Do you feel helpless in the face of one or more of following?
“I struggle to motivate myself to study. Often, I’ve to drag myself to the study table.”
“I can’t concentrate. I get distracted easily.”
“Despite putting in the effort I mostly underperform.”
“Howsoever hard I try, I can’t reach the level of top students.”
“I put in lot of hours, but I finish much stuff less than I want.”
“Fear of failure in the exams make me anxious.”
You’re not alone if you face these challenges. Many do.
If you notice, many of these challenges - motivation, self-belief, distraction, anxiety, and inefficiency - have nothing to do with core academics.
If you lack motivation, for example, you simply won’t be able to put in the grunt work required to get a good standing in school or college, let alone do well in hyper-competitive entrance exams. And without effort, things move only in fantasy. If you lack motivation, you’ll give up at the first few hurdles itself – uncomfortable topics, a mock test gone wrong, difficult problems, and so on.
If you can’t control distractions, you’ll waste many precious hours every day. (Many don’t realize that as brief a distraction as sending a quick text can set them back by several minutes.)
However, if you control these, you build a foundation that makes acquiring strong academic skills a reality. Otherwise, it’s tough. Top test-takers have a much stronger foundation than others when it comes to these soft, non-academic factors.
The book lays major emphasis on these non-academic factors (see chapters below). Besides, the book also covers the academic practices of top test-takers.
Content from Experience
First of all, lot of content in the Book comes from experience. My experience and that of other test-takers of writing - and finishing in top 1-percentile - diverse set of extremely competitive exams at the national and international level.
In the past, I taught a course on the same topic on Udemy, one of the largest online learning platforms, for more than two years. The course, How I Consistently Finished in Top 1% in the Toughest Exams, had more than 800 students and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5.0. (You can scroll down the Udemy course page to see all the reviews.)
Table of Content
Some of the content in the book has been covered in this blog, some not. Content that comes from the blog has been parsed and mixed with other content for faster, easier read.
The book contains 141 pages, including single-page chapter titles. It’s an easy read because of charts, images, and spaced-out text. (Most books go unfinished. Therefore, my aim with the layout has been to enable you to actually finish and benefit from the book.) It contains plenty of examples and each chapter ends with action points for immediate adoption.
Chapter 1 – How to Stay Motivated for the Cause?
Chapter 2 - How to Improve Your Self-Belief?
Chapter 3 - You Can Do What the Best Can
Chapter 4 - Hard Work Is Necessary… but Not Sufficient
Chapter 5 - How to Control Procrastination?
Chapter 6 - Understand Concepts
Chapter 7 - Adopt Spaced Repetition to Retain What You Learn
Chapter 8 - How to Study Liberal Arts Subjects?
Chapter 9 - How to Study Quantitative Subjects?
Chapter 10 – Improve Focus: Pull off Undistracted, Long Hours?
Chapter 11 – Improve Focus: More Steps
Chapter 12 – Get the Most out of Mock Tests
Chapter 13 – Buildup to the Exam Day
Chapter 14 – Night before the Exam
Chapter 15 – Exam Day
Chapter 16 - How to Make the Change Happen?
Who Is This Book For?
It is for those who want to learn what it takes to perform consistently well in challenging exams at the highest level. It’ll also serve those who aren’t specifically looking at such exams, but want to be more effective in their studies.
This book, however, is not for those who are looking for silver bullets, shortcuts.