Learning Strategies of Top Students
- Jan 30, 2015
The renowned Indian social reformer Swami Vivekananda was blessed with extraordinary powers of the mind. It took him just fifteen minutes to learn all about a book. Once, when he was ill, twelve volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica had been brought from a library and offered to him. You would be amazed to know what I’m going to tell you next. Vivekananda managed to finish reading ten volumes of the encyclopedia in the following few days. Not only that, he could also quote a few passages from a few volumes, when he was questioned by a disciple!
An incredible instance of instant learning, isn’t it? Even today, you would bump across some students who are quick leaners. Let me share my own experience with you. Last year, I had started offering private tuitions to a little boy in my neighborhood named Rohit for six months. He belongs to the fifth standard. I used to teach him English, History and Math
Once I finished explaining chapter in any subject, I asked him to go through it carefully. After that, I asked a few questions to him, to test his understanding of the concept. Twenty minutes was all he needed, to learn the basics of the chapter, particularly Math and History. And then, he was ready to answer all my questions! The child is an amazing learner, I thought.
I realized that top students employ some unique learning strategies that must be cracked. Continue reading to know them all:
Write notes intelligently
Good students never compromise on their habit of taking handwritten notes during lectures, and even during individual study sessions. Now, how you take notes determines your rate of retention as well as level of understanding. It’s a smart idea to take down everything your teacher explains in the classroom. But, make sure you understand whatever you’re putting down to paper. If certain terms sound alien to you, mark them and clarify them later from your teacher. Some pupils also use flashcards for memorizing definitions or Math formulas.
Be a voracious reader
Textbooks and sample question papers are never enough to equip you for exams. So, if you are aiming for brilliant grades, expand your academic resources. Top performers are active readers. They read up reference books, best blogs, journals, newspapers, magazines and news websites to dig out everything associated with a particular topic. Some students borrow the notes from their friends studying in other schools, to gain greater understanding and ideas about a subject or topic. So, don’t quit reading. You can also collect general knowledge books and study them.
Teach your classmates
When I was a high-schooler, I found that some of my classmates (who were outstanding students) refused to share their notes with others. And, when weaker pupils had difficulty understanding complex concepts they never assisted them. Such was the level of competition in my school. Everybody feared that if they shared their knowledge, their friends would get ahead and defeat them by scoring higher grades. Instead, you learn more effectively if you teach others. Their questions would help you revise your lessons and perform well in exams.
Understand how you’re graded
Top ranking pupils observe the grading system used by teachers. Every teacher grades differently. For instance, some professors are not content if you just write the answer. You might be expected to provide a diagram or a chart, depending on the question in a Science paper – even if it is not specified in the question. Some teachers, on the other hand expect a direct, to the point answer without beating about the bush. Yet again, some lecturers prefer the exact answers that were discussed in the classroom.
Attend classes regularly
Trust me, there is no credit in bunking classes just to sound more ‘cool’ to your peer groups. How can you dream of impressing your teacher with your grades, if you fail to turn up for his classes? Most lectures offer essential notes, tips and exclusive study materials for the chapters explained in the classroom. You cannot afford to miss them. Another crucial part of attending classes regularly is the lecture. Intelligent learners are always present in class and ask questions to the teacher whenever they have queries.
Manage your time
You’re halfway towards your destination of success, if you know how to manage your time. So, time yourself while you study. Devote at least fifteen minutes and maximum twenty minutes for solving a Math problem. But not more than that, or else you would end up wasting your precious time. Observe how much time you require to complete an exercise of appropriate prepositions, or to complete an essay. And, if you have problems in a subject, approach your teacher before or after a class rather than interrupting the class.
Work on your weaknesses
It’s a bad idea to ignore your weaknesses and concentrate only on your strengths. If you are weak in Math, you must devote more time on the subject. Keep practicing Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, etc. till you finally master the concepts. You can know your weaknesses if you solve sample test papers and even appear for the weekly class-tests organized by your teacher. Once you can indemnity your vulnerable areas, work on them. Never try to escape from them, if you want to score high marks in exams.
Keep on trying
Last but not the least, never give up. And, don’t expect success overnight. So, I would suggest you try to stay focused, prioritize your academic tasks and reach for the stars. I know at times, it’s truly tough to remain patient, especially if we perform badly in a subject even after dedicating a considerable amount of time and energy to it. Yet, stay calm and tell yourself, “I can do it, and I will.” Be your own inspiration and strive to attain excellence in your endeavors.
Top academic performers always bear in mind that learning is a continuous process. You must keep your heart and mind active to receive knowledge in any and every form, if you are keen to emerge a winner in academics. So, get set and go dear students. Al the very best to you and happy learning!
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