Mastering the Art of Learning: By Building a long lasting and effective learning habit

Embarking on the journey of preparing for NEET/INI-CET MDS can be daunting. Yet, the secret to success lies not just in what you learn, but in how you learn. Inspired by the principles from the bestselling book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, this guide offers a transformative approach to building effective learning habits. The Importance of Habit Building: Habit building is more than a practice; it’s the foundation of consistent and effective learning. While preparing for competitive exams like NEET/INI-CET MDS, it’s essential to shift from a pattern of sporadic learning to a more disciplined and regular study routine.
This process involves not just learning the 20 subjects required but doing so in a manner that minimizes unnecessary stress and maximizes productivity.

Embracing the Science of Habits:
The science behind habit formation is fascinating. Regular practices trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of reward and satisfaction. This means that once you establish a study habit, the act of learning itself transforms into a source of pleasure and fulfillment. This transformation not only makes it easier to maintain consistency but also surprisingly becomes a source of motivation for many students. When you start enjoying your studies, it ignites a powerful drive within you. Trust me, once you reach this stage of enjoying your studies, there’s hardly anything that can stop you from achieving your dream seat.”

Aggregation of Marginal Gains:
The concept of small, incremental improvements is best exemplified by the story of the British cycling team under the guidance of coach Dave Brailsford. Historically, this team had not seen significant success in cycling. However, Brailsford’s approach, known as the ‘marginal gains philosophy,’ changed everything. He believed that if the team could improve every aspect of cycling by just 1%, these small gains would add up to a remarkable improvement overall. They refined everything from the ergonomics of the bike seats to the type of massage gels used, and even the pillows cyclists used for better sleep. This meticulous attention to detail led the team to win an astounding number of medals in the 2008 and 2012
Olympics, as well as numerous Tour de France victories.
In a similar vein, when preparing for competitive exams like NEET/ INI-CET MDS, focusing on small improvements in your study routine can be incredibly effective. This could mean optimizing your study environment, refining your note-taking techniques, or even adjusting your sleep schedule for better concentration. Over time, these minor tweaks can compound, leading to significant progress and success in your academic endeavors.”

The 1% Improvement Theory:
This book elucidates the concept that improving by just 1% every day can accumulate in such a way that by the end of the year, you become 37 times better than when you started at the beginning of the year. This astonishing strategy can be very effectively applied to your MDS entrance preparation, offering a practical approach to achieving significant long-term growth in your studies This principle, rooted in the power of compounding, suggests that small, consistent efforts can lead to exponential growth over time.
When applied to the context of MDS entrance preparation, this approach can be particularly effective.

Imagine if each day, you aim to improve your understanding and skills by just 1%. This could be achieved through various means like deepening your grasp of a complex topic, refining your problem-
solving speed, enhancing your ability to recall information quickly, or even improving your study techniques. These small enhancements, though seemingly insignificant on a day-to-day basis, accumulate substantially over time. For instance, after your first round of learning your basics and concepts in pharmacology, if you improve your grasp of pharmacology by 1% daily by revision in the following week, you’ll have made noticeable progress. Extend that over a month, and your understanding of the subject could be significantly deeper than when you started. Over the months, this consistent effort could
transform your proficiency in subjects that are critical for the MDS entrance exam.(Note that this needs guidance and proper revision strategy)
Moreover, this 1% improvement isn’t limited to academic knowledge alone. It can also apply to your test-taking strategies, time management, stress handling, and overall well-being – all crucial elements for peak performance in a high-stakes examination like the MDS entrance.
The beauty of this approach lies in its practicality. Instead of aiming for large, often overwhelming changes, you focus on achievable, small steps. This reduces the likelihood of burnout and keeps motivation levels high, as each day you’re not burdened by unattainable goals but encouraged by attainable progress. By the end of your preparation journey, these incremental improvements will not only have compounded into a significant enhancement of your knowledge and skills but will also have
instilled a powerful habit of continuous learning and growth – a mindset that is invaluable in the overall success in your profession and personal life “

Understanding the Plateau of Latent Potential:
In your journey towards succeeding in exams like NEET/INI-CET MDS, the path to success isn’t straightforward or direct. It’s essential to understand the concept of the ‘plateau of latent potential.’ This refers to a phase in your preparation where, despite your continuous and diligent effort, you might not see immediate or significant improvement in your understanding or performance. It’s like working hard every day, but the results don’t seem to match your effort.
This phase can be compared to the analogy of ice melting. Consider ice in a room that’s gradually being heated. The temperature rises from 25°C to 30°C, but the ice doesn’t melt. However, at 31°C, the ice starts to melt. All the heating up until that point was not wasted; it was just building up to the critical melting
point. Similarly, in your studies, every day that you spend learning and revising, you’re building up to that breakthrough moment. Persistence during this phase is crucial. Many students feel disheartened and give up too soon, just before their efforts could bear fruit. It’s important to keep pushing through this plateau. The breakthrough, or the melting point in this analogy, often happen after this period of apparent stagnation. What’s happening during this plateau is that your efforts are accumulating, building a foundation that will soon yield results. This phase tests your determination and faith in your study process. Remember, just because the improvement isn’t visible doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
So, when preparing for your MDS entrance exams, expect this plateau of latent potential. Embrace it as a natural part of the learning process. Continue to study consistently, refine your strategies, and stay committed. The breakthrough will come, and when it does, you’ll realize that all your efforts were laying the groundwork for your success.

Goal Vs. System – Focusing on the Process:
“In the pursuit of success in exams like NEET/INI-CET MDS, it’s essential to shift our focus from just goals to the systems we use to achieve these goals. Goals are important as they give us direction and an endpoint to aim for. However, it’s the systems – the day-to- day habits and routines – that truly determine our path to these goals.
Let’s consider the analogy — Imagine your goal is to clean a messy room. Once you clean it, the room looks great, but if your system – your daily habit of organizing and maintaining cleanliness – isn’t in place, the room will quickly return to its original state. Similarly, in your MDS entrance preparation, it’s not just about setting the goal of scoring high in the exam; it’s about establishing effective study
routines that make achieving this goal possible. Focusing on systems means creating and sticking to a daily study schedule, finding the most effective study methods that work for you, and continuously refining these processes under guidance and get better and better every day . It’s about making study a regular part of your day, just like eating or sleeping, so that it becomes ingrained in your routine.
Moreover, enjoying the process of learning is a key part of this system-oriented approach. When you enjoy what you’re doing, it’s no longer a chore or a mere step towards a goal; it becomes a rewarding and fulfilling activity in itself. This enjoyment can come from various sources – the satisfaction of understanding a difficult concept, the excitement of learning something new, or the peace of finding a study rhythm that works for you. In essence, by focusing on building and improving your study systems and finding joy in the learning process, you’re setting yourself up not just for success in the NEET/INI-CET MDS but for a lifelong habit of effective learning and personal growth.”

Final Thoughts:
Building a habit of learning is an investment in your future. It’s about creating a sustainable, enjoyable process that not only prepares you for NEET/INI-CET MDS but also fosters a lifelong love for learning. In the upcoming articles, we will delve into specific steps to build and maintain these habits, ensuring your journey towards academic success is as rewarding as it is fruitful.