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Cultivate the right attitude

The object of study is knowledge, not just passing in the examinations and obtaining a qualification. Approach the subject with an intention of learning the subject and improving your mind.

Keep a balance

Do not take your studies too seriously. Remember the "Law of Diminishing Returns" - after a certain point, you actually produce or absorb less if you put in more work.

Threshold varies from person to person. You will have to discover yourself what your own optimum is.

Organisation and Efficiency

Organise yourself to perform most efficiently. Try to develop a routine regarding the following:

Time of study: If your mind is sharpest early in the morning, utilise an hour or two of this time for reading or writing. Place of study: Find out which working environment suits you the best, and try to maintain it. The library? Your own room? In solitude, or with a study partner? Background music? Well-lighted room or just a pool of light at your desk?

Avoid delay: Procrastination is the thief of time. Do not let backlogs build up. Just like cumulative toxicity, one fine day you will realize that there are too many things to do and too little time. If you fall behind in your work, each succeeding lecture will be much more difficult, since it assumes some prior knowledge.

Neatness: Cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind. Keep a tidy desk, organise all your notes so that you need not waste time and lose concentration searching for them. This neatness reflects in your answer paper.

Be ahead Keeping ahead of the lecturer or demonstrator


Students can compile two kinds of notes: records and study notes. Records are essentially a summary of a lecture, an article, a chapter, or the like. The originator of the text - the lecturer or author, dictates the form of such notes. On the other hand, in case of the study notes the student decides the form. Their purpose is to sum up the subject, not someone else's view of the subject. Records made from class notes, text book or a journal will be replaced by more streamlined study notes.

Pointers for making records:

Pointers for making study notes:


Reading is vastly different from listening to lectures. Lecture is like a movie, you don't have control over sequence of events (unless you are watching a video). Reading is visiting an art exhibition. You don't have to begin at the beginning or go till the end. You have access to any part of the information at any stage. You can read the conclusion at the very outset (often a sensible policy unless you are reading a detective novel!). You can skip unimportant chapters. You can re-read crucial or tricky chapters. Three useful guidelines for reading:

  1. Make yourself comfortable.
  2. Limit length of each session (20 to 40 minutes is optimum). Have a break after each session.
  3. Define the task. Set yourself a specific amount of material to cover within a specific amount of time.