Systematic study is the next step to success. The phrase “systematic study” may mean different things to different students. But in the broad sense, it contains the following;
a. Prudent selection of the areas to be studiedb.
b.Determining their relative importancec.
c.Assessing your comfort level with each topic/sub-topic (not the subject)
d. Determining your priorities and identifying the topics which need more concentration.
e. Strategies to study the selected areas thoroughly
f. Charting out the time schedule for study, taking into consideration, the availability of time.
g. Meticulous implementation of the above time schedule.
h. Keeping the goal in perspective.
i. Never say die spirit.
Many students often ask how/where to begin the studies. The answer lies in the above points. My advice is; begin the preparation from the subject or chapter where you feel more interesting. But by doing so, you risk the chance of sticking on to a single subject most of the time. To avoid this, assign time to each subject as per the requirements of each subject.
The requirements are to be decided by you. But equal weightage should be given to all subjects. Equal weightage does not mean equal time. The subjects or chapters which need more attention should be assigned more time. The other tips on time management are;
1. Prepare a weekly time table for your study. A day a week should be assigned to revision. If you find a day of exclusive revision a week will be boring, you may assign two half days a week for this purpose.
2. Keep a study diary. The date-wise details of the chapters you have studied may be noted down there. The previous day’s diary may be reviewed each day. This will serve two purposes:a. You can keep a tap of the progress of your journey. It will enable you to know which portions are left out and assign the remaining time for the most important topics or chapters left out. b. The diary can be used for the purpose of revision.
3. Keep short notes. It is a time saving device. You can jot down the important points in the essays/topics in your note book. Leave enough space for adding new points that you may come across during additional reading. But, at any cost, these notes should not be exhaustive. An exhaustive note will not serve the purpose of time management. You will end up taking notes throughout your life time. For instance, an exhaustive note on Akbar’s religious policy may come to more than 100 pages in MS-word. You may keep on adding new points you get from different books. So this is type of note taking is not advisable. Your short notes may be in broken sentences. It may contain the summary of a paragraph in one or two broken sentences. The things which are difficult to remember may be noted down; like the years, names, the details of administrative set up, etc. Thus, Akbar’s religious policy may be confined to about 3-4 pages in a note book.
4. The short notes will become useful during revisions. It will become the most useful during the run-up to exams because you will have to revise most of the selected topics/chapters during the two or three days prior to the exam. As the most important and hard to remember points are jotted down in these notes, these would contain the “extra” points that give you “extra” marks. 5. If you are employed, try to adjust your study time as per the requirements of your job. The most important point is keeping your goal in focus. Utilise your free time to the maximum. But minimum five hours study a day is required, if you want to appear in 2011. (That does not mean five hours a day’s study will do for all candidates. I say this for the employed candidates). In case your working hours are too much demanding, try to switch over to another job with lesser pressure, albeit at the cost of lesser salary. But I will never advise you to leave your job for completely concentrating on CSE.