How To Effectively Balance Competitive Exams Preparation In The Online Era Of Education?

In the reforming times of COVID and online education, the prominent question remains ‘how?'

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‘Change is the end result of all true learning.’ The quote rightly highlights the necessity for young minds to constantly get better with all that they study. However, in the reforming times of COVID and online education, the prominent question remains ‘HOW?’ It is not a minor change in the paper pattern or syllabus but the very roots of traditional learning methods in India have been shaken and are constantly being evolved as teachers and students enter in the sixth month of online learning. 

Indian students in higher classes such as intermediate already functioned under a lot of pressure even before COVID during the months of March-June. These months for most of them become a deciding factor for their future career options. For India, the first COVID case was reported at the end of January, and soon after that, the number grew. The government as a measure of protection started shutting down schools and colleges by the second week of March. Later followed the complete nationwide lockdown. These crucial months which were previously the fundamental building blocks for the country’s youth passed away in vain. Now, as we are gradually adjusting ourselves to the new normal, authorities have begun announcing dates for competitive exams and ensuring high standards of safety in the examination centres. This alone cannot be characterised as a yardstick for ensuring steady performance and good results in these exams.  

The developing minds amid these past few months of lockdown have been through a good deal of uncertainty and stress, trying to figure out what lies ahead like every other adult. As they proceed in the new normal and prepare themselves for appearing in the competitive exams, they need not just moral and emotional support from their guides and parents but also few tactics to effectively sail through this period, without causing any hindrance to their performance. Some of them are:  

Right time assessment & management   

Effective time management has been a basic disciplinary habit for the preparation of every competitive exam. Imbibing this value has now become all the more crucial because students have to juggle between online and offline studying time. Factors such as poor network, delay in starting of classes, non-availability of structured study material, quality of material available online, would be different variables affecting their course of preparation. Thereby, the need for them to multi-task remains inevitable, also they must not let their dedication and passion mellow down due to such interruptions. Adaptability and flexibility are the ultimate mottos to follow.   

Segregate online and offline study material 

Most of the students take coaching classes for the preparation of competitive exams, while some resort to school learning only. In both cases, plan your schedule as per the availability of your mentors/teachers. Always keep a margin for self-studies, as grasping the concepts is most successful when students make efforts to comprehend themselves. The study material available online is vast and scattered, organise it as per the usefulness and your paper pattern. Be open with your teachers/mentors and seek guidance from them for better study material.  

Practice previous year papers 

This practice of attempting previous years’ question papers is extremely crucial as it presents a fair picture to you about the scale of your preparation. Many coaching institutes are conducting online mock sessions to give their students a clear idea about their standing amongst fellow aspirants. Such institutions also conduct multi-city tests among their several branches, which prepares the student for appearing at the national level. These mock tests in Pre-COVID times began usually from the month of October and go up to April for letting the students get a good hold of the qualifying pattern. 

Breaks are really important  

Breaks help you beat the boredom. The numerical, derivatives, and problem- solving can take a toll on a student’s mind. Retention levels deteriorate if one studies at a stretch. It is advisable by the experts to take smaller breaks in between for improving retention and also engaging in something more relaxing for the mind. It can be listening to music, taking a walk, painting, or any other activity which makes students feel at ease.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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COVID-19 online education

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