How many hours should I study at home?
Some of you out there must be toppers of your class or among the top 10% of your class. But that is just a performance in your class or best at a school level. It means till now you have been competing among a small student base of 50 - 1000 students.
But once you start preparing for IITJEE or AIEEE entrance, the competition is huge. This year in 2008, over 3.2 lakh students appeared in IITJEE and over 9 lakh in AIEEE. So my advice is that you seriously need to scale up your efforts to face the competition.
Are you ready for this?
You need to prepare yourself mentally as well as physically to face this competition. Mentally, you need to think wide when you think of competition you are facing. Remember there are more than 10000 schools (just CBSE) in India. So don’t get defocused and remember that you have to compete with unknowns.
Most of you would have scored well in your school level examinations by not even spending 20 hours on studies at home. This is not going to be enough with such a huge competition. You need to scale up your efforts and set a target of 50-55 hours studies at home every week.
But just sitting in front of the books for these 50-55 hours is not enough. You have to study with full concentration, no disturbance, and continuously for 3 hour sessions. The idea is to simulate real exam conditions. While studying, you have to create an atmosphere as if you are sitting in exam. Avoid doing following during a 3 hours session:
- Study on a desk if you have it at home. Avoid studying while lying down on a bed.
- Don’t get up from your desk during 3 hours of study session. Even not for drinking water.
- Don’t listen music during studies. If you have a habit, then slowly come out of it by reducing it day by day.
- No phone calls and no SMS during studies.
- Study with 100 percent concentration as if you are sitting in exam.
Note: to make up 50-55 hours you need to study 6-7 hours every day during the week and remaining 20-25 hours over the weekend
Things U Should Avoid
Things you should start avoiding immediately
Remember that for next 2 years you have to give your best to get admission in a good college. So to take out 55 hours every week, you need to sacrifice some of your time sucking activities.
If you are involved in any of the following activities mentioned below, I suggest you should stop it immediately:
Avoid too much socializing: Avoid too much talking on phone with your friends. Not more than 15-30 minutes every day. Keep yourself away from family discussions. Don’t get into arguments with parents and brothers/sisters. It just wastes your time and energy. Be selfish to focus on your career. Say NO or avoid social functions and visits at relatives.
Avoid long hours on TV, Internet and games: TV serials, movies, matches are real time and energy suckers. If you are too much into TV, cut down immediately. Don’t spend more than 1 hour in front of TV every day.
Internet is the biggest addiction of all time. Real time sucker. Don’t sit on computer for more than 1 hour unless you have to appear for 100percentile tests. To save your time you need to choose TV or Internet browsing or video games. Don’t spend more than 1 hour average daily on any of these activities.
Avoid outdoor sports: Those who are playing physical games a lot should reduce them or should stop them. These games are very tiring. If you are physically tired, you would not be able to concentrate on studies. So for physical activities, I suggest evening walk or light exercise either in the morning or evening.
Avoid night-outs : Those who study late nights, sleep whole day. This is a bad schedule. If you don’t sleep well in the night, you will feel sleepy in school and in your coaching classes. So best is you should sleep for 7 hours any time between 10 PM to 9 AM. Those who don’t get study atmosphere at home in the day time, in worst case they should study till 2.00 AM and get up at 9.00 AM.
Avoid too long or two short sleep hours: It you are sleeping more than 8 hours, stop it immediately. You should target for 7 hours sleep every day. Also avoid day time sleeping for more than 90 minutes. Preferably it should be a nap of 1 hour. Those you could manage to sleep less, I would not recommend a sleep of less than 5-6 hours. If body is tired, mind cannot function properly.
Avoid going to school daily: If you can manage to take school leaves, then you should go school less. But don’t take off from school regularly. I suggest that if possible, go to school not more than 4 times a week. School studies are not going to play important role in your career at this stage. Even school studies should be done just before the exams say 1-2 weeks before exams.