Studying for a targeted competitive exam while in college can prove to be a very hectic lifestyle. While competitive exams are the prioritised factor in this case, the college studies cannot be avoided and are required to be balanced with your preparation. Be it CA, UPSC CSE, CAT or any other competitive exam, it requires a lot of dedication and perseverance to be cleared. Balancing this with the college studies and other college activities is quite challenging for the students.

This article will discuss the best strategies that a student can follow to prepare for competitive exams while they are in college.

  1. Time management is the key

Your success in the competitive exam will be a reflection of how well you are able to manage your time each day. Since you will have a lot to do – preparing for competitive exam, studying for college, taking out time for hobbies, focusing on your health, etc., – you need a personalised, properly planned and managed schedule for each day.

  • It is advised that you plan your day in advance, either one night before the day or early in the morning.
  • Do not overpromise yourself. Consider your grasping power and allot your study targets accordingly.
  • If you are not getting enough time for preparation by attending college on a daily basis, you can consider taking a leave once or twice in a week. However, keep in mind the minimum attendance requirements.
  • The idea is to be consistent over a long time, not extremely productive for a few days. Prepare a schedule while keeping this in time. Don’t overburden yourself.
  • Make sure that you leave sufficient free slots to recharge yourself. Don’t expect yourself to be productive 24×7.
  • 2. Do not procrastinate on college studies

A lot of students make this mistake. While focusing on their preparation for competitive exams, they procrastinate on college studies and leave it for the exam time. This is seriously unadvisable.

  • This leads to a very great amount of stress during your college examinations. Almost 1 month will be lost in stress and preparing for exams. The stress of not being able to do justice with your competitive preparation during this time will be an addition.
  • Even for 1-2 hours in a day, keep covering your college syllabus consistently to avoid this havoc. You can also allot some days in a week or month for solely studying college syllabus and you can focus on your competitive preparation entirely on other days.
  • 3. Learn to say ‘NO’

The most useful skill you will ever learn is the skill to say ‘NO’ to the things that will damage your strategy.

A lot of times, students aren’t able to deny invitations from friends or relatives, even if they don’t want to join, due to the apprehension of ‘they might feel bad’. This leads to wastage of a lot of time which was supposed to go for preparation.

Saying ‘NO’ politely and choosing to strictly stick with your strategy and plan is a very rare skill, and the most important one, especially in cases where there is a time crunch.

This is an essential requirement especially for students preparing for competitive exams while in college.

  • 4. Consistency over Motivation

This would be a long journey. Motivation, although it plays a very important role to act as a catalyst for preparation, it cannot be relied upon solely.

Motivation is a fluctuating state of mind, it may go up and down each day. If you plan to study only when you are motivated, it will cost you a lot.

The key to crack any exam is to base your studies on consistent habits, which will help you over a long period of time.

The goal must be to study consistently, irrespective of your motivation levels.

  • It is fine to take a break when you feel extremely demotivated, once or twice in a month.
  • However, don’t let your daily motivation levels affect your daily productivity.
  • 5. Do not neglect your health

A very important and often neglected factor. Keeping yourself healthy is extremely important throughout your preparation.

  • You must allot sufficient time daily for your health. Exercise, meditate, and eat good healthy food.
  • Even if you get a regular cold, it might destroy at least 2-3 days of your preparation. Prevention of such instances is a better option.
  • Also, do not compromise on your sleep schedule. Sleep for at least 7-8 hours per day to maintain your productivity levels.

Although balancing college and competitive exams is a quite challenging task, it can be tackled smoothly by following an organised and managed strategy.

All the best!

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