As a student, completing the vast school or college syllabus within the available time is always a challenge. The syllabus seems never-ending, and exam stress starts building up. However, strategic planning, smart goals and effective time management can help you pace up your learning.
Let’s look at some practical tips and tricks to complete the syllabus fast without compromising your learning experience:
Make a Realistic Study Plan
- Break up the syllabus into smaller sections and list them topic-wise
- Prioritize important topics – give more time to chapters with higher weightage
- For each topic, estimate realistic time required based on your current understanding of the subject
- Schedule fixed slots for each topic throughout the preparation time
- Keep buffer for revision towards the end
- Make a weekly and monthly plan allocating time slots for portions to be covered
- Be flexible – Review progress periodically and adjust plan if needed
Let me tell you about the time in 10th grade when I made an overly packed daily schedule listing each chapter, sub-topic, objective, notes to be made, tests to take etc. in great detail. Within 2 days, it was in shambles as I couldn’t keep pace with the plan I had set! My dad explained that my plan was too rigid and verbose. He helped me create a simpler weekly plan assigning required hours for syllabus completion each day. This worked much better!
Adopt Effective Study Methods
Choose study techniques that help you learn faster and maximize retention:
- Scan textbook content to get an overview before detailed reading
- Note down important points and definitions
- Use diagrams, tables and flowcharts to remember concepts
- Learn formulas, laws, principles using mnemonics
- Use active recall through self-testing at regular intervals
- For theories and analysis, use mind maps to connect ideas
- Solve many previous years’ question papers for exam preparation
Let me share a nifty trick my friend taught me – using instrumental music to help memorize steps or facts in a sequence. For example, to remember the chronological order of Mughal rulers, I would associate a few words or phrases with elevated notes in the music piece. This technique has worked well for me not just in history but even in chemistry reactions!
Optimise Your Study Hours
- Identify your peak productivity hours – Is it early morning or late night? Plan your toughest subjects during your prime time.
- In the low energy hours, plan lighter topics or passive studying like reading textbooks.
- Take breaks – Studying for too long at a stretch reduces focus. Take short 5-10 minute breaks every 45-60 minutes.
- While commuting or during free time, listen to audio lessons or revise notes using flashcards.
- If you are an auditory learner, explain concepts aloud to yourself. If you are a visual learner, use colors, charts, diagrams etc.
I realised that late evenings after dinner were my peak productivity hours when my mind felt fresh. So I would spend this time to study analytical topics like math and accountancy which required greater mental focus. For subjects like history, I would schedule morning slots for passive reading when my energy levels were lower. This optimized my learning.
- Set smaller daily goals and feel motivated once achieved.
- Use checklists to mark completed tasks and track progress.
- Reward yourself when you meet targets – watch a movie, eat out, pursue a hobby.
- Find a study partner – Compete as well as assist each other.
- Notice improvements in your scores in tests – let this positive feedback drive you.
- Imagine how amazing you will feel to achieve your targets – let that be your driving force!
To incentivize myself to complete my homework everyday, I would download a game or a movie that I really wanted to watch. I would watch it only after finishing my homework as a reward. This really motivated me to speed through my assignments!
Here is a quick summary of the tips and techniques:
Make an Effective Study Plan
- Prioritize important topics
- Make a realistic schedule
- Build in buffer time
- Review and adapt periodically
Use Active Learning Techniques
- Learn frameworks, formulas, definitions
- Make mind maps, flowcharts
- Test recall frequently
- Solve previous years’ papers
Optimise Your Schedule
- Identify peak productivity hours
- Take regular breaks
- Listen to audio lessons when commuting
Employ Motivational Tools
- Set daily goals
- Reward yourself on achievements
- Notice your improvements
- Study with peers
- Stay driven for your targets
With some organizational skills, optimal planning, effective studying methods and loads of determination, completing the syllabus on time is very much achievable. Keep stress levels under control, strike a balance across all your subjects and aim for clarity of concepts over just completing portions. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint! Consistent efforts over time will take you to the finish line. So simply keep calm and study on!