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Tip sheet

A look at some quirky techniques students have come up with while revising for the board exams. They might help you too.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2009 01:15 IST
Hindustan Times

A Without a doubt

Tejas Naphade

A Class 12 student in R.N. Podar High School, has been a victim of Murphy's Law. Anything that can go wrong goes wrong — during exams.

After studying the entire syllabus, like all students, he’d leave his doubts for last so that he could have his teacher clarify them all at once.

But he’d always forget. And of course, those doubts unerringly showed up as questions in the paper.

So now, the moment he has a doubt, he sets a reminder on his phone, which beeps in the evening after he is done with his classes. He instantly checks with his teacher and gets his all his doubts solved on the same day.

“A lot of my other friends now use the same strategy,” said the class 12 student. “The phone continues to beep until I get up and actually solve the doubts.”

Tip: Get your doubts clarified as they arise. Otherwise, enter them on your mobile phone as reminders that will beep at a given time, when you are likely to be able to have them clarified.

— Kiran Wadhwa

No tall story

Mrinmoyee Chatterjee

Science is Mrinmoyee Chatterjee's bugbear. Those long lists of classifications for metals and animals confound the Class 10, R.N. Podar High School.

So she has made created quirky mnemonics for them - sentences where the first letter of every word is a clue to the classification.

It’s always easier to remember a whole sentence than disjointed words that have nothing to do with one another. A sentence, in some ways, is like a small story.

“Now it's all really simple,” said the class 10 student.

So go ahead, make sentences that work for you.


Biology: Classification of organisms

The sentence ‘Kevin please defeat conceited oaf for giving satisfaction’ stands for ‘kingdom, phylum, division, C, order, family, genes, species.’

Chemistry: Reactivity series

The sentence ‘Kyle Nott can manage any zombie for perhaps he can howl aloud angrily’ stands for ‘potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, aluminium, zinc, iron, lead, hydrogen, copper, mercury, silver, gold.’

— Kiran Wadhwa

Hear, hear

Tanvi Mehta

A class 10 student at Jamnabai Narsee school in Juhu, just could not get her Julius Caesar soliloquies right, till she realised that the best way to study them was to listen to them rather than read them.

So she downloaded the entire play on to her iPod, and now listens to it when she travels or jogs.

She has learnt them far better. When she gets bored of Brutus and Anthony, she switches to Metallica.

“I have JC (Julius Ceasar) on my iPod. I wish I could do this for every subject,” said the 15-year-old. “When you hear something, especially will all the voice modulations, you tend to recall it better. It also just makes it far more fun.”

Tip: Hearing (in addition to reading) can be a very effective way of learning, as we know from our oral tradition, where people passed on knowledge from one generation to the next orally.

So download poems and plays on to your computer or i-Pod or even read out formulae into a digital voice recorder, and then hear it all.

— Kiran Wadhwa

Seeing is learning

Jonathan Pimento

Walk into Jonathan Pimento’s room and you know he is studying for an important examination.

The class 12 science student at St Xavier’s College has stuck nine charts near his study table, complete with chemical reactions, atomic numbers, trigonometry and algebraic formulae.

The 16-year-old Pimento scans through the relevant chart at the end of every chapter and quickly glances through all before going to bed.

“The textbook has different methods for getting the same chemical reactions. Rather than going through the textbook over and over again, I just look up the chart. It saves so much time,” said Pimento, adding that this technique helps him visualise the contents of the chart and choose from a dozen methods.

Tip: Visualisation is a powerful technique. Represent important information on paper or chart.

Instead of turning chemistry textbook pages, make a chart of all the different methods that go into making a chemical product and paste them on the wall. You could make another chart for chemical compounds and atomic valencies.

If trigonometry signs like ‘sine’ and ‘cos’ are confusing, make sure to stick a print out on your study table.

— Snehal Rebello

First Published: Feb 13, 2009 01:10 IST