Competitive Examination – Preparation Tips to get a Head Start

Several preparation tips are needed to be followed to ace the competitive examinations

Table of Contents

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You must have come across or heard about various preparation tips for acing a competitive examination. See, without any preparation one cannot truly achieve any form of success.

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be a failure.”

The above quote stands true in almost all aspects of life. There is no such thing as luck in this day and age.

Success doesn’t come on its own or by chance. You have to prepare yourselves and do the utmost hard work to achieve any piece of it. Well, as you can see we can go on talking and sermonizing forever if we look at the above matter in a more generalized manner, but that is not the case here and thus now we’ll be talking specifically about the preparation for competitive examination.

Competitive examination preparation requires a strategic approach.

Source: SurvivalLife

Key Takeaways

  • Preparation of competitive examination is a skill that can be learned and with discipline and experience can improve over time.
  • During your preparation, it’s important to focus and follow a strategic approach.
  • Developing good study habits and staying organised are some of the key factors which help in better preparation.

Nascent Stages

I’ll start from the very beginning. Completion of class 10th is a gateway to a completely new journey in the life of students as this is the very first step that will change the course of their lives.

This is the very time when this mad embark for people to join them all prestigious institutions start.

There is an insane number of competitive exams out there and people have to approach almost all of them obviously pretty differently, but how a particular person is going to prepare for them, remains the same.

Competitive Examination Preparation requires a correct approach and an effective strategy.

See, these exams as you might yourself understand are way different and miles ahead of your school exams, be it in terms of difficulty or the technical knowledge required to answer them. So, just going with the flow and preparing nonchalantly won’t cut the cake for you.

I also understand that some of you might be putting a lot of effort into cracking these exams but it is rightly said that it is not always about studying hard but studying enough.

It is true that competitive exams are not at all easy to ace, but it is definitely not impossible as well. Yes, there are millions of students who give such exams and only a few thousands of them are selected, but that’s not really the way to look at it. If you are determined and have decided to prepare judiciously and accordingly, there is nothing that can stop you from passing or rather excelling in these exams.

Yes, people join various coaching institutes to have a better chance of getting good ranks in these exams which have given rise to a belief that people who don’t go for such institutes and just self-study behind a lot. That’s completely untrue and as told earlier, if you have a proper plan then you also can bag good results.

Top Success tips for Preparation of Competitive Examination

Several small steps and preparation tips are required to ace these competitive examination to get  the desired result and get success.

Source: Myamcat

1. Overview/Understanding of the exam

There is a huge need that before going for a particular exam in a full-fledged manner, you need to understand what the exam requires and where it will take you if you manage to pass it. You should have a clear picture as to how this particular exam will help in your career.

2. Knowing the syllabus thoroughly

Most of the time, what happens is that we start preparing without even going through the syllabus thoroughly. The first step should be to understand all the topics in the syllabus and then make a proper table based on the marks assigned to each. Then prioritize certain contents based on the weightage and give them ample time accordingly.

3. Organizing a study area

Choose a study area that is more peaceful and calm. Make sure that you organize your necessary things for a better learning environment. This helps you stay true to your cause by keeping you disciplined and determined.

4. Preparing a Time Table

This is one of the most important aspects that one should consider in their preparation. Set day and time specifically for each unit on an everyday basis for learning and practicing along with necessary short breaks.

5. Stay motivated and Eliminate distractions

This is a time when you have to stay focused and eliminate any or all distractions. I am not saying that you should be anti-social, no not at all because socializing is necessary. The distractions can be with respect to the overuse of mobile phones, long hours of chatting, playing games, etc. So, it is important to be focused and concentrate on preparing for the exam.

6. Practice and Time management

Practise is the key to success and good time management is a major motivator. If you have practiced a lot, you will have enough confidence to tackle or any and every question that is put in front of you. Time management also helps release stress and anxiety.

Following were a few of the generalized tips which most of you might already be aware of, but I am sure that only a few of you have already actually inculcated in your lifestyles. 

Study Plan

A strategic approach for acing competitive exams involves planning, preparing and then performing

Source: PrecisionPoint

Now talking more specifically about a study plan, which is the most important aspect during preparation for any competitive examination, there are numerous things that you can add or activities you can start doing, which will build on and ultimately lead to your planned goal.

  1. Rejuvenate yourself in between, either by performing any hobby or doing any exercise.
  2. Use different colours for marking or headlining, with each colour having a different meaning. 
  3. Plan your study time effectively.
  4. Use short breaks in between.
  5. Drink coffee to stay focused in case you feel sleepy.
  6. Avoid any kind of distractions or stress.
  7. Studying in the early hours lets you be more productive.
  8. Never schedule similar kind of subjects one after another
  9. Remember the keywords and have enough time for revision.


Last but not least, I would like to familiarize you with a very successful study which is known as OK4R, which you can also follow. It stands for : Overview, Key Ideas, Read, Recall, Reflect, and Review.


Read the introduction, table of contents, and summaries to get a general idea of what the concept is all about.

Key Ideas

Go through the text again and look for key ideas. These can be found anywhere from the first sentence of any paragraph or even in diagrams and captions.


Read the material carefully and thoroughly and denote more time to topics you find more important.


Close the book and immediately try to recall the main points of what you have read. This will help solidify the information in your mind.


We have to understand how meaningfulness can help improve learning. In this step, try to relate what you have read, to things that you already know. Try to find significance in what you have learned.


At a later time, go over the text again to review the material and refresh your memory. If you fail to recall anything, go back and study it again.

See, in these unprecedented times, you have more than enough time to and for yourself. And If you have made up your mind on something then why waste any more time procrastinating. Follow the above tips and start preparing for your future.

It seems befitting to end with a quote seeing as I started with one as well, 

“Today’s preparation determines tomorrow’s achievement.” 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to keep yourself engaged in Learning?

Making a Schedule and Sticking to it, Setting Deadlines, Interacting with Other Learners, etc. are some of the ways that will help you stay focused and engaged.

Which is Better – Planning or Preparation?

Both are very important in their own sense. But preparation is better than planning as knowing what you need to do is a great initial step but only if you are well prepared, are you actually ready to do the work. 
“Planning leads to awareness. Preparation leads to readiness.” 

What is the need for a Study Plan?

With a study plan, one feels organized and in command of everything. There is little or no confusion and set targets are like milestones.

What exactly is OK4R?

OK4R is nothing but a study method which stands for Overview, Key Ideas, Read, Recall, Reflect and Review. It has a major impact on students’ academic self-efficacy.

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