Today, competition in studies is increasing and college cut-offs are soaring high. So naturally, the best opportunities are given to only toppers. All students study really hard but only some get to become toppers. Most of the students are always just left wondering as to what is it that they lag, or what it is that toppers do differently? We will cover all of this in this article.
- Be curious: The one thing that differentiates toppers from average students is their curiosity and the habit of asking questions. Be it in class, tuition, studying with your friends or just self-studying – never be afraid to ask. Only by asking questions can you learn and gauge your understanding. When you are in school or tuition, ask questions from your teacher. When you are studying with friends, pose questions in front of them. Even if you all cannot find the answer – you will be amazed as to how much you can learn by just discussion. Clear your doubts from your teacher in the next class or try researching the topic on the internet or in the library.
- Understand the topic: many students think that cramming can get them good enough marks, and also takes lesser time. But this is not true. You have to have a clear understanding of the topic. You may get marks by cramming in your internal assessments or even school finals. But remember that most questions in CBSE board these days are also application based. Not only this – most questions in competitive exams – like NTSE, Olympiads, JEE, NEET, BITSAT, etc are all application based. So without a clear understanding of the topic, you will not be able to perform well in these exams. Whenever you don’t understand something, don’t just settle by cramming it. Research the topic in your library or ask your teachers. If you understand a topic, it is more likely to get stored in your long-term memory and you can write it down in your own words in the exam.
- Time management: by time management, we refer to how you utilise your day, how you use your study time and how you manage your time during the exam. First of all, you should plan your day to give enough time to studies and recreational activities.
Rather than studying continuously for 8-10 hours a day, it is better if you take breaks after studying for 20-30 min. This gives a chance for the brain to retrieve the information in a better manner.
Even during exam time, we mentioned in our video “mistakes to not make in exams” that you should first go through the question paper, make your strategy and then attempt it. Full concentration and a strategy during the exam are very important for being a topper.
- Practice, practice and practice: Even if you dig into books for long hours, that does not mean that you will be able to write well in the exam. This is because of the fact that along with rigorous studying, you also need to ensure that during the exam, you are able to retain all the information that you have studied and are able to express it decently. And without practice, that is impossible. Toppers study a bit and then practice writing the stuff, and the chain goes on. We also urge you to do the same.
Testing yourself also strengthens your brain’s connections to new material, and gives you immediate and clear feedback on whether you know something or not. Bottom line, repeated self-testing significantly improves long-term retention of new material.
- They immediately correct their mistakes – Most students get their test papers back, flip through to see if the teacher has made any calculation mistake or has left marking questions, and then keep it in their bags to never see it again.
Instead, what you should be doing is – see where you made mistakes. Why couldn’t you score full marks? Was it because of a silly mistake, something you left studying or a misconception? You might actually also realize that you failed to understand a concept well if you look at your mistakes. Your aim should be to not make them again.
Top students ignore what they got right, and use their mistakes as an indicator of what to improve on.