Career Counselling Advice

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How Should We Study?

How should we study?

Exams are coming closer, closer and closer. Some of you might be getting very tensed up. Some of you may be saying, “It is okay yaar, I will deal with it”. But in either case we will be having a lot of people who will be telling you study hard, study hard, study more. Actually I do not believe in that, you know. I do not think studying hard gets you results. I think studying smart gets you results. What do you mean by this thing called ‘study smart’? It means being able to know when to study. There are times when you need to study and there are times when you do not need to study. It means to know where to study. Oh my god, it makes so much difference where and how you study, you know that. And then comes the techniques, how to study. There are different ways of studying. What suits you should be the one that you should pick up. Once you do that then you become selective, what to study. After you have mastered this or while you are mastering it, there will be one question that you will need to ask yourself that it is why to study. Why study at all? Is it just to get that a bit extra marks, no, it is much more than that. So, what I am going to do is, I am going to take you through this process of when to study, where to study, how to study, what to study and why to study. If you understand these concepts, believe me, you will not only do much better in the exams, you will have true learning taking place. What goes in will remain permanently with you. Okay, best of luck.

Let us now talk about how to study. Some people study hard, some people study smart, which category do you belong to? You go on studying, you go on mugging. You get up in the morning and say I am going to do nothing but study. You know you are like that woodcutter, who wanted to chop so many trees that he forgot to sharpen the saw. You will have to sharpen your mental saw from time to time. Each person is unique and I am not going to tell you how you are going to study, you are going to find out by yourself. There are some of us who open up a book and sit down, read peacefully and they get it. There are some who are auditory people, you may be the type of person who when you speak loudly, when you read loudly it gahers in. Simple, read one chapter softly and read one chapter loudly and see which of one you are grasping better. See if writing down notes helps you. See if writing down just small bullet points helps you. See if walking up and down, stretching a little bit here and there and then reading helps you or just sitting in one place all the time. See if you are the visual type, you like to highlight the most important definition, the formulae and stuff like that, so that you can go back to that. See If you are the kinesthetic type, I know of students who actually keep a white board or a black board in their house and they take a marker and they start writing down. When they write down they realize that they are able to study better. So there are different ways of doing it but you have to find out which is the one which is most suitable to you.

There is one good time-proven method for studying, which is called the ‘SQ3RT ‘. ‘S’ means survey. Survey the topic , survey the subject, survey the textbook, how many chapter there are, what do they deal with. What are good, what are easy, what are difficult, do that entire survey. Like how you survey a locality to decide whether this place is good or not. Then ‘Q’ question yourself, why am I studying this? What will I get out of this? How does this connect to that? How this chapter is connected to that chapter. Ask questions, your curiosity goes up. Then comes the ‘3Rs’. Read, review and revise,. Read it first, review it what you have learnt and after a gap, may be at the end of the day, may be the next day, or after a week’s time revise it. A lot of students who keep complaining that I study, I understand, and I comprehend, but when I go for the exams, I forget what I studied. It is because they have not done periodic revision. It may be there in your mind, you know what happens to the mind, it slowly starts sinking, going lower and lower like your facebook posts. So what you have to do is to keep pushing it up. So what took you one hour to study initially and you were trying to understand it, revise it in five minutes, it will become fresh in your mind. The last is ‘T’ test yourself. Why do you think schools give first preparatory, second preparatory, third preparatory, because the more you practice the better you are when you finally face the exams. So why wait for the school to give you one of those preps and this and that, do your own testing, give yourself a half an hour test, give yourself one hour test. I have read the chapter and now close it and write down all that I remember about that thing. Ask yourself certain questions and reflect and keep writing in that.

How should we study?

Now let me give you one very nice technique. This is a time-proven thing. It is called mind mapping. Take a subject. Let us say you are not very fond of history, you are forcing yourself to read it. Take a piece of KG cardboard or something, a piece of paper, start writing like this with a pencil. Why pencil, because if there is a need you can rub it out and redo the whole thing as and when required.

So now what I am going to do is, I am studying history. I am going to divide history into the sections. Let us say the sections are old history, medieval history, modern history, independence history etc. Do not ask me whether this is correct or not, because I also do not know much of history. Anyway supposing these are the sections, so I divide them into four sections. Then what I am going to do, I take one of the sections. I take post independence history, so I say independence struggle, then I say emergency period then I say something else so I divide it into three or four parts. Once I have done that ask yourself how much I know about this. 1 means I know everything, 2 means I know something, 3 means I know nothing. Now this one was a little interesting so I write against it 1. This one I know a little bit, I am not very sure so I write 2. This one gone over my head, so I write no 3. Once you mark this out, whenever you sit down to study, start with reading no 3. Where ever it comes, even if it is in the middle of a chapter or paragraph, read this when your mind is fresh. Then spend shorter time doing number 2 and then just spend 2 or 3 minutes revising number 1 because this you know already. So every time this happens you keep doing this and every time you feel like you are learning something rub the number 3 and make it number 2, rub the number2 and make it number 1. As your exams come closer you will develop the confidence 3s are becoming 2s, and 2s are becoming 1s. Your confidence goes up and you know as the time keeps getting shorter and shorter what should I spend time on studying. Once you do that, you will not have examination stress, you will be able to happily face the exams.

Best of luck.

This is a transcript of a video talk by Dr. Ali Khwaja: How should we study?

By Ali Khwaja

 

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When Should We Study?

When should we study?

Exams are coming closer, closer and closer. Some of you might be getting very tensed up. Some of you may be saying, “It is okay yaar, I will deal with it”. But in either case we will be having a lot of people who will be telling you study hard, study hard, study more. Actually I do not believe in that, you know. I do not think studying hard gets you results. I think studying smart gets you results. What do you mean by this thing called ‘study smart’? It means being able to know when to study. There are times when you need to study and there are times when you do not need to study. It means to know where to study. Oh my god, it makes so much difference where and how you study, you know that. And then comes the techniques, how to study. There are different ways of studying. What suits you should be the one that you should pick up. Once you do that then you become selective, what to study. After you have mastered this or while you are mastering it, there will be one question that you will need to ask yourself that it is why to study. Why study at all? Is it just to get that a bit extra marks, no, it is much more than that. So, what I am going to do is, I am going to take you through this process of when to study, where to study, how to study, what to study and why to study. If you understand these concepts, believe me, you will not only do much better in the exams, you will have true learning taking place. What goes in will remain permanently with you. Okay, best of luck.

Now let me talk to you about when to study. Ideal time to start studying is right now, actually it was yesterday. We all procrastinate, it does not matter if you have lost time, it does not matter if the exams are coming pretty close, but now is the time to really get going. Do not tell yourself that I have got three months more, I have got one month more, I have got some many days more, no. Inevitably, there is that Murphy’s law no, if something has to go wrong it will go wrong and that is what happens when you are preparing for your exams. There will be some wedding, there will be some party, you fall sick, somebody will have go somewhere and you will realize that you are losing that many days. So start at the earliest and tell yourself that you have 20-30% less number of days then you actually have for the exams, calculate in that way. Now look at what we refer to as your biological clock. There is a clock inside you which keeps telling you when you are fresh and up and all that, when you are little down and out. There are some of us who are morning people, there are some of us who are daytime people, there are some of us who are evening people and there are some of us who are midnight people, you find out what you are good at. Once you find out those different timings and when you could do that then study the most boring, the most difficult, the most important subjects at a time when you are fresh. The time you are feeling down and out and this and that do not neglect it, do not say I am not going to study, do study but do some revision, catch up with some of the easy subjects, just read something which you have already read out earlier or something of that sort. Then there is one more thing about when to study, remember that you need to take breaks. Not everybody can study at a stretch for 2 hours, 3 hours. Again it is your biological clock, some of us can sit for two hours and study, some of us one hour, some of us 20 minutes. It does not matter, when you feel that after 20 minutes my concentration goes down take a break, even a 2 minute break helps. Time is very very important. You will start getting tensed up but those 2 minutes will help you to concentrate for another 20 minutes, 40 minutes or whatever it is. At the same time, remember, do not study when you are sleepy that is obvious and you know that. Do not study when you are hungry and do not study when your stomach is absolutely full. In fact during these days try and see if you can have smaller and more often meals. If you are used to having three meals, make it four meals, four and a half meals. So your stomach is never empty. If you had breakfast at 7 and you go on studying till 1 o’ clock or 2 o’ clock, take a break at 11 and have a snack to eat and if you just had your lunch and you are feeling absolutely full go around for a walk or something of that sort. The other thing to remember is that if you have something pending, some task is to be done, I have to get going on something or I have to do something, either go and finish off and come back so that you are free in your mind or if it is not possible to do it right now then jot it down, write it on a piece of paper, take a piece of paper and write down after this I have to before the shops close and buy this, this and write it down and put it away in one corner. Now you know that when you are through with your studies that task will be there and you will not forget the thing.

When should we study?

Talking about time, a lot of people say, I did not get time to revise. I did not get enough time to practice those sums or something. Nobody has time management issues, we only have priorities. Remember that everybody has 24 hours, but you prioritize is what comes up.

Then lastly, one of the most important thing that we forget is, what are your time wasters. Please make a list of what are your time wasters. Most of us are now aware of how much of time we spend on the phone. In a day, if you think that you spend only 30 minutes on the phone and when you actually check out, pull out your phone and check on that day how much time I have spent on the phone you will be shocked to realize that it was 72 minutes instead of 30 minutes. So list out all your time wasters and each one of them start cutting down. Let me not spend too much time on the phone, let me not spend too much time on this, list that down and do it at least till the exams are over. Once the exams are over you will have all the time in the world to do whatever you want, enjoy yourself. This is the time for you to focus your time, to control your time and give the best shot.

This is a transcript of a video talk by Dr. Ali Khwaja: When should we study?

By Ali Khwaja

 

 

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Career guidance tips: Which career is the best?

In this column, Dr. Ali Khwaja, eminent career counsellor and life skills coach, shares his first hand experiences of interacting on a day-to-day basis over three decades with thousands of students from various backgrounds. Think deeply, and take the right choice for the right reasons.

Choosing your career is perhaps the most important decision you take in your life. The right choice, based on not just “scope” and what everyone else is doing, but on one’s own interest, inclination, aptitude and potential, can give a head start in this competitive world, and take you on the fast-track to success.

If there was a “best” career that everyone would aim for, then very soon its scope would drastically come down, because there will be too many people qualifying in that field. In fact this is what happened in the late nineties to IT and in the past few years to BT (biotechnology). Both are very challenging and promising fields. But whenever too many people rush towards them, the demand obviously comes down.

Keep in mind that when you choose a career and qualify in it, you will be working for almost fifty years in your chosen profession. Have a vision, don’t be carried away by which field the highest paid jobs are currently being offered in. In your working life, many times the “scope” of the career will go up and down. But if you choose wisely, and for the right reasons, you will continue to do well even when there is a recession in that field.

If you have finished your 10th, you are already on the crossroads where you have to start taking the most important decisions of your life. If you are coming close to the 10th standard, it is time to start narrowing down right now. If you are even further ahead academically, this is your last chance to steer towards your final goal. Introspect deeply.

Your career decisions should be based on the following factors:

  • Your interest (what you actually want to do for the rest of your life, what you will enjoy doing).
  • Your love for particular subjects, since they lay the foundation of the work you are going to be doing.
  • The lifestyle that you prefer, your personality characteristics, your extra-curricular interests.
  • Your aptitude – i.e. your potential to develop the skills required in any particular career.

Equally important is to know what the various career options are. The choice is increasing at a rapid pace, and you need not follow in the footsteps of the older generation. You can be part of a new, challenging, and thrilling vocation.

By Ali Khwaja

 

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Study tips: Should I work while studying?

Many students have a desire to earn some money or gain experience while they are studying. Some parents encourage, while others are apprehensive that work may distract the student, bring down his grades, put him into wrong company, or take away his motivation to study further. Those who do wish to work can follow these steps to determine the right balance:

  • First settle down in the new course you have taken up, whether it is PUC, degree or post-graduate. Get thoroughly familiar with your books, classes schedules, traveling time, and how are your energy levels.
  • List out the possible careers you are going to take up eventually. Ensure that the job you take up gives you some exposure or experience in one of them. Do NOT take up a job in a field of work that you will not be pursuing, even if the money is good.
  • Join an organization where the work culture is such that people share information with you. Do not get stuck in a monotonous repetitive job where you are doing the same tasks every day.
  • Do not make a long term commitment, and avoid organizations that slowly start extending your working hours. Periodically check whether you are able to keep up your academic standards while working, and ensure that your employer gives you holidays before your exams.
  • If at any time you feel uncomfortable with your work, or you find that you are too tired to keep up with your studies, quit immediately. Do not allow your short term earning to affect your long term success.
  • While working, ask your seniors to give you frank and critical evaluation of your work, your strengths and your achievements. This in turn will help you narrow down your long term career goals.

By Ali Khwaja

 

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Career Guidance

To help you make the right decisions, a time-proven and highly successful aptitude test and career counselling (career guidance) is done by Banjara Academy for students (who have completed 9th standard and above) as well as those wishing to change jobs or seek voluntary retirement. Each evaluation of the test is done personally by Dr Ali Khwaja (B.Tech (IIT), MIE, Ph.D (Counselling)), eminent trainer, mentor. Dr Ali Khwaja is a regular career counselling columnist in the Deccan Herald newspaper of Bengaluru. You can browse some of his career tips to students here. Please FILL in the form below for more info about Banjara Academy's APTITUDE TEST with Holistic, Personalized Career Guidance and Career Counselling.

  
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