When should students start preparing for competitive exams?
Millions of aspirants across the country await an entry ticket to the elite educational institutions in India. Due to a handful of available seats, all aspirants undergo an egalitarian selection process called ‘competitive exams’, to get admitted to their dream course and institution. These exams aim to assess aspirants’ perseverance, patience, time management and confidence to grab the coveted seat by beating all odds.
We stand in awe of those who seem to breeze through their exams. The reasons for success are not a mystery. Successful are those who devise productive time management strategies with a view of acing the competitive exams.
When it comes to preparing for competitive exams, the first and foremost question that pops into mind is ‘When should I start preparing for the exams?’ For many students, the concept of studying brings to mind cramming efforts and all-nighters. Studying can sometimes be futile if you don’t get started in the right way and at the right time. Hence, it is important to stay focused and start preparations.
Start early, stay ahead with your strategy
Unlike school or college academic tests, competitive exams require a different approach. Success is determined by not only how early you start but also how well you comprehend concepts. Gaining a focused mindset and a thorough understanding of subjects and concepts is one of the ways to stay motivated and accomplish your goal. With a fixed goal and the right plan in hand, you can measure your preparation – your proximity to your goal.
Strategic plan to get an edge over others
To tame a lion, it is important to know about it extremely well. Similarly, you should know about your exam – its pattern, stages and the competition. This will help you analyse your strengths and weaknesses, the exam’s question patterns, and devise an efficacious strategy to cruise through it. You should brush up on analytical skills and hone your capabilities to dive deep into the concepts and build strong fundamentals.
The ideal time to start preparing for competitive exams is high school, i.e., from grade 9. At this stage, students are taught time management among other skills, which brings them close to their goal. Moreover, the concepts introduced in grade 9 are the fundamentals on which the foundation of higher education is laid. Utilising these years wisely gives you an edge by enriching your knowledge and instilling confidence to face exams with zest. Also, this leaves you with enough time to polish basic concepts and work on the finer aspects of complex concepts.
If you start preparing for competitive exams in grades 11 and 12, you will need to have a strenuous strategy, as the concepts tested in these exams are covered in grades 11 and 12. It is advisable to thoroughly understand previous years’ exam trends and devise a preparation strategy accordingly. You should focus on your weaker subjects and revise stronger ones. A detailed list of vital formulae should be prepared as it comes in handy during last-minute revision. Finally, to know where you stand vis-a-vis other aspirants, it is highly recommended to take mock tests and solve previous years’ question papers. This will boost your confidence and make you ready for the D-day.
To sum up, it is ideal to start preparing for competitive exams early on. However, if you haven’t started already, you can start now and leverage your opportunities.
All the best for your exams!