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How to get better at studies

Whatever the issue is, there are things that you can do to improve your results.

education Updated: Dec 11, 2012 18:16 IST
Samir Parikh

During your school years, there are few things that are more stressful than not being able to perform well academically. Difficulties in processing and comprehending information can serve as a significant impediment to academic excellence. In today’s high-stimulation atmosphere, it is difficult to block out distractions and concentrate on the task at hand.

With the high premium that our society places on academic excellence, poor academic performance can have dire consequences for one’s sense of self-worth, motivation and social standing. As a student, understand that if you are facing problems with academics, or are weak at a specific subject, you need to put in that extra effort to be able to compensate for it, and not let it pull you down.

1 Identify the problem: Not knowing the exact problem will only lead you to waste time shooting in the dark. Identify specific areas of difficulty and the possible reasons behind them.

2 Divide tasks into small goals: The thought of having to study chemistry, mathematics or history can seem daunting and de-motivating. Divide your studies into smaller, more achievable sections.

3 Minimise distractions: If you want to concentrate on your work, keep your desk clutter-free and put away your cell phone. Study in short spurts of 45 minutes and take short, but frequent breaks.

4 Use multiple methods of learning: Students have different ways of processing information and different styles of learning. If you face difficulties in reading, ask someone to read the information out to you. It is also important to practise writing notes, to make the information a part of your muscle memory.

5 Do not be too critical of yourself: If you do badly in a test or are struggling with a subject, do not be too hard on yourself. Instead, focus on the things you have accomplished and congratulate yourself.

6 Participate in extra-curricular activities: Do not get completely bogged down in academic issues. Instead, participate in extra-curricular activities to hone your potential.

7 Seek help from teachers and parents: If you continue face problems at your institute, talk to your teacher for help. Do not keep things bottled up inside you. Share your feelings with your friends and family.

The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare