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Two years have gone by. You are done with your Boards and Entrance exams. The results have come by and you have decided to take a drop year to once again attempt the Entrance exams. The reasons maybe varied. Now is the time for introspection and starting anew. Ask yourself if there was a shortcoming in your preparations or was it simply a case of exam jitters. Ponder on these questions but do not waste time in regret or self-pity. You have got one more year to make things right. Planning the drop year is extremely important. Give your best and make it count.

Planning The Drop Year: Making The Time Count

The following points will help you in efficiently planning the drop year:
• Learn the basics: Start from scratch and clear your concepts. That way, you will have a thorough understanding of the subject matter. Moreover, the topics that you had only brushed through hurriedly in the previous 2 years will become easier to understand and study.
• Get the right set of books: Do not buy a whole lot of unnecessary books and burden yourself. As the pile of books increases, the amount of preparation goes down. Pick only the ones which are important and concise.
• Go step-wise: First, study a topic and then solve its questions. Revise the topic and solve past year questions from the topic. Analyse your performance for further improvement.
• Take tests: Set a time-limit and give tests topic-wise. After you are done with a few topics, attempt tests comprising those topics. Taking tests periodically will help you to analyse your performance as well as increase your speed and accuracy. Once you’re done with the syllabus, practice a lot of mock test papers & previous year papers. Take as many tests as you can; test fear and pressure brings out the best in you.
• Revise regularly: While it is important to keep on learning new topics, the old ones should not be forgotten. Revising regularly will help to recall the earlier topics.
• Plan efficiently: Have a realistic plan for each day and each week. Set a deadline for completing topics and follow it rigorously.
• Set up a time-table: Divide your daily study time into sections for learning, revision and tests. Manage your time efficiently. Remember to take breaks to refresh the mind. Enjoying your leisure time will help you to focus while studying.
• Coaching: If you choose to enrol for coaching, go for the one which has a good CLP/DLP as well as a competitive test series. Keep track of your score and rank and work on improving them.
• Don’t give up: Every student starts enthusiastically but quite often, as time goes on, the will to keep studying drops down. Certainly a time comes – not just in the drop year, but in regular preparations as well – when you feel bored and don’t feel like studying, but don’t let go of the temperament. Planning the drop year properly will help avoid situations like these, as you will always have your hands full if your routine is planned properly. Try to be in touch with a good motivator who can guide you through these times.
• Study smart: Focus more on important topics rather than studying everything. Try to know your strong zones and work hard on the weak zones. You need to be competition oriented rather than interest oriented. Studying hard is important but studying smart is fruitful.

Thus, work hard, study smart, do not lose faith and prepare well for the upcoming exams.

Many times, we end up taking drop years in situations where it was better to opt for some other alternative. Read more about when to, and when not to, take a drop year here.

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