Phew!!!.. just finished the 2nd last exam of my active student life.. Now just 3 more months and 1 more exam left.. and then I'll bid adieu to something I have been for the last 20 years.. i.e. a student.. Not sure whether that will be a good thing or bad.. But it’s inevitable all the same..
I’ve always been reasonably good in studies.. used to be the topper in school and college.. and am in the fringes of the top bracket in NITIE too.. Sometimes I try to figure out the reason for it.. after much thought, I’ve come to believe, “Some toppers are born brilliant.. others make it through hard work.. and there are others, who just get lucky!!” .. I guess I belong to the 3rd category..
Having observed myself and my batchmates over so many years, I have developed my own theories about studies and grades.. So, here is “The Jackal’s Guide to Good Grades”-
1. “Don’t work hard, work smart”- You do not need to mug up entire chapters and books to get good grades.. For every topic, mug up only as much as is required to fill up 3 to 4 pages in the answer sheet..
2. “Do your homework”- Go through all previous question papers.. and make calculated guesses about what may be asked.. NEVER waste time over niche and esoteric topics..
3. “Study for marks, not for knowledge”- Don’t waste time trying to understand things like why space and time get warped at higher velocities.. Concentrate on “What” and not on “Why”... Trust me, this saves a lot of mental energy..
4. “Know your Prof.”- Know what type of answers the checker of your paper likes.. does he/she prefer global fart?? Or plain concepts?? Does he/she read the answer sheet?? Or weigh them before giving marks??.. and mould your answers accordingly..
5. “Write big, if not bigger”- Double your font size in the exam.. use the 5 * 10 Rule.. Write not more that 10 lines per page, each having not more than 5 words..
Caveat- All these were personal opinions based on statistically unverified empirical evidence. These are not necessary and sufficient conditions.