So you've been studying for a while now. Exams come and you don't do as well as you'd like. Or maybe your grades are 'okay' grades but you know you can do much better or you want to do better. It's frustrating when you feel you put in all your effort into studying only to get average (or if you're really unlucky, below average scores). It's time to make a new Game Plan(GP). After all, it would be insane to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results with each try. So yeah, you need a new strategy for this. Lucky for you, you happened to land on a site that provides a number of suggestions for how you can improve the way you do things. You'll have to find what works for you, and gives you the results you want, and need, because different GPs work for different people. Before I delve into a long list of study tips-the do's and don'ts, I need to make sure you have the right state of mind; and by that I mean you must be willing to learn, and try out the suggestions given here. Also, before we go very far, you must understand that this will not be easy. Excelling at school is not for the faint hearted, so brace yourself. Success in academics, and I mean the success that really counts, is achieved through much more than just reading notes and solving a hundred past papers. It's a dish with many ingredients, among them are focus, dedication ,patience and confidence. Yes, I know, you've probably heard that before like a million times. But it is didn't make it any less true. To get the most out of this section, and the others that will follow,, you'll need to be open minded and not skeptical when trying out suggested methods. Don't fret if you don't see results immediately, Rome wasn't built in a day. That's where the patience part comes in. Let the fun begin...
So from the previous article, we established the fact that you need to prepare yourself mentally for the challenge ahead; excelling at school.
On the assumption that you've made some conscious effort to do exactly that, we can move on.
This article's focus is a plague that affects about three quarters of the world's population; laziness.
For most normal people, laziness is just a mood, a mere, temporary state of mind they can shake themselves out of.
Then there's us, the special cases. For us, it's a character trait of ours; who we are practically all the time. If asked to describe ourselves with one word, 'lazy' instinctively pops into our mind. It's that bad.
If you're one of us, you'll find this quite helpful in helping you start to change . If not, why not read on anyways? It may prove useful as a deterrent incase you ever get tempted to join us. If you've only realise after reading this, that you are actually one of us, don't be in denial. Sure, being labelled 'lazy' is unflattering. But the first step to solving a problem is accepting it's existence, ain't it?
Laziness is largely based on feelings. You know you should be studying but you don't 'feel' like it, you're 'not in the mood ' or the 'studying vibe' just isn't there. We've all been there; done that.
But being lazy, by far, is one of the worst reasons anyone can have for not doing their work and not achieving their goals.
You should know that you can't expect to base your study and how efficiently you do it, on how you feel. Emotions are quite overpowering, and giving into them is very pleasurable, but you won't get things done relying on them.
You can learn, over time, to be the one in charge of your feelings, and not them over you. Your mind can control your mood and you can to choose go act according to it or not. You know what you should be doing, so you do it to the best of your abilities, with no dependence on how you feel.
Sure, it's more enjoyable if your feelings are on board with your mind, and you actually feel like studying. But being truthful, no matter how much you're in love with school, you won't always feel like it. But you doing it anyway is profitable. So it stands to reason that you should practice keeping your mind in charge of your emotions. It's even useful outside the classroom, so that's a bonus.
It can literally be done; mind over emotion. Skeptical? Give it a try for like three times and see how that works out.
Let's face it, no lazy person gets all things they're supposed to, done. If you keep giving in to it, you simply will not achieve much of what you want to at the end of the day. Those grades that you want, you won't get them.
To wrap this all up in one short, bluntly-put phrase, 'don't be lazy'.
You've already spent quite a number of years in school, presumably. In these years, you have probably noticed two types of students; the 'extremist' and the 'laissez-faire' one. There aren't the only types of categories, but they're the extremes of both sides.
If you know you're the one with the laissez-faire attitude (and by that I mean, you're completely complacent and dare I say a little apathetic towards your schoolwork and grades), you may want to refer to the previous articles, one and two. As for the extremist, this one's for you.
You have it engraved in your mind that the only way to pass is to work extra hard, more than everyone else if your goal is to be at the top of the list. You have your pile of notes and textbooks, and you spend hours on end going through their pages. You've even gone through the extra trouble and you're ahead of most of your teachers. But when the tests come, your results aren't exactly where you want them to be. The situation is made worse when you see those who don't work nearly as hard as you do passing with way better grades than you. How does that even happen? The math doesn't add up, does it? Maybe it does. It's possible that you've been missing an important part of the equation; rest.
Don't get it wrong, hard work is a must, you have to go the extra mile. But too much of literally everything is not good. All work and no play makes Jack and Jane dull kids. Cliché? Yeah. True? Definitely.
What you need to do is to take a chill pill. Relax yourself. There's a thin line between 'working hard' and 'punishing yourself '. And sometimes, you may not realise that you are overworking yourself. But the sooner you do, the closer you'll be to remedying the situation.
You should know that you need a breather. If anything, you need regular breaks .Studying gets very overwhelming sometimes, and when that happens, it's a clear indication that you need some space from school.
Read a story for change, watch a movie or a favourite show, chill with your friends, ride a bike or turn up the music and dance to it; do what you do to have some fun.
It should be something that has nothing to do with your books for a little while. It's healthy for you, and your academic life.
Don't be misled though, I don't mean neglect your work and party all day. Be careful to balance the situation properly, don't be away from your books for way too long.
'Working hard' has a distant cousin, 'cramming', and there's a fine line between these two. Cramming involves spending hours memorising stuff from your books, rather than trying to understand deeply what you're studying. If you don't pass even when you spend so much time studying, then you've probably crossed that line and entered the cramming zone. The most common reason for cramming is fear. Being scared that you don't know enough, and feeling that you don't have enough time. Are you panicking because of this? If so, then look forward to the next article. It might help calm. your nerves a bit
Time. We often think we have enough if it, even more than we need when there are months between us and the exam. But what happens when that times flies and you discover you're only weeks to the first day and for the exam?
Naturally, you panic.
You fear you don't know enough, and there's just not enough time to get it all in. This feeling can't be avoided, truth be told. But that's okay. It's your reaction to it that counts.
There are two paths for you to take at this point in time; you could:
a. allow that fear to take over you, and make you give up.
b.) take that wave of panic and turn it into positive energy.
It could actually push you to working extra hard. If your panic is influenced largely by the fear of exams, you should know that exams aren't anything to be afraid of. If you honestly know that you have done enough to prepare yourself, then calm down.
If however, you know for a fact that you still have alot to cover, cramming isn't the solution you should go for. As stated in the previous article, cramming involves spending hours memorising stuff from your books, rather than trying to understand deeply what you're studying.
Initially, cruising through your books feels like a good idea. Actually, like a pretty smart idea. It feels like you're wasting time if you make an effort to know something in depth, but I say it's better to concentrate your energy on a couple of key topics and become a 'master of one' (figuratively of course), than cruise through everything and end up a 'master of none'.
And as you study, don't let the fear of what you have not done interfere with what you're doing at that moment, you'll end up wasting more time. And what other people seem to know, that you yourself don't, should not make you anxious. Mind your business, and your study schedule.
Remember, that panic, and anxiety that you feel, can be turned into positive energy. Use it as a fuel to work harder.