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How to prepare for your Engineering Exams in the Age of Digital Distraction?

Here are few tips on how you can prepare for your engineering exams without getting distracted

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Jan 20, 2017: Are you unable to sit for more than half an hour at a stretch while studying? Is it impossible to do more than 2-3 pages before your mind wanders off into another world far away from your JEE studies? Well then, welcome to the digital age of today with plenty of distractions to offer. Either it is the constant pinging of Whatsapp messages, Facebook updates, MySpace, Instant Messenger, email updates or the surrounding noise – no matter what there is some distraction everywhere you go.

The internet earlier a pool of knowledge has taken over our lives in a different way all together today. Hence Generation ‘Y’ while enjoying the benefits of technology; also needs to tackle it prudently if they really want to get on the right career path. Research shows that studying without full concentration may not be enough to memorize the information correctly. But competitive exams for engineering like JEE are tough and require your complete focus. Also it has been observed that over indulging in games might stress the mind as it requires significant brain exercise. So while you might be tempted to play another candy crush game on your phone, it may be wiser to ignore the urge.

So here are few tips on how you can prepare for your engineering exams without getting distracted.

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Get some peace and quiet

It’s hard to study productively if your little brother is watching his favorite sitcom or listening to music on a blaringly high volume in the same room! If you feel family members are likely to bother you with constant chatter or involve you in household chores, then it is best to go to a place like a library or a study where there is some peace or quiet. Or just lock yourself away with the door shut, and a “Do Not Disturb” sign. Let your family know you are studying for those many hours a day to get the best out of your study time. Also while you are at it, avoid peeping into your WhatApp or Facebook updates by trying to train your mind not to wander but study with full concentration for that much time.

Study productively

You have gotten the peace and quiet, but it is highly possible your mind is still wandering, and you are unable to ignore your phone messages and chats. Research shows that your mind can grasp and study something much faster in the morning as compared to night. So try studying the most difficult or tiresome subjects in the morning. Also if you feel that concentrating on the same topic for too long is not for you, then consider changing the subjects for being able to get more from your allotted 2-3 hours of study. To absorb more information modify the subject or topic every 1-2 hours. Also take short breaks by doing stretches or getting up and walking around. It will pump blood around the body sending oxygen to the brain hence helping you concentrate more.

Get motivated and set goals

Engineering exams are tough, and you might lose interest midway struggling through the studies; get motivated by talking to friends and family who have taken the exam earlier and did well. Consider joining an online coaching class so that you will be able to pace and manage your studies better with the help of the classes as they set pre-planned time limits for completion. Before joining the class, you can always check reviews such as Aakash Coaching review if you are planning to enroll in Aakash classes. Moreover, if you are watching, for instance, Aakash Coaching review, then on YouTube you will also find several motivational videos of students who have done well in their exams. Watching them could also help egg you on to study for longer hours and be more inspired to study.

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Get into a routine

Research states that our brain will do the same thing each day automatically if you condition it that way. Hence set a time most favorable for you when you feel your productivity is the highest. Then once you start studying at that time each day, it will become a habit, and you will easily get into the mood to study at that time each day. This way your concentration too will increase, making it easier for you to get into the right frame of mind to study- whether you like the subject or not.

 Reward yourself

If you are studying hard, then don’t forget to give yourself an incentive! It will help keep you self-motivated to study each day and look forward to the reward time. So for instance, if you love sweets, then promise yourself a delicious treat at your favorite dessert parlor if you finish that painful chapter. Or maybe plan a movie outing with your friends at the end of the week if you manage to complete the allocated portion. By knowing you have something to look forward to when you finish your studies; you will be more likely to get stuck in. Additionally, an outing with the friends will help your mind relax and be more alert the next day to study harder.

Finally remember to always be optimistic by telling yourself that whatever you do the outcome will be good. The power of a positive attitude and being interested in your revision makes studying and getting good results for your engineering exams much easier.

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Conventional vs Unconventional Classroom

So where would you be learning, conventional or an unconventional classroom?

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online Training
Unlike the conventional learning in a classroom, online training makes the content available for students digitally. Flickr

Learning is the process of acquiring new skills or knowledge and for quite some time students have followed the process of enrolling in an offline centre to learn and study from the material provided but now, there is a new and an unconventional approach to upskilling yourself and that is through online learning.

While I was growing up, if I ever wanted to learn a new skill, I had to travel a minimum of 2-3 kms to the nearest learning or tuition centre to enquire and then enrol for the desired training. Though there were interactions with the teacher, but inhibitions got the better of me and with time, because of all the unresolved doubts, the learning started to become monotonous and I lost interest. But online learning has made that journey for a student interesting, fun and a cakewalk. You can relax in your seat while the knowledge is displayed on your screen and ask all that you wish to.

To begin with, what is online learning?

Unlike the conventional learning in a classroom, online learning makes the content available for students digitally. Students can learn online, anywhere and anytime. Instead of physical copies of books, e-learning uses visual content and gamification.

To help you understand the differences better I would like to compare both the classrooms and the learning associated on the basis of parameters that are essential for an overall learning.

1.       Affordability: 

In offline centres or conventional classrooms there are a lot of miscellaneous expenses incurred and hence the fee structure is designed accordingly.

Whereas in online learning, students’ aim is to learn so companies spend resources only on developing the content and thereby lowering the cost of the training.

From text to graphics, this software does it all. Pixabay
In offline centres or conventional classrooms there are a lot of miscellaneous expenses incurred and hence the fee structure is designed accordingly. Pixabay

2.       Flexibility and convenience:

In a conventional classroom, if you miss a class it gets difficult to grasp the topic and understand what is being taught. The classes have to be attended on fixed days
and timings, offering almost no flexibility. Whereas in online learning, the classes can be taken as per your availability and thus giving you an opportunity to design your own curriculum. You could also watch the classes over and understand the topics in-depth.

3.       Answers to your questions:

While learning, doubts might arise about the topic being taught but students usually hesitate in asking questions in a classroom. Whereas in online learning, you are an anonymous user and your doubts, as frivolous they may be, can be asked without any hesitation.
4.       Practical experience:
The learning journey in a conventional classroom is about reading and grasping, it involves little or none practical applications of the learnings. Whereas in online learning, the training is designed in such a manner that the content is informative and involves practical applications as well. The test and assignments in the module are made to ensure that the student has a holistic growth.

Also Read- Apple Watch Helps Users in US Take ECG

Only 20 percent of the five million students who graduate every year get employed, industry lobby Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) said in a report, published last year.

The competition is stiff and is going to get worse with time so It essential to make yourself stand out from the rest to increase your chances of getting hired. The certificate you will receive at the successful completion of the training will help in making the employer realise that you have relevant skills and in-depth knowledge about the subject.

So where would you be learning, conventional or an unconventional classroom?

About the Author: Sarvesh Agrawal is the Founder and CEO of Internshala, an internship and trainings platform. (Internshala.com)