Competitive exams can be extremely demanding and grueling, and to ace these exams, studying hard is just not enough.

The key to excelling in competitive exams is to study smart. Studying effectively and efficiently will give you the much-needed competitive edge, to not only excel in these papers but also to stand out amongst the thousands appearing for the same.

Studying smart not only helps one to learn things faster but also helps one retain the information for a longer period. If you are preparing to ace competitive exams, here are some sure-shot success tips and hacks that you can use- 

Strategic Planning 

Learn to schedule and manage your time wisely. Following a timetable will not only help you prepare for the exams well in advance but also stay disciplined. Plan your time and tasks & make sure to set practical goals for yourself. Identify your strengths and weaknesses to set a timetable, and tactically allocate more time to focus on your weaknesses. Make sure to keep some buffer time, break time, and revision time. At first, it may seem difficult to follow through the timetable, but once you it becomes part of your routine, it will be a smooth slide.

Build Strong Foundations

Mindless memorizing without understanding the basic concepts will not get you too far. Most competitive exams are designed to test your fundamental knowledge and foundation. Investing your time in understanding basic concepts will help you retain the knowledge for much longer versus just mindlessly mugging up. Hence, it’s of utmost importance for one to spend their time building strong foundations.

Group Study Sessions 

Study groups will not only help you clarify your doubts, but you can learn from each other’s strengths. Most students tend to isolate themselves to prepare for these papers, however, that isn’t very healthy. Group study sessions can be a refreshing change and also a very productive utilization of your time. Hence, create a study group with your classmates to study together at least once a week. This collaboration with like-minded individuals will surely help you thrive in your competitive exam.


Most students in their endeavour to ace the exams, tend to neglect themselves. They tend to neglect their mental & physical health to focus on preparation. But a healthy mind and physical body are the key factors which help one excel not just in competitive exams but in other aspects of life. It is important to strike a balance between studying and overall wellness. Be mindful of your diet, get enough sleep, and a 15-minute exercise should be included in one’s daily routine.

Studying Technique 

There are various studying techniques that smoothen the learning process. One such method is OK4R, introduced by Dr. Walter Pauk. The abbreviation OK4R stands for: O for Overview, K for Key Ideas, R1 for Reading, R2 for Reflect, R3 for Recall, and R4 for Revision. A very simple technique and rather effective in easing through the learning process for oneself. 

Another trick that students can use to prepare themselves for studying is classical conditioning as demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov. It’s essentially learning through association. If you want to train your brain for studying, start studying every day at the same time and same place. Your brain will automatically create associations, later shaping it into a behaviour.

Wrapping Up:

Follow these tips and tricks to ace your competitive exams with flying colours. Start preparing for the exams well in advance, know the syllabus, exam structure and weightage of each section. Keep the last few weeks only for solving mock papers as they can help you with revision. 

There are various educational websites, blogs and forums to keep up with the latest happenings. You can also get further guidance planning your study routine on career discovery websites or speak to certified career counsellors. 

That’s all, cheers and all the best for your preparations. Farewell!

Also Read : NTSE Chemistry NTSE Physics

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