Don’t worry, it happens with almost all of us. When you are not able to grasp a topic, here are the things you can do to understand the topic (or subject) in JEE/NEET preparation.
When You Fail to Understand a Topic or Concept
- Do not stop immediately after reading once, if you are not able to understand it. Keep re-reading two or three times.
- Study examples carefully. They help you to relate concepts to real world things. You can understand theory better with the help of examples.
- Break down the topic into several parts. Learn one by one. Visualise things. Draw diagrams to understand the concepts well.
- The topic may have some prerequisites that you need to learn first, some basics concepts, terms, etc. Search and learn topics/concepts that are required to master the topic in hand.
- When you read something, translate it into your own words. Talk to yourself. It helps.
- Highlight the important terms that you are not understanding. Search online or ask someone to explain them to you.
- If you can understand the beginning, it’s easier to learn the middle and later part. If the part you are reading depends on understanding something much earlier in the book, turn back to it and read it again.
- Talk to someone who knows the topic, a subject expert. Get a teacher to help you with this. [You can book online session with an IITian]. It’s way more efficient to ask for help so that you can move forward quicker. Saves a lot of time and stress.
- Are you getting distracted regularly during studies? If yes, you need a better study environment. Remove all possible distractions. [Related post : How to stop homework/assignments distractions in JEE/NEET preparation?]
- Take a short break. Maybe your mind needs some relax time, free of any thoughts. You can meditate, a bit of exercise, play something, etc. Come back and read the topic again. You may grasp the topic now.
- Don’t remain stuck on a problem for a long time. It’s good that you are not giving up and trying hard to solve the problem, but your time is precious, you need to be careful of how long you can manage to stay on a problem. Sometimes asking the problem next day from the teacher is more easier than wasting all the time in trying to solve it.
- Recognise where you get stuck. Be persistent. Don’t get frustrated by thinking like, “I just don’t understand it!” Concentration level needs to be higher when you don’t understand anything. Be motivated to achieve your goal. It helps in improving your concentration.
“When you get stuck in understanding a subject or topic, it probably means that you are on the threshold of learning something that will prove important to your future understanding of many things.” – Richard Muller (Prof Physics, UC Berkeley).