Many students who are preparing for JEE have the misconception that the only way to study and learn a concept is to re-read it multiple times. This is not true. Simply reading from a textbook or study material doesn’t engage you with the concepts at all. For competitive exam preparation like IIT JEE, you need better study methods to understand concepts and topics.
Top 6 Study Methods to Understand Concepts for IIT JEE
- Ask yourself questions from the topic.
- Learn concepts by examples.
- Combine diagrams and words.
- Retrieve the information on your own (Test yourself).
- Avoid procrastination.
- Get proper sleep and rest.
1. Ask yourself questions from the topic
After reading a topic, ask yourself questions about why and how things work. The specific questions that you ask yourself will depend on the topics you are studying. Questions might include: Why does x happen? How does y happen? What are the similarities and differences between x and y?
As you ask yourself questions, find the answers in your study material (your textbook, class notes, any materials your teacher has provided, etc.).
2. Learn concepts by examples
When you’re studying a topic, try to think about how you can turn the topic or concept you’re learning into concrete examples i.e. use specific examples to understand abstract concepts. You can find examples by remembering what your teacher told in the class, searching your notes and other classroom materials. You can also look out for real examples around you as you go about your day.
Note : It’s important to make sure your examples are correct. If possible, verify with your teacher.
3. Combine diagrams and words
When you’re studying a topic from a textbook or study material, find diagrams that go along with the theory and compare the diagrams directly to the words. Ask yourself, how are the words describing what is in the diagrams? How do the diagrams represent what is described in the text?
Now, look at only the diagrams and explain what they mean in your own words. Then, take the words from your textbook/ material and draw your own diagrams to go along with them. Be creative while drawing the diagrams. You do not need to reproduce the exact diagrams you see in your material.
4. Retrieve the information on your own (Test yourself)
Study up to the point where you can put away your textbook or study material and write out the topic in words and diagrams. When you have produced everything you can remember, go back to your material and check for incorrect information. It is very important to find out what you’ve missed or what you don’t understand.
Once you have identified this information, go back to the previous steps to understand the points you missed or did not understand. Then you can perform this step again!
Ask from teachers if you don’t understand the concept even after 2-3 attempts.
5. Avoid procrastination
Procrastination is a serious problem. If you avoid studying regularly, the above methods won’t help you. This study process may not work well in a short time (when you hustle during the last few months before the exam). You need to plan and execute a study schedule now.
6. Get proper sleep and rest
Lack of sleep can cause impairments to attention, problem solving, and decision making. Even 1-2 hours of less sleep each night can have adverse effects on your learning. Getting proper sleep after studying improves performance later, especially for understanding concepts and problem solving.
Finally, make sure you plan enough time to truly understand the concept and work your way up to being able to retrieve the information you learned by testing yourself.
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