borrow more books under their names.
- For getting any doubts clarified, I had access to their office and home at any time, on any day even during holidays and long vacations
2. Self-discipline: I created self-interest and devised my own methods of studying. I was convinced that I didn’t study to just appear for exams, but I did it to understand the subject well. It was important for me to enjoy both studying and appearing for exams rather than considering them as a strain. That was my mental make-up.
3. Study Plans; To actually implement I devised the following Study Plans;
- Studied each and every chapter in depth by referring to class notes and books written by various authors on the same subject. This brought new and complete insight in the topic.
- Prepared my own notes from all the material read. This helped me retain and assimilate all the knowledge I accumulated. One cannot make own notes without understanding the subject well.
- Made separate notes on the differences of opinion between various authors. A mention of these differences in the answers gave an edge over others’ answers and created a “different” impression to the examiner.
- Created hints for answers. I summarised the notes in short hint format for each chapter and revised the short notes rather than going through the entire descriptive notes, every time I revised. Once you remember the hint, it is easy to write on the subject in detail because you know the subject well from your earlier hardwork. Also, it saves revision time and enables to cover all points on the subject, which is important to give complete answers.
- Left no surprise element for the examinations. I did not believe in studying only the ‘selected’ or ‘expected’ questions just from exams point of view. I studied all the chapters so that I was ready to face any question. This does wonders for your confidence.
- Studied round the year. I did not believe in studying just 30 or 60 or 90 days before examinations.
- Made a proper timetable of subjects to be revised on each specific day for the last 4 weeks before exams.
- Considered tackling examinations an excitement awaited and not a fear. Bindaas (Carefree) I would go for a movie the night before examinations, (certainly the day before the accountancy and statistics exams!)
- Stayed cool and quiet just before exams and conserve energy.
4. Approach at Examination : At the Hall:
- Avoided eleventh hour revision. I believe, a dominant part of what you retained whatever little studied at eleventh hour compared to what you have been studying throughout the year.
- Allowed half-a-minute cool-down time before reading the question paper. That helps to balance mind, memory, and temperament.
- Allowed about 10 minutes for unexpected long answers and last 10-15 minutes for rechecking the answers.
- Allocated time to each question in proportion to the marks it carries. If 180 minutes are available to cover 100 marks, after allocating for rechecking and buffer-time, I devoted about 15-16 minutes for every 10 mark question.
- Some times the answers to a question could be long, but considering the marks it carries, the examiner didn’t expect a lengthy answer. I kept the answers’ length as per the marks allocated. No point punishing and irritating the examiner by writing irrelevant and long answers.
I implemented the above strategy and got University First Rank in my B.Com. A similar approach helped me in getting all India level ranks in my professional exams – CA, ICWA and CS.
Dream your Best, Plan your Best and you will Achieve the Best
Written: Badri Baldawa Edited: Meeta Kabra