I hope you guys have gone through our previous article “42 days Action Plan to Target RRB Group D & ALP Examination (Learning Phase)” and have created your own plans accordingly.
Now when you have already created your timetable you will be wondering how you can consolidate what you have learned in those 32 days phase.
The last few DAYS before the exams are most critical for students. It is during this phase that bulk of exam syllabus is revised and reviewed for the last few times. Any shortcoming that becomes apparent at this stage can be easily rectified. The focus of this phase is on review, revise, recall, remember and reproduce. Whatever you Revise and Reproduce during this period will be of most benefit to you in the exams. So, it pays to be extra careful about the activities you undertake during this phase.
At this stage, learning new areas may not be a great idea. This is the time to consolidate what you have already learned and developed a higher level of application ability in those areas. It is advised that during the consolidation phase you should make concept maps, write your own summary, and mark what you need to revise again. Remember these maps, notes, and marks will help you in the next phase i.e the rapid review phase. The preparation methodology should be so planned that all the vital concept of the entire syllabus become fresh in your mind. Consolidation Phase can be divided into 4 broad steps
Step 1: Intense review of material
Step 2: Practice LOT of output
Intense review of material
The last few weeks before your examination, should be set aside for revising the important points again and again from your revision notes. Do not attempt to learn new things. Prepare a revision plan for this period, so as to leave time for a final wrap up just before the examination. Now you have to utilize all seven days of the week. Begin revising each subject at the start of this final revision period.Do not revise one subject at a time as you may run out of time and find that you cannot revise some subject at all.
One of the most frightening aspects of examination revision is the very size of the task. The very sight of books and mountainous stack of notes can put you off. Very often it is found that students sit passively with book or notes open in front of them for hours, attempting to read and ‘take it all in’. Frequently, the results are poor; you do not remember most of what you were reading; long periods are spent on the same page whilst feeling increasingly disheartened.
Break up this large task into small tasks. Divide each subject into units. Now set aside notes on each unit separately. If it still looks frightening, divide it further. This will make it easier for you to conquer. Make sure no one disturbs you after you have settled to do your revision. Before you start your studies, check that you have all your books, materials, pen, papers and notes. Avoid finding an opportunity to postpone your studies.
Set your target dates or deadlines by which you are to complete each part of your course. This way you will have objectives each day as well as each week and you can complete revision before the exam.
During the course of the year, you must have prepared your own notes. As you revise the notes during your final revision just before examinations, jot them down in the form of points. In other words, make notes of notes. It is easier to go over them just on the eve of the examination. Remember to put only those points in the notes which you would like to revise just before the examination.
Some of the things you should keep in mind while planning revision are
- Devise questions around a topic: By practicing asking questions about a particular topic you can increase your flexibility and preparedness for the examination itself.
- Vary subjects, topics and methods throughout your revision: Vary these each week and each day. You will find that you are more likely to sustain your concentration by doing so. At the same time, mix the difficulty of the topics revised, using the confidence gained from one piece of work successfully completed to help you tackle a slightly more difficult topic. Reducing your bulky notes to keywords and key ideas.
- Organising your time: Make a revision timetable. The problem with most of the revision timetable is that very often they go wrong after the first day. In order to avoid this problem
- Have a one week trial period to enable you to determine what tasks you can realistically complete in a day.
- Be flexible, eg. different subject headings for each day will enable you to vary the topics you revise.
- Pin up your timetable or time plan on a wall in a prominent place eg. above your table or desk. Colored pens can make it clear and attractive.
- The revision period is meant solely for connecting, coordinating and assimilating knowledge: not for collecting new matter. Hence spend all your spare time making up summaries.
Practice Lot of Output
Practicing output is essential for the recall stage of memory. Don’t get stuck in repetitious rehearsal that focuses only on getting the material into long-term memory. Practice getting it out – under pressure. Practice using the actual kind of exam questions you will be required to answer.
So after the initial intense review, 90% of the rest of your preparation time should be spent on output activities. Some of the examples of practicing output are
- Solving as many questions as possible under time pressure
- teaching it to someone else,
- making flash cards and using them,
- mnemonic devices,
- mind maps,
- giving a speech of whatever you have learned
- writing down the summary of whatever you have learned
One easy way to improve your output is to increase the number of senses involved in the learning process. RECITATION, or repeating information aloud, increases recall through stimulating the hearing sense as well as the visual sense. Transforming ideas into DIAGRAMS or MAPS or CHARTS is another way to increase sensory input. In addition to the extra thought involved in developing a diagram, recall of that information will often be increased simply because of the newly created visual structure.
Many students also find that the motor activity involved in the act of WRITING out information they wish to learn helps them to remember it better. A technique that often accompanies silent review or recitation is the use of CUES. A cue is usually a word, phrase, or question selected because of its ability to trigger the recall of specific information you want to learn. Cues can be incorporated into your notes by placing them in the left-hand margin beside the ideas or information they summarize. You can then study the material by covering your notes and using the cues to help you recall as much as you can. To improve recall, this procedure is repeated until you are able to recall each idea completely.
A good variation of this technique is to write the summary word or phrase on one side of 3×5 card and place the information you want to recall on the other side. STUDY CARDS offer two important advantages. First, the work involved in making the cards helps you begin to learn. Second, study cards allow you to physically separate and focus on one piece at a time, which can be important for some learners.
“The above articles have been written by Mr Avinash Agarwal, who is an exam strategist for school academics and competitive exam preparation. He has also authored many motivational books for students such as “How to Succeed in Competitive Examinations” and “Toppers Secrets of Success” that focus on study techniques and the right attitudinal approach students must adopt in order to clear exams with flying colors. Avinash holds a B-Tech in Computers from G.B Pant University and an MBA from MDI, Gurgaon.”