Why do we fail?

An important bit of advice for success as a student.

When we read something new, it sits in some remote corner of our brain. We are very likely to forget it soon, perhaps even as soon as the very next day. If we encounter the same thing again, it could perhaps be recalled with ease. It stays there a little longer. Revisiting often enables our brain to recall much faster. Moreover, there is one more function of our brain that is important to understand. When we store multiple concepts, it makes connections among them. Over time, these connections become deep provided you revisit these ideas or concepts frequently. These connections develop the most desired quality in us which we call, *aptitude*. Most exams test our aptitude and not knowledge.

A common mistake we do is to over-estimate our command over our knowledge just because a concept sounded simple when we heard it first. Many concepts look simple at the first glance. Also, since it looks simple, and since time is always limited, we prioritize reading more new things than to stick to our revision strategy. We go the exam and only experience a total blackout!! This is why many of us fail.

So, my advice to you is to buy a nice notebook and start taking good quality notes. Keep multi-color pens with you. Be creative in taking your notes. Mark one hour every day only to read your notes. Make it a point to read all your notes everyday. Over a period of time, the notes will grow. But, so will your brain’s ability to retain and recall. After a while, when you do not need such large notes, make shorter version of the same notes. Read the shorter version every day. After few weeks, you will see your brain doing magic. It can now solve problems which the best students in your class struggle with.

Keep one important point in mind. You as an individual student have the same potential and qualities as any of your classmates. Know that it is not just Kohli’s muscle power, it is his technique that also counts. Learn the right techniques to study. You already have the necessary muscle power to do well in studies.

Excellence in studies is not a rare quality. It is just a conscious choice. Good luck!

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Author: Venkatesh Vinayakarao

Researcher, Computer Science.

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