Nowadays it is necessary for both, the students as well as parents, to know ‘how to study effectively’. Many parents advise their children to memorise all the answers by heart. However, this habit of rote learning can have a negative impact in their later life. It is not possible to retain everything, that is memorised, in our mind. Therefore, it is important that we have a proper understanding of the subject and develop a study pattern to tackle every subject. Once you are accustomed to this kind of technique from childhood, you will be able to write your own notes for subjects taught in college.
Children, we often observe that although two children have the same intellect, one of them scores very good marks in the examination, while the other scores less. This difference is because of the difference in their study patterns.
Given below are the certain points regarding the correct method to study effectively:
1. Choose a good place to study
A. Choose a well lit room with less sound. Sit in the same place everyday. As far as possible do not change your study room.
B. The study room should be neat and clean.
Use a suitable seat for study : Wherever possible use a chair and table. The chair should be such that it does not allow you to sit hunched over. The table should be big enough to keep a notebook, textbook, compass box etc. For those who cannot afford this sit on the floor with the books on a small table or stool. The study table should always be clean and tidy.
Before settling down to study make sure that you wash your hands and feet and your mouth as well.
Keep pictures of Deities wherever you are studying : Keep images of Shri Ganapati, Shri Saraswatidevi and Kuladevata (Family Deity) or Upasyadevata (Deity of worship) or whichever of these that are available, in the study room.
Before beginning study pray to the Deities associated with knowledge, that is Shri Ganapati and Shri Saraswatidevi thus ‘Please give me intellect to be able to study well and may I grasp it appropriately’. Then chant the name of your favourite Deity for 5 minutes.
After you have completed the lesson, pay gratitude to Shri Ganapati and Shri Saraswatidevi for helping you learn the subject.
3. Study your lessons in advance
Before learning any new lesson to the class, you should read the lesson. Study each subject with sincerity and interest. Firstly, try to understand the importance and benefit of every subject that you are studying and only then start your studies. If you study with sincerity and interest, you will be able to understand the subject better. After learning any lesson, you should clarify any doubts about the topic by asking the concerned teacher questions.
4. Early to bed, early to rise
Morning time is very peaceful. Also, after having slept for the whole night, the body and mind are fresh early in the morning. Hence, this is the time when you should study the subject that is difficult. Devote more time to the subject or topic which you find difficult. Read that particular topic two or three times.
5. Benefits of a Study Group
Form a study group, with other intelligent students and discuss the topics you have just studied. Teach the topic which you studied, to those students who did not understand it properly. When teaching others your revision occurs once more. This helps you to study better. With group study, you can also get a different perspective on how to study a subject effectively.
6. Revise and remember
Mentally revise the points that are clear to you and try to rewrite them in your own words and style (this does not apply to definitions). To start with, read a paragraph and make it a habit to note down, in short, the important points from that paragraph. Later, write down all the important points in the entire chapter. The notes you write will help you prepare for that particular subject’s examination. While practising questions & answers, write down the answers. Once written, it can be retained in the mind for a long time. Reading one’s written notes takes less time and is easier to remember than reading from guides. There is repetition of answers to questions in guides. Also, once we are habituated to reading the textbook, it takes less time to read it.
7. Take short breaks between study sessions
For a normal student, it is difficult to concentrate on any subject for more than 45 minutes. Hence, it is better to rest for a while in-between. During that time, you can devote 5 minutes for chanting and praying to God.
8. Avoid monotony in your study pattern
Keep on changing the pattern of your study, that is, after reading for a while, do some writing; thereafter again do some reading or learn something by heart if you have to (like poems). Again, shift to reading, then writing and so on. In this way, keep on changing the pattern of study.
9. Before sleeping, recollect the topics studied that day
Learning by heart, contemplation and discussion are important in the context of studying. Important points, footnotes, definitions, difficult words from the textbooks should be understood and learnt by heart or should be read repeatedly. Every night before falling asleep ponder on the following points: ‘What topics have I studied today?’. ‘Which subject was difficult for me?’ Recollect the questions and answers of the difficult topic. If you are unable to recollect a particular point, refer to the concerned textbook, at once.
10. Perform yogasans (yogic postures) associated with memory
Approximate both feet and stand upright. Fix your gaze on the ground about five feet away from your feet. Keeping the projecting point or position of the neck the same, concentrate on the fore part of your head. Breathe rapidly and forcefully twelve to fifteen times. This increases the blood supply to the brain and improves memory. Perform these yogasans in the morning.
11. Daily recitation of stotras
Stotras (holy verses) like Marutistotra, Ramraksha stotra etc. should be recited regularly. Recitation of the stotras in Sanskrut also improves pronunciation.
12. Give autosuggestions
To stop unnecessary thoughts from entering into the mind when studying, children should give autosuggestions. An example of an autosuggestion :- ‘Whenever I get thoughts of going out to play cricket when studying, I shall realise that my welfare lies in studying with concentration and try to concentrate again on studying.’
13. Avoid the following when studying
A. Snapping of fingers.
B. Lying down when studying.
C. Inviting a friend over for group study and then not studying.
D. Chatting with others or speaking on the phone unnecessarily.
E. Playing the radio, television or music system.
14. Maintain good physical health
To increase concentration in studies, good physical health is extremely important. To maintain it, perform Suryanamaskar (a series of Yogic postures) every morning and consume a nutritive and balanced diet. It should include rice-dal (lentil), chapati or bhakri (Indian bread), leafy vegetables, fruits, milk, ghee. Never overeat; also never study when hungry. Ensure that you get adequate sleep. This maintains physical health and mental enthusiasm. If you are sick, then inform your parents and avail of medical treatment at the right time.
We get engrossed while watching a movie as we enjoy it. Similarly, we must enjoy studying and be engrossed in it.
Children, let us put into practice the aforementioned points to make our studies effective, and move towards a bright and successful future !
Ms. Madhura Bhosale.