The top student title is always there for you to grab. However, how much are you willing to sacrifice? In case, it would have been your health, or even your life, which you wisely chose yes or no. Below are some tips how to balance happy life and good score in exams:
Spend a lot of time working on problem sets before asking others for help. For some classes, Read the book before going to lecture. Try and have a schedule for reading the book so you don’t slack off.
Try to save as much time as possible from ‘trivial’ stuff like homework and all; Use the remaining time for studying beyond curriculum.
Books always give you an upper edge. People keep on solving problems and ignore the power of theory-story. Problems will take you to 10%. The rest 90% comes when you read a standard textbook theory story of invention, need for that research, what if that invention / event does not occur. Example what if calculus integration never invented and why it was needed or what if Thermodynamics law never discovered?
Don’t indulge in group discussions. It kills time and you don’t find it productive unless you are with teachers, faculties or seniors.
There are a few other points like avoiding non productive activities, NOT listening to music/watching TV while studying, taking breaks but not too often.
Use flashcards – there is truly no better way to memorize and test you than with flashcards. Whether it is memorizing verbs, finance formulas or historic dates, flashcards are your best friend.
Study in disciplined intervals. While you may think studying 3 consecutive hours is effective, all you’re really causing is your brain getting too tired too fast and ironically, the most ineffective way to retain new information.
The absolute best way to ensure that you actually know the material completely is to teach it to someone else.
The next time you look at your watch it’s nearly time for you to finish. Time passes fast when you are in your state of flow. Before you finish, you review and recall your notes, because you know that repetition works. Write down the important tasks for tomorrow, so you can build on today’s success.
Top students practice eternal discipline instead of relying on emotional motivation. Top students stay controlled. Top students actively re-examine before trusting everything in book. A student who submissively reviews will spend several hours rereading notes or the textbook and probably score worse than the student who energetically reviews for half the time. Connect the historic dots by considering time and space – before 100/50/10 years of this invention / discovery how things were. Even after the invention/discovery/theory/event how things were in other countries. Examples connect World War with Steam/IC Engine plus Modern Physics plus Poverty – all are connected. The average students study topics in isolation. They rarely think or discover the connection between two seemingly unrelated topics. Example who made Asia Map after WW2 – Who & Why?
Toppers don’t aim for 100% marks in their respective exams but they get pleasure from the process of school life. Toppers always stay curious to know anything and everything when it comes to learning a subject. Toppers give their 100% and fall in love with the subject. Find a superior study group than you. Find superior peers who also care about learning the material and you get along with.
Diagram / Symbol: Once you understand something, create a visual diagram / symbol. Draw theory on a piece of paper in form of flow chart, image or map.
Non-trivial problems – Consider test problems that require an extra insight which was not necessarily taught in class to be a special class of problems. Help other people study! Explaining concepts you think you understand is a great way to find out where the gaps in your knowledge are. Another good technique is to make a list of all the topics on the test, and see how much the class has covered those topics.
On Test Day
Read the whole test beforehand, start with the easiest problems first, If you get stuck on a problem, make sure you show work up to where you are, and go to a different one. Divide time based on marks and not based on question or the knowledge you have. Time given to each question must be proposal to score of that question.