I am very thankful to Aateqa Hashmi about taking an interview on getting great marks in F.Sc and other common problems that students face in exams and daily life.
Even you think there is a question that you need to be answered then you can comment below at the bottom of the article.
Question 1: Did you attend any Academy or you prepared for the exam at home?
Yes, I attended academies throughout FSc. I used to learn more during class lectures and discussions with friends. But yes, you have to go through the textbook and understand it deeply at home obeying your biological clock.
The thing is you go college, learn something, while something still eludes you, you come home, think about it, go to academy, listen to the lecture, the point which you were totally unable to grasp in college reveals itself during academy lecture in a completely new way (it may happen vice versa).
Even, if it doesn’t happen during class, you go to the teacher and make it happen.
Additionally, A/AS level books, Google, Youtube lectures and animations add ‘extra’ to ordinary. The point is while traveling between college and academy, you have to put a deliberate effort to learn, unlearn and relearn. And remember: ‘Let it go’ principle does NOT work when it comes to questioning.
Question 2: How did you manage the work of college and academy at the same time?
Yeah, it does get very tough at times. To manage effectively, consider completing your assignments of the strict teachers first. Utilize your time in vans/cars during traveling to and fro college and academy. You know there do come such days when you get just tired of this race, but then what you have to do is to take a break, instead of quitting altogether. Taking some 10 minutes out for yourself daily may be enough to do what defines your passion. Be persistent because, in the end, slow but STEADY wins the race.
Question 3: What was your timetable for studying at home during working days and weekends? How did you dedicate time to each subject?
There wasn’t any fixed timetable. Working days used to be hectic. On Mondays, we usually had tests. So, besides enjoying leisure, textbook-reading, preparing for tests and doing assignments was the routine.
Now, let’s move to the second part of the question which is a very valid one. The key lies in allocating ‘suitable’ time to each subject which is NOT ‘equal’ mostly. Every student has a natural, solid grip on one subject and may lag behind in another. So, what you have to do is to self-analyze yourself. Spot the subjects or topics you find more difficulty with, spot where your lack of understanding actually lies, ask teachers, discuss with the peers who grasped it more than you, spend time at home re-reading it.
And try to give textbooks a read on a regular basis so that you may know what you understand and what not.
Question 4: What was your way of memorizing? Did you write everything that you learned?
- Look at the topic. Break it into its etymological components to check for a hint what it’s about.
- Listen to the teacher. Initially, just grasp the basics.
- Note down the important points.
- Go for a reading. Think about it.
- Write points somewhere(on the first or last page of a register) which you are unable to get. Think more about them, ask some friend, discuss, ask teachers, read more, search more. Hopefully, you’d get it during any of these steps.
- For some hard facts and figures, go for mnemonics, or build up some relatable, humorous stories to enjoy while you end up memorizing them.
- Equations, numericals, flowcharts, illustrations, derivations, figures, diagrams should be practiced by hand repeatedly.
- Highlighting, summarizing and writing main points regarding a topic on the book may help during revision.
And if you ask me, I didn’t write EVERYTHING to memorize it.
Question 5: Did you prepare for MCAT during F.Sc?
Not at all. While doing FSc, just focus on FSc. Many students lose their focus especially in 2nd year torn between MCAT and FSc. The more you study conceptually in FSc and even in matric, the more comfortably you go through MCAT session.
One thing, I’d recommend FSc students is to highlight phrasal verbs and ‘grammatically odd’ sentences in English textbooks as you’d often see copy-paste of these sentences in your MCAT question paper. Also, for every subject, highlighting would make revision (that’s what MCAT is) easier for you.
Question 6: What was your way of memorizing the hundreds of reactions of organic and inorganic reactions?
Organic chemistry demands conceptual understanding more than to-be-memorized Inorganic chemistry. Practice reactions and try to understand them with congruent pace with the teacher instead of accumulating them in a bulk to do later.
Question 7: What do you think which are important guides or textbooks? Can you explain with each subject’s perspective?
I didn’t use guides. For science subjects, focus on your textbooks. Some notes are helpful especially in English, Urdu and Islamiat. But the fact is the more you write yourself, the more creative it gets thus rendering you more marks.
And just stop believing who say HAMARE SYSTEM MAIN CONCEPTS WALON KAY MARKS NAHI AATEY.
Run behind teachers instead of wasting money on ‘unnecessary’ notes and guides. Using same helping material wouldn’t make your answer paper different from the rest which you have to do to ‘impress’ the examiner. Unique papers do click examiners. So, we constantly have to hunt for good reading stuff to enrich our perception as well as vocabulary and written expression.
Question 8: How to write the best answer in 3 to 4 lines as written in the question paper especially in Urdu and English as per Federal Board?
Yes, it’s important and safe to follow the word limit in English and four-line-rule in Urdu precisely. First prepare a to-the-point answer in mind. Then, pen it down using mature vocabulary.
Question 9: How did you keep yourself motivated towards your goals?
Let me clarify one thing first, getting position was NEVER my goal. I just tried hard to make every possible attempt to gain more.
Positions don’t determine that you are intelligent or talented exceptionally, they just manifest that you’ve put the right amount of effort in the right place at the right time in the right manner.
Yes, good percentage does make a difference in life but participating deliberately in a ‘rat race’ to have more and more and more marks shouldn’t be practiced. Our society becomes sometimes very cruel to the guys just because studies isn’t their thing. They might become exceptional footballers, novelists, motivational speakers, or painters instead of ending up becoming unsatisfied engineers or aimless doctors.
Life isn’t all about textbooks and studies, you need to go out, have fun, do sports, follow your passions, sit with Nature and socialize. Appreciate that life is beautiful. Appreciate that life is a chance for you to prove yourself. Appreciate that the more bruised you get up after falling, the brighter your face appears to the world.
For me, inspiration lies somewhere between these lines.
Question 10: What is the last message you would like to give to the Federal Board students? What advice do you think is important in getting marks in F.Sc?
Starting with the second part of question,
- Be consistent.
- Work smart.
- Make friends whom you can discuss with.
- Be relaxed in the examination hall.
- Raise your hand confidently during class ignoring those who get busy commenting on your alacrity.
- For essays, have a read from debates’ books.
- Plan out a strategy to manage your time in the examination hall.
- Study hard. Pray harder.
Now, all the fellow-students out there, we are lucky to have books and pens in our hands, a school to go to, a family to share with and a brain to think.
So, let’s inspire and get inspired. Let’s be Iqbal’s Shaheens.
Let’s first improve ourselves to improve the reputation of Pakistan and Islam in the world today.
Let’s decide some do’s and dont’s in our lives.
Let’s say a big NO to cheating. Let’s stop considering studies and enjoyment two opposite things and start enjoying learning.
Let’s do more.
May Allah be with us!