What is the importance of time management in the CSIR NET exam or for that matter, any competitive exam?
Before we discuss the tips and tricks for time management in CSIR NET exam, let’s look at the famous Sanskrit shloka that describes five qualities a student should have.
“Kak chesta, bako dhyanam, shwan nidra tathaiva cha. Alphari, grih tyagi, vidyarthi panch lakshanam”
It means there are five characters to a student. First being, you have to put in efforts like a crow, you should have the concentration and focus like a duck or a swan, then you need to sleep lesser and be alert while sleeping also, just like how a dog sleeps, and you have to eat less. You have to be ready, ready even if you have to leave your home to learn. These are the five qualities of a Vidyarthi or a student.
Of course, this shloka was made ages ago. Thousands of years ago, it was framed by our forefathers. But you see, many of the tenets of this shloka holds true today also. So today while we are going to discuss time management for CSIR NET exam, let’s look at a few points, which you must critically think before you even start your preparation.
Preparation is all about planning. Will you sit on a plane if the pilot has not got any plan about how he’s going to fly the plane and reach the destination? Definitely not, right?. So how can you go in and try to execute something with a half baked plan? You need a solid plan and that is what we do very meticulously at Biotecnika.
We sit with students and plan it ahead. So in January 2020, we have to prepare this plan very meticulously and personalize it for every student. And in fact, you also should do that on your level, to make sure you are going to qualify. Remember, no greater teacher can help you qualify, your self-study is what helps you during those three hours of the exam.
So, before we discuss time management for CSIR NET exam, there are a few points for you to take care of. The first and foremost being, having the right tools and the right books.
It’s very important to have the right books right? You could see many students asking what are the right books for CSIR life science or chemical sciences on various online forums and platforms.
There are special books, standard books, and books provided by Biotecnika coaching available in front of you. You can see that the standard books are very detailed and you might take years to go through books on each unit and be a master of it. But your competitive exam is just six months or twelve months away. And these standard books are not written from the competitive exam point of view but written from the learning point of view. So for an exam-focused study, you should have books that are motivated by notes, which will help you recall things better. That’s where Biotecnika’s CSIR NET printed study material plays a major role. Don’t forget to check that out.
You can have plenty of books from different authors to study. But which one will you start from or how will you decide which one is the best? It will take months to figure out and by that time you would have approached your exam date. This is a common mistake done by the students by gathering books from all sources.
Don’t do that. Stick to one book. But before you stick to one book, how will you decide which one is the best? You need to do your market research to do that. Once you find the right book, stick to that and start your study.
The next important point is the right mentor. In fact, on YouTube and other platforms, you will find many gurus and mentors. Some of them could be very good and some could be bad, but what is very important here is that the mentor should be always ready to help you.
Because this is the era where people are busy, even your mentor could be busy. So you have to choose your mentor very carefully, or a team of mentors who will be beside you, as and when required. Now why this is very important is because mentors are not just teachers, they are the people who are going to sit with you throughout the journey of your preparation. So suppose today you are getting started, maybe after one month or two months when your motivation starts going down or when you are not understanding something, he or she should be available all the time exclusively for you. That’s the essence of having a very good mentor. And that’s what we do at Biotecnika.
What we have done is, we have got all the five centers as well as online, teachers available 24×7. So what happens is, it’s just like cloud computing, so in cloud computing, the servers are located across the globe, but all the power of the server you get at one place. Same way, all the teachers are located may be all across the world, but all that power is right inside your study portal. So when you log into the portal, you have all the teachers available, you can chat and they can immediately respond and you get all the doubts clarified.
Now whenever you feel low, do not hesitate in looking up to the mentors. We did a small experiment six months back, we started sending “good morning” messages to all the subscribers of Biotecnika, especially the people who enrolled with us. We started sending a personal email to them and saying, “Hey, good morning” along with a nice quotation.
So what happened is, as soon as the aspirant or our students started studying, they saw the motivation or motivational picture. This made them fully pumped up and fully ready, because, without motivation, you cannot do this, right? So, even though we are distantly located, whether you’re an online student or you’re a classroom coaching student, this motivation really helped. So that’s the power of having the right mentor.
Now, the next thing is having the right notes and making the right notes. You see, notes are something that has to be personalized. It has to, it is very personal to you, right? What happens is most of us or some of us, have been habituated of copying the topper’s notes, that’s not going to help in the CSIR NET exam. What is going to help us understand the points from the teacher, take down what are the important points according to you then re-revised it? Revising your own notes is some kind of relaxation after a workout. When you do a workout, what do you do next? You will do a relaxation session next, right? Revising your own notes is just like attending a class and then coming back and relaxing. So your mind is relaxing while you are again imbibing all those things. That’s very, very important here.
Next would be time management techniques for cracking CSIR NET exam. So, what exactly is time management? Let me give you an example. I will assume that you are going to give six months of your crucial time for this preparation.
So, let us assume that you’re not doing anything, except for the preparation. If that is the case, wake up at six o’clock, start your study at 7 am, study till 11 am, and then give a break from 11 to two o’clock, give a break, take your lunch, and then again start studying from 2 pm to 5 pm. Now, again give a break for two hours, start at seven o’clock go on till 11 pm. So this way you can have a very good breakup of the hours. Of course in the middle of this, you have to use the Pomodoro technique that is 45 minutes studying and 15 minutes of break or 15 minutes of revising or anything not really focusing on the study. Because continuous study is not very good for health. Also, it will help you have efficiency while studying because clocking ten hours of studying is not that matters, efficient ten hours of studying is what matters.
Time Management is important not only during the CSIR NET exam but also has importance throughout your entire preparation period. So, what are the benefits of time management? It reduces stress. When you want to learn something and you have assigned a deadline to you to finish this topic within the stipulated period of time, you will be much more stress-free and much more relaxed, if you manage whatever time you have allotted yourself. Not only that, you will be having all the happy hormones inside you by having a sense of achievement. Finishing something on time gives you absolute joy and an absolute sense of achievement which will bring more enthusiasm and more strength to go forward. You will be looking forward to completing the next task also within the stipulated time, the next day. That is why it increases your energy as well as productivity.
When you get a feeling that you were able to finish something on time, it will enhance your productivity more and more every day. Isn’t that what life is all about? Improving ourselves every day, right? Achieving a goal. How wonderful it feels when you want to achieve something and you do achieve it. It is an absolutely essential life skill in everyday life. But here we are talking about competitive exams. Yes, we do have to compete to get a stable career.
Time Management During CSIR NET Preparation
CSIR exam is still six months away, we just finished with one, but some more exams are popping up. The very close one is GATE next month. So how do you plan your preparation time? Best is you divide into time slots and that too on rotation in a week. For example, if you have decided to study some seven to eight units from the entire syllabus, or seven to eight subjects or seven to eight topics, assign day slots for units in a week. So assign topics one by one each day. Once you have done that, assign hour slots for subunits in a day. So for example, if you are planning to study cell biology, allot the morning hours for the membrane structure, and study organelle parts the latter half of the day. So that way, you will always be in a hurry to finish it.
Don’t set very unrealistic goals that you will not be able to achieve them and then at the end of the day, you will be disheartened and stop it all the way around. But who will decide what is the best way to keep realistic goals? You, yourself based upon your capabilities. Study not more than two units in a day, or you can keep two different subjects itself in a day. So you can take Monday and Tuesday. And then you choose two subjects, for example, molecular biology and microbiology. So you study molecular biology in the morning hours on Monday also and Tuesday also, and you study microbiology in the afternoon hours on both those days. And then you do the same thing with two other units. This way you can make sure you will not miss out on any particular subject. You’ll not feel that you’re only concentrating on only one subject. That way you are giving your concentration and focus and parallelly running your other units as well. Divide time slots for different activities under a topic.
So, now that you have given a particular time slot in a day as well, divide that particular time into four slots. Let’s say you’re going to study molecular biology in the morning section. During the first slot, just study the topic and understand the concept well. In the second slot, you have to go through some questions from the topic that you have just studied. You can either use the reference PowerPoint slides which are taught in the Biotecnika class, plus you can use the reference books as well.
So, in the second slot, you can go through some questions from the topic, from previous year questions and make note of the subtopics which you are not able to solve or grasp. Sometimes you might not be able to solve the question which was supposed to be from the topic you just studied. So, make note of that sub-topic. Some keywords will be there in the question, which means that you need to go through those properly or if you have not studied that at all, you need to go through it. So, try to solve more questions on those topics, till the time you get correct answers and confidently develop conceptual clarity.
In the end, just like you relax after a workout, you have to do a cooldown session. It’s the revision time. So, when you revise it, you are kind of engraving all that you have learned in your brain for a long time. So, whatever you have studied the previous day, you just revise it the next day, just a small bit so that you brush up the topics you studied before.
Time Management during the CSIR NET exam
Most of the students are not aware of the question paper format. You should know how many sections are there and how is the mark distributed. CSIR NET exam consists of three sections. So you have to know each section, what are the individual marks and how many questions from individual sections you should attend? Same for GATE also, you will have numerical type questions, MCQ and general aptitude questions. You have one mark questions and two mark questions. So you have to know how much and how many you need to attend, and what is the total marks. So, that gives you an idea of what you’re supposed to face and puts you in a better position to manage your time well in the exam. Actually that is the most crucial phase, right? So train your brain for the D-Day.
How would you do it for your exams? So before exams, learn how to manage your time, so that you get those top grades you have been working hard for. What you have to do is you have to set your priorities, which topic you are strong at, which topic you want to revise more, which topic can fetch you more marks. So you set your own priorities with which you are aiming to clear the exam and accordingly plan the way you are going to approach the exam. Practice a lot of mock exams from wherever source you can, previous year question papers or whatever mock tests Biotecnika provides you.
Create an exam hall environment, isolate yourself in a room, keep a water bottle with you, keep a pen, keep a rough work, and nothing else but the question paper. If required, take a printout of the paper and also keep a clock with you. And practice more and more question papers. Have a habit of sleeping early and waking up early, just a few days before the exams to put you into a very productive mode when you are actually attending the exam. If you have a habit of waking up late, say by Eight or Nine o’clock, you might not be so much productive and your brains won’t work the way you want them to be when you are at the exam hall at ten.
What do you do with the time that you get during exams? You have planned the preparation, you have also prepared well, and now is the time for execution. What are some efficient time management tips for CSIR NET exam?
When you enter the exam hall, the first thing to remember is to try to avoid the people who are panicking around you. You might see them very much fidgeting in their seat, very distracted, and having lots of stationery items around them. Having a water bottle, having some snacks, and a very panicky state. So try to just not look at them. You close your eyes and be calm.
If you panic, you will lose out on the precious time of your three hours. Start with scanning all the questions carefully and quickly plan which questions you’re going to opt for. Yes, you have to look out for the questions which you are confident with. You should start with some easy ones. And then you can speed up gradually. When you start with the easy ones, you will feel confident. And when you can solve the easy ones quickly, you will see that it’s happening very quickly. So you can buy yourself some extra time for the difficult questions. When you solve those difficult questions, you will feel that you have still time left and you can put in some effort and energy into it and you will feel a lot safer to play around with time.
Set a deadline for each section. Every question paper has different sections. For example, in the CSIR NET exam, you have a total of three sections. You can spend one and a half hours for Section C, as they contain four marks questions, and then you keep one hour for your part B because they contain direct two marks questions, and the last half an hour, you can keep for aptitude solving. Solving 15 questions in 30 minutes is quite achievable. Set your time frame such that you have at least 10 minutes left to go through the entire answer paper, once you are done to make sure you have not left out any questions. Maybe you’re missing out some easy questions and you’re missing out on a mark. Do not invest your time and energy more than that you have planned on a particular section. This is a very crucial tip.
If you have given a one and a half-hour time for Section C to attend 25 questions, accordingly you divide 90 minutes by 25 and how much ever time you’re getting, you should stick to that time for a particular question. If it is taking more than that, you leave it and move ahead. Typically if you’re not able to solve it within five minutes for Part C, or three minutes for part B, you should move on. Later, if you have time, you can come back again and try to solve it. It’s okay to leave out questions that is taking more time to solve. Because in order to solve that, you’re missing out on a lot of other questions as well. It is advisable to leave any question that you’re uncertain about for the end. So do not get stuck. That is the key to time management during CSIR NET exam.
In case you go blank and your brain freezes which happen some times, you simply begin writing anything, just start scribbling something about the question or the topic or something, you will see that your brain starts processing once again. You will soon start remembering more details. So never panic. Always clarify what you are doing and pay attention to the key terms and information. If you can, underline or you just mentally pay attention to the keyword of the question, which plays a big role in answering the question.
And the last tip is, never leave an exam early. Try to utilize every minute of the exam. If you have some time left, start from the beginning and see if you’ve done all the things correctly, but don’t leave before the stipulated time. Before handling the paper, once again check properly your details and whether you have answered everything correctly. So, what to do with the question paper? As I said, first you roll your eyes over all the questions once. The worst mistake you can make on a competitive exam is, not reading all the questions because it is not given in the order of difficulty, maybe a very easy question is sitting right there somewhere in the corner. It may be in between questions from the topics which you have not prepared. Make sure you go through all the questions to decide if you can answer it or not.
While answering a particular question, read it, link the options to the question, as well as to previous knowledge. Frame a mental diagram or you can even draw it on the paper. This simply starts your brain to function, so that you get into the solving mode. And you have to identify the keywords in a question to solve it and underline them. You have to set some milestones, break the entire test into smaller portions. Say your test is three hours long, you can have some milestone for every 30 minutes. See where you have landed, how many of the questions you are supposed to solve and where you are, but remember, always set realistic milestones.
Competitive exams rely on both accuracy and speed. Treat every question on merit, do not go with a preconceived notion about any module. Decide based on the question. Okay, and don’t take it as a prestige issue that if you know the topic, you have to answer that question. It’s not the right approach.
Selection of questions to solve from the question paper. So what type of questions you can look forward to? The ones which you can easily and quickly solve, for example, some graph-based questions, which you have to just analyze and tell the answer or maybe some true or false statements which are very easy. Or then there are match the following questions. If you know one or two matches, the rest of all will come to you automatically. Try to avoid related combination unit questions, unless you’re sure of the answer. So start with easy questions which will give you confidence, and which will also save you time for the rest of the questions to solve.
Let’s now look at certain facts that are very crucial for your mental strength. We all want to progress in our careers. And this exam is one of the ways, but we all have to spare or pay a price for this progress. This is a very small price you will have to pay for your career progress, just like you’re paddling on a steeper mountain. You have to paddle a little harder, but definitely you will reach your destination. Success does not come from what you do occasionally, success comes from what you do consistently. In Biotecnika, we do our stuff very consistently. And that is what you need to do. You need to be very, very consistent with your studies. Your books are your Empire, and you are the king of that Empire. You have to go there and fight with the words, understand those concepts and make them your weapon. Weaponize yourself with the knowledge, so that every question in CSIR NET, just goes like that. But you have to understand that, what looks very easy is not easy. Success is like an iceberg, we only see the tip of the iceberg.
In Biotecnika topper’s testimonials or videos, you will see how happy the students are about their rank. But that is the tip of the iceberg. The effort is below the water. That means you also have to put in all the effort which they have put in and all the management they have put in. And if that has to happen, you must stay motivated, stay courageous, be consistent, be strong and have a lot of mental stamina. Never give up.
And time management during the preparation is equally important, like time management during the CSIR NETexam. Those three hours definitely determine what you are going to do later in your life, but these six months or one year are going to determine how would you perform in those three hours. Suppose you are going to study with five different teachers for those 13 units of CSIR NET life sciences, but you are the only person who’s going to write that three hours of the exam. So you have to learn consistently and diligently.
If you are enrolled with Biotecnika, give all your tests very diligently, very cautiously. In fact, nowadays we have started with a class test after each class. So, don’t lose motivation if you scored less. Channelize your negative energies in a positive direction. Remember, winners never quit, quitters never win. You will win. We will win together, with you. Hope you have a clear idea about the time management in the CSIR NET exam now. Good Luck with your preparation!