20 Dec

We have different styles of study. Some like to read and remember, some others like to read and understand the phenomenon and still others like to practice by writing and solving.  If we want to do well in IIT JEE, we should have skills in all three areas:

  • Reading and remembering
  • Conceptual understanding
  • Practice

Every subject requires all three skills.

Reading and memorizing

Whatever we read gets retained in the head as memory. We can recall from our memory when we are needed to do so. It has been observed that we tend to remember better if we have written something ourselves. We are required to reproduce these things at will while solving problems.

We have to learn the formulae. One can understand their source by going through the derivations, wherever possible. However, eventually, what matters is that we know the formula. We can learn/remember all formulae by reading, writing, and revising them again and again. It helps to have a compendium of all formulae.

For example, if we don’t understand the derivation of formulae in mathematics, we won’t be able to apply formulae effectively. However, while solving problems, one does not have the luxury of time to derive it. So, it must be pulled out of our memory instantaneously.

Conceptual understanding

It is critical to understand the conceptual framework of a subject. It is important to understand the flow of the logic in the argument being put by the narrator. The examples and illustrations used should fit well into our understanding. We observe various phenomena around us in everyday life. Physics and chemistry attempt to explain the reason behind these phenomena through various concepts, laws, deductions etc. We should gain a thorough understanding of the system / concept being explained, before attempting to learn any formulae or solve any problems. This can be done, with the help of examples. Apply the concept to different real life situations and predict the outcome. If the understanding is correct, the outcomes predicted will be right. Conceptual, theoretical questions are a great way to check ones learning of concepts.

Practice

After writing down the formulae required and applying the concepts, we still have to solve the mathematical equations. Solving problems is a skill. If there is no limit to the time available, a lot of students may end up solving all the problems in a test. However, the key is to solve maximum number of problems in a given amount of time, which is the duration of the test. The best performer manages to solve maximum number of problems in the given time. This needs practice. In a competition, we don’t want to lose time in experimenting, deriving etc. If we have practiced enough, we would know the exact manner in which a problem can be solved. This saves time in solving a problem and gives s extra time to solve others. Therefore, to score high in a competition, practice is a must.

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