Sunil Dhadwe

Guiding people

Archive for the month “April, 2016”

How to Study?

Create your own study plan and follow it

There cannot be generalized schedule for all as everybody has different studying styles which they have developed eventually. Some students prefer studying in early morning whereas others might prefer studying in night. So don’t follow somebody’s schedule, create your own as per your studying habits.

theonethingHere are a some tips for making your study schedule:

  • Arrange your subjects in descending order of difficulty. Give high priority for difficult subjects.
  • In your schedule don’t allocate equal time to all subjects. Allocate more time for difficult subjects and less for easy subjects. What is easy or difficult will vary individually depending on their ability, interest and IQ.
  • Don’t plan tight schedule as it will be difficult to follow. Keep it loose by keeping time margin for dynamic activities/emergencies which cannot be foreseen while planning.
  • Different subjects require different types of skills. So schedule subjects as per your abilities keeping in mind your strength and weakness.
  • Do maths or Solve problems in afternoon or night when you feel sleepy.
  • Do theory subjects when you weak up as your mind is sharpest a few hours after waking up. .

Anyone can make a schedule, but not everyone will commit to it. Setting a schedule for study will be useless if you don’t commit to it. When it comes to study, students experience commitment issues because they have so many distractions. Commitment takes discipline and dedication.

Organize your study area

When your study area is organized, you spend more time on productive activity. You don’t waste time looking for notes, pen, etc.. While studying, searching for items will not only waste time but will add to stress. When you feel stressed, your mind rationalizes that you should relax. This opens you up for distractions.

While studying you might need books, notebooks, Question bank, previous year Question papers, Paper solutions, pen, pencil, eraser, sharpener, marker, high lighter, post it notes.

Some times studying for long hours at same place in same position can be boring and create problems like backache. So have 2-3 alternative places for studies like chair, floor, bench, steps (avoid bed as you might feel sleepy).

Find a place to study with as few distractions as possible. Everyone may not like same studying environment. So whatever settings (table, chair, head phones, lights, etc..)  you need for studying put it in place before study. Just make sure that when you sit down in your study area the only next step is to study.

Use “Focus Blocks”

A focus block is a time period that covers your maximum focus on an activity. The duration of a focus block varies from person to person. Whatever your focus block is, dedicate that time period only for study. For example, if you believe your focus block is good for 60 minutes, study without any interruption for one hour. This means no water or bathroom breaks. You must only study!

Keep some realistic target before you start a focus block, like reading X number of pages or solving X problems or covering X topics. At the end of the focus block, check did you achieve your objectives? In case not then try to extend the focus block till you complete your target. While setting target make sure it is achievable in that time period.

On successful completion of your target, reward yourself with a few minutes of unrelated activity. You may check your smart phone, get a snack or take a nap. The purpose of having free time is to “reset” your mind for the next activity. As a general rule, the length of free time must not exceed 1/3 of your focus block. If the length of your free time is more than 1/3, you risk being distracted or side-tracked. To avoid this set alarm for break time to remind you when your break is over and get back to studies.

During Focus block, switch off your mobile phone and TV. Read my another blog post “Digital distractions for studies

Tips for studying:

  • While reading text/reference books make your own notes, highlight important points in your book/notebook which will be useful for your next reading.
  • For each topic/chapter make 1 paper note which can be used for quick revision before exam.
  • Use different colours while creating notes. Use different colours as per importance of that point. Everybody likes colourful notes as compared to monotonous black n white text from books.
  • For subjects like mathematics, Don’t read problem solutions, solve it. At least solve 1 problem of each pattern.
  • For theory subjects, if time permits try to write down whatever you have learnt. Do not write that topic immediately after reading it. Allow some time to forget and then try to write it. This will give you more confidence. Those who only read theory get sometime blank during exam as they don’t remember anything

Group studies

Sometimes it’s boring to study alone at one place. Also you need help for understanding some topics or solving problems. Your friends are best source for such help. For that you can do group studies. Drawback of group studies is more time is wasted in other discussions than studies so objectives are not achieved. So limit your time for group studies for example 2 hrs a day. Choose your least productive time for group studies, so even if you waste it you will not lose much.  If you are not achieving your goals of group studies then better stop it.
Another idea is to join different online groups or forums where you will get answers of your questions without wasting much of your time.

Sleep sufficiently

During exam time students tend to sit late night or have night outs for studies. Which should be avoided. As you study for longer time as compared to regular days, your brain gets stressed and fatigue. So you feel more sleepy during exam time. You need minimum 7 Hrs of sleep every day, out of which my suggestion is to sleep for  6 Hrs in night and 1 Hr in day time in between focus blocks. Taking power nap is good because it allows your mind to recover. So you can have 30min. two naps or 15 min. 4 naps during day time.

Eat properly

Don’t eat more less times, rather eat less more times. Eating more at one time will make you feel sleepy. Read my another blog post “Special care for Exam time“.


Exercise helps blood circulation. You are able to think and function better when blood is circulating efficiently throughout your body. Another benefit of exercise is its ability to manage stress. A nice long walk is a good way to clear your mind and focus on finding solutions.

When to exercise? There really is no ideal time. It depends on where you can comfortably fit it in your schedule. Make sure that you exercise for 20 minutes every day. Don’t do any heavy exercise after which you will exhaust, drain out and feel sleepy. Prefer light exercise like swimming, walking, Yoga, etc..  Remember healthy body will lead to healthy mind.



Digital distractions for Studies


1-7When you are preparing for exams, you need to focus on your studies. But lot of students can’t focus due to digital distractions like TV and mobile. These days people are dependent on different gadgets, especially students are addicted to games and different social networking sites like facebook, whatsapp. During your regular school/college days it’s ok but then this is the time you get addicted to these media and can’t be away from them during exam time.

Country like India where Cricket is another Religion, people leave everything else and watch cricket matches like world cup, T20, IPL which are mostly scheduled during exams. It’s very difficult to focus on studies during match time, especially when  your country is playing.
Some Tips for avoiding distractions while studying :

  • Don’t look at your mobile after every 2 minutes checking facebook/whatsapp notifications. Better switch off your mobile & TV when you are studying. If you cannot control yourself then better give your mobile to somebody for study time and take it back in break time.  So that there will not be any disturbances during studies.
  • cricket--621x414Cricket matches !! I don’t understand why? but every year in India, we have good cricket tournaments which are arranged during exam time. Most of the boys are cricket fans and follow these matches very closely. It’s good that now they moved to 20-20 instead of 5 days test cricket. Some students get excited every time when they hear about some big shots (4/6) or wickets and run to watch replay on TV. While you are studying but your mind is still on the cricket pitch. SO it’s better to  switch off TV during study time,, if you can’t switch off due to other family members then sit somewhere where you will not hear TV noise. If there is no such place then use head phones and play instrumental/soft music to override TV noise. If you are very keen about that match then use your break time to watch TV. Better idea is just watch last 15 minutes of match which is normally a climax to enjoy. Instead of running to TV after every 5 minutes, better watch complete match but in that case study whole day. You can use this as a carrot for your self-motivation. Promise your self that if you complete this topic or this much of syllabus then you will be watching complete match. Another idea is to decide percentage, like : to watch X minutes of match you need to complete X pages/topics. Or other way round, decide how much time you can watch match depending on how much you studied that day and how much is remaining before exam.exam time
  • Don’t study continuously for 4-5 hours. Take small breaks after long study hours. For example, if you are studying for 10 hours in a day then make some pattern like 2 hrs study then 15 min break. During break time, You decide whether you want to watch TV or mobile(Facebook or whatsapp). DO whatever you like but in restricted time.
  • Avoid online chatting with friends as it’s difficult to stop. Avoid making any controversial comment that will lead to further debate/arguments and waste ur more time. Avoid harsh comment that will hurt somebody. Also avoid getting into any emotional issues. Sometimes during chat we say something and other person take it in different way, which again needs more time to clear their misunderstanding. Anyways, Don’t extend your break time for any reason, if you do so then reduce your next break time.
  • During break time Avoid playing games on mobile or computer which will further strain your eyes.
    Instead indulge yourself into real games/sports like swimming, badminton, etc… Due to physical activities, You will burn some calories and keep your body healthy. But keep some time restrictions, say 20 to 30 mins a day. Also avoid risky games and sunny time ( outdoor sports). Make sure that You should not get exhausted or out of energy after game. No need of heavy Gym activities, power Yoga is enough.
  • Don’t watch TV, or use facebook/whatsapp when you are tired or stressed out due to studies. You will strain your eyes and brain more. Better have power nap(sleep for 15-20 min.) and get ready for next session. You will find yourself more fresh and recharged for next study session.
  • You can use digital media constructively like watching technical/study related videos on Youtube without getting distracted to other non study related videos. You can have study related chats with teacher or scholar friend for solving your doubts. Instead of online chatting, it’s better to post your doubt on technical forums and check other’s response after some time. This will save your time.
    Those who don’t understand how to study? can read my another blog post “How to study ?

    Write in comments, what are your distractions for studies? I will try to help you to overcome it.
    Also share your ideas which you use to overcome these distractions during studies.

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