In many societies you become eligible to vote when you turn 18. This rests on sound logic that you are mature now to elect your representative. When is comes to drinking alcohol, WHO reports that in almost 65 percent of the countries drinking age is 18 and above. Some of the countries like Sri lanka, Pakistan and USA have 21 years and above as legal age to be consuming alcohol. Legal age for girls to get married is 18 years in India.
Why I am telling you all this, is because such distinctions are rested up on the fact that roughly 18 years is considered as the age when you get matured enough to vote, drink or marry.
So, 18 years seems fair, right?
Wrong! at least Neuroscientists don’t agree with it. According to Dr Sandra Aamadt, we are likely to get mature around 25 years of age. To put more clarity to it first let’s talk about maturity first.
What is maturity?
Maturity is the ability to make a good sound judgement and have average if not better decision making ability. To make it more simpler you know what you are doing? Why you are doing it?
Research By Dr Aamodt,
Brain scans shows that prefrontal cortex of the brain develops well beyond the age of 18. The prefrontal cortex of brain is responsible for decision making and judgement. The research also suggests that roughly around 25 years, one becomes mature enough to make sound decisions.
The prefrontal cortex regulates our emotions, social interactions, risk assessment and planning.
If the age maturity is 25 then it has some serious implications. Like for example Punishment award system to criminals, Age of marriage, Consent laws, Education etc.
The scholar suggests a flexible system which accounts for different age for different functions. There can be exceptions to this rule since there could be people who mature at 18-19 or may be 21 years of age.
However, the study points generally maturity strikes at 25 or may be little over that. Since your prefrontal cortex keeps developing beyond 18.
So, if you have done something you regret or may be feel guilt about before you turned 25. You could forgive yourself or ask for forgiveness knowing maybe you weren’t that mature enough to take good decision.
Believe it or not forgetting is natural part of learning anything.
Hermann Ebbinghaus, German Psychologist, is credited with research on forgetting when learning. Ebbinghaus had discovered that much of what we read/learn is forgotten during the first hour of learning itself.
Memory works in a way, that it remembers meaningful information more easily and it stays longer than meaningless information. Meaningless information is simply any information which is not in use for brain or has run out it utility. Example, it could be that information which you read for an exam and post examination have problem recalling it. Mind has an intriguing way or remembering and rejecting information.
Ebbinghaus had conducted experiment for both meaningful and meaningless retention. However, Meaningless information is important for us to study because by knowing why we forget our course material we would be able to understand and find solutions for it.
Below is retention (y-axis) vs time lapsed (x-axis) graph
In figure 1, Notice the retention drops substantially in the first hour itself. Much of what we learnt (around 80 percent) is forgotten after 2 days only. This is found to be natural and universal, meaning all exhibit this phenomenon with little variations.
However, Good news is that you can change it by disrupting the pattern exhibited in Curve.
READ also SQ3R method of studying
Key essence is to minimise forgetting is periodic revisions of course/lectures/study material
Figure 2 Image from www.salesactivator.com/resources/blog/impactful-curve-forgetting/
The point is to revise periodically whatever you have studied or read. The periodic revisions will help you retain better with least amount of mental effort.
Best way to do it is
- Revise after learning it once, or after attending a lecture.
- Again, Revise a day after your have learnt it.
- Again, Revise a week later.
- And Again, Revise a 28 days/month after learning.
In figure 2, notice that at approximately 75 percent on the y-scale (retentivity) there is an acute fall in remembering/retention. So after every learning session you should revise/review the course/notes/study material.
Hermann Ebbinghaus, has provided a gainful insight on how are memory works and how forgetting happens. The stressing viewpoint here is that this forgetting can be subject to change and you can maximize your learning.
Vilfredo Fritz Pareto, an Italian polymath. He was an engineer, sociologist, political scientist and economist. He is famous for his book ‘Manual of political economy’ and for pareto’s principle.
It is this Pareto’s Principle that you can apply to make your study effective. Pareto’s principle is also called “Law of the vital few”.
To put it simply “ roughly 80% of effects/results come from 20 percent of causes”. This wonderful discovery of pareto happened when he observed that in his garden 20 percent of pea pods produced 80 percent of the peas.
During his stay in Lausanne he had discovered that 20 percent of the people in Italy owned 80 percent of the land. Pareto in 1909 had published it in book stating that this principle generally can be applied to wealth and other things and that this rule could be observed in any generation of any society.
Taking further, this 80/20 rule can be generally be applied to,
And many more you can think of. Vilfredo pareto was able to discover that this using mathematics as a tool in political science and sociology.
Using 80/20 when studying,
What is 80/20 rule?
When applying to studying it is your 80 percent of result will come for 20 percent of your studying particular topics.
What does above imply?
This means that in your course there are some topics which are more important than others. This also means that areas you should focus on should not be even but weighted and not a constant, when it comes to focusing your attention and directing your efforts.
How do you go about it?
The first thing that you should do is to study the previous years papers to find what all questions are coming in the exam.
Usually, you will find some pattern. You will get to know from which topics the questions are usually coming. This essentially means that there are some topics which are more important than others. Some topics or sections from where the questions are regularly coming and other topics usually are not so popular with paper setters.
What does 80/20 have to do with studying previous year question papers?
Precisely everything, through this 80/20 rule you know that there are some topics which are of more importance than the others. This means your studying effort should not be evenly distributed but weighted accordingly. According to 80/20 rule your 80 percent of paper will come from 20 percent of the topics. (assuming these are exact or fixed estimates but a good estimate)
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it, yes it is !
To make it simple, an example,
Supposedly there are 5 topics in a test that you have to prepare :
You should as stated above complete your assessment of previous years papers and mock tests, notice which of the topics are more prominently coming in your tests. Mark those topics, these are topics you should focus more on. For example topic 1 and topic 4 are more important as most questions are coming from these. You should focus more on them as compared to other topics.
This means that your effort is not evenly divided but distributed unevenly in your topics that you have to prepare.
So, apply 80/20 here, your test shall comprise of majority of questions coming from topic 1 and topic 4, rest 20 percent would be coming from others. Hence, your efforts should be best directed to topic 1 and topic 4 and other topics should be revised but your priority is topic 1 and topic 4.
Here it is, another smart way to study or prepare for an exam. And by the way this rule can be applied elsewhere also, just have to be creative.
In age of digital marketing many businesses by being digital have established Global or National presence. The need to have substantial presence is the need of the hour. Since businesses have gone digital their marketing also has become digital.
Digital marketing provides for job opportunities beyond conventional marketing jobs. Your work would be using SEO (search engine optimization) tools to market better on digital landscape. This not necessarily requires salesman skills but an understanding of how search engines work and certain skills which are technical regarding promotion of business over the internet.
Digital marketing in India provides for modest earning if you are new to it or have just acquired it or are just entering the industry. This salary as entrant would be 25,000 INR monthly to an experienced person earning more than 1 lakh per month.
Here are top FREE certifications which you can get in Digital Marketing:
The certification provided by Google, is designed for entrepreneurs and new entrants to Digital Marketing. You can be assured of learning the basics of digital marketing. This can set your base for a good certification later.
Since Google provides certification, you can be assured its authentic.
READ also Awesome Free Online Courses
Alison is also another great certification platform where you can get certifications for free. However, you just have to sign up. It is a global presence and is one of the largest entity that provides free learning and free certifications.
Alison certifications are market relevant. You can look up for other courses.
A Digital Marketing course created by Sorav Jain provided by Udemy. Provides for 5.5 hours of video lectures on demand. Covers the basics of online marketing. You will also get a certifications at completion of course.
Since, this is a basic course you will learn the basics and familiarity with SEO, Analytics, etc.
It provides for free courses pertaining to digital marketing, blog marketing, SEO, email marketing, e-commerce marketing etc. It provides free e-book and have to pass an exam to get certified. The passing score is 50 percent and you can also retake the exam.
This marketing course is also absolutely free. Provided by MIT entrepreneurs collaborated to provide marketing certification and strategies. There are some courses for free whereas others are charged.
Hubspot is provides for courses which taught by marketing experts. A 5-hour course program which is absolutely free.
There are many other courses like Blueprint certification by Facebook, Digital marketing courses on edX, Linkedin Marketing courses etc. However, these courses are paid or require price payment for certifications.
The digital marketing course can certainly benefit your profile and make your resume credible, If you looking to enter digital marketing then such certifications can provide for foundation on which you can learn digital marketing.
Google, Alison, Udemy, e-Marketing Institute, Hubspot
Procrastination is a habit or tendency which delays or postpones the work that we have scheduled for ourselves. It is a tendency displayed by the person who delays a task indefinitely without any substantive reason.
Procrastination is common to everyone, this means that nearly everyone experiences it. Procrastination from Academics point of view has concerns regarding efficiency and productivity. Some intelligent and smart students suffer from procrastination which get reflected in their scores.
Your procrastination would look something like this if you plot it on graph:
As you can see that productivity is affected when you are starting a task or ending a task. There can be other variables but to simplify this, above two graph explains procrastination grossly.
There are primarily two areas where you seem to display dip in productivity. Starting or ending are points of concern over here. You can do the following to help yourself reduce or even eliminate procrastination.
Some strategies to cope up with procrastination,
Dive in head first if you see yourself procrastinating,
If you see or observe that you are procrastinating probably taking time to even start a task because of any reason than best would be to Just get started even if you are not mentally prepared. This will help you break the habit of delaying a task unintentionally.
You must be aware of yourself think about why you are doing what you are doing. Sometimes it could be lethargy, other times it could be uncertainty or sometimes you are affected by your mood. Once you get to know what is causing your procrastination it will easy to remedy it.
Follow a routine, Stick to it
Following a routine which will help you think less and do more. Routines are best way to eliminate procrastination. The habit itself will help you reduce procrastination.
Don’t do too much of planning,
Too much of planning is counter productive. Best would be to survey a task and break your tasks into micro tasks which will help you focus on constituent tasks. Too much of planning will eat away your time and you would be thinking more about how to do the task rather than doing the task.
Distractions are what drive your procrastination. Work or doing a task is universally boring unless you are one of those who love working. Best way is to know what are the distractions that fuel your Procrastination. Example, you often look at social media through your phone when doing a task, or watch videos on youtube when doing a task or in between a task.
Practice delayed gratification,
Delaying your gratification helps develop an habit to focus on tasks and not get distracted. As suggested delayed gratification can help you become an achiever. This can help you become more disciplined and habitual to perform the task. You can read more on stanford marshmallow experiment.
Don’t think too much about the outcome or result,
Often when we are starting a task we nervous or anxious about the outcome. This causes unnecessary delay in starting a task. Best is to be rational and avoid over thinking on outcomes or results. Outcome is not something in your control but effort is. If you believe in yourself, know yourself and your ability. Then by being rational and not thinking much about outcome you should get on with it.
Don’t be harsh on yourself, to increase productivity take short breaks.
Be kind to yourself, sticking for long hours reduces your productivity. You might have observed that after a prolonged hour of study session you find yourself watching a YouTube video or Facebook and you realize that much time is lost. Best is to take break when you feel a little exhausted doing a task. And don’t take a break there where you are doing a task but elsewhere so that you remind yourself to return to completing the task or study session.
We all have experienced it or experience it on frequent basis. The point is to make an effort to change is what will make the real difference.
We are starting a new series of articles. Especially focusing on campus experiences. In this post, we cover our experience of NIIT University, Neemrana. Check it out.
Recently I and Bikram, the co-founder of Brainpundits, were lucky enough to be invited to visit the NIIT university campus. This post is about our experience there in the wonderful campus.
As soon as you enter the vast campus of this recently built university, the first thing you notice is the vast number of trees around it. We are told that the whole land was once barren. And it has been an initiative by the campus itself to make it a green campus with trees all around it.
It is a sprawling campus full of passion and a vision of a strong future. The university, for now, mainly has programs related to engineering and management. As the courses range from B.Tech. to an integrated M.B.A. but after a conversation with teachers, there are plans to bring in later courses revolving around social sciences.
The whole ethos of the campus revolves around one idea: Seamlessness. It means rediscovering the symbiotic relationship between nature and humanity. Not only the architecture of the campus signifies a reconnect with nature, as boundaries seamlessly mingle. But also, the spirit of seamlessness is within the faculty and students.
The infrastructure of the university is strong as it boasts hostels for both boys and girls. It is a residence university as the students have to live at the campus during their courses. A well-stocked library is complemented by curious students.
The university’s vision also features the seamless assimilation of students from NIIT campus to various big companies in the industry. It aims to fight the state of higher education in India. In a recent report, it was found that almost 80% of Indian graduates are unemployable.
Making things Right
The university aims to amend this by making the students industry ready right from the start. Courses here are research-driven, right from the start which makes it a unique place. Then there are individual research projects being headed by various faculty members on various topics.
At dinner, we meet and interact with some of the students of the university Their faces and thoughts are on the same plane with that of the university’s goals and vision. They are full of bright ideas and looking forward to their individual futures. But also mindful of the environment and how their actions affect the nature around them.
A campus to remember
Next morning, we wake up early for a little trek. The beauty of the campus is further magnified as one watches it from a hilltop. There we also plant two saplings, symbolising our connect with the place for futures to come. It is a tradition of NIIT University that every visitor plants a tree. It is a heart-warming gesture and one that we will remember for a long time.
If you happen to have some time from your busy schedule, then try visiting the university. It’s around 100 km away from Delhi and nestled around the Aravali hills. Your visit will definitely change the way you think about life and this world. Also the importance of sustainable living and education.
This is a first of kind blog post and we will cover more as we visit new and different campuses. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!
Studying can be a task. If only it could be done rather efficiently and effectively. Often we study book from cover to cover. This article brings in an effective studying approach which can reduce your mental strain and effort. It was propounded by Francis P. Robinson. The SQ3R method.
Francis Pleasant Robinson, a popular educational psychologist, is the inventor of this effective method of studying. During his time in Ohio State University, he worked with an assessment team which worked on studying skills and habits of the new recruits in the army during World War 2. They used the data to devise certain high level strategies for learning and skill development.
Later Robinson’s book effective study outlined SQ3R method which suggests and effective way of studying. This method provides a systematic way of studying in less time.
What does SQ3R stand for?
In essence this should be your approach when you are venturing to read a text.
Using SQ3R technique?
Read the index and preface to get an idea of how you are going to approach. Your survey of the book should be of finding target areas (example concepts,facts) which are important for your exam/assignment. A cursory reading of sub topics and sub dimensions given in the book will certainly help. The survey should be short, usually not more than 5 – 7 minutes.
read here study hacks
Now after completion of survey, ask questions to yourself regarding the text you just surveyed. Use the subheadings and dimensions given to form queries. What happens is, this way of questioning will increase your general curiosity and interests in text you are going to delve into. The questions you form, write them down in a workbook systematically.
Post jotting down questions to the text you just surveyed, go for hunting the answers in the text. Only this time be alert and more focused than you were when surveying. Read areas of concern/importance very carefully and thoughtfully. Read twice/thrice if required.
Now comes the challenging part, try to answer the questions which you had written earlier in your own language and briefly (suggested). At this point note down what important points are required (should make notes in your own words). These notes will provide a basis for reviewing material later.
Make sure that you don’t copy from the book and write very briefly about the topic. This uses kinaesthetic form learning which equally important as other forms of learning.
After completing everything, the final step is to read the notes you have made by reviewing them at spaced intervals (an hour, next day, after a week). The way you shall go about reviewing is to recite in your mind all the major sub heads, dimensions with what they are implying. Through this you will work on recalling material when revising. In essence you are reinforcing what all you have read.
This method of reading was later introduced to graduates also. Mr Robinson had published this method in his book effective study (1946). The book outlines ways to improve on study methods and acquiring effective study skills.
Do you feel like doing something different in your Undergraduate course? Want to explore various disciplines in degree? Then this post is for you as we will discuss the rise and scope of Liberal arts courses in India. Read on.
There has been a rise in Liberal Arts courses in India. Various new universities are coming up, specifically focusing on courses around liberal arts. In 2015, the govt also initiated to invest more in research universities, liberal arts, and social sciences to improve the rankings of Indian universities.
What is Liberal Arts?
But let us first explain what Liberal arts is all about. The focus of liberal arts courses is having an interdisciplinary bent to it. This need arose because of various reports arguing that almost 80% of Indian graduates are unemployable. Hence, the focus is now shifting towards a more holistic education program in India.
The idea is to hone a student’s reasoning, basic mathematical and writing skills – in every aspect. With this, the student is able to do any kind of job irrespective of what actual content one is taught. These skills are the main focus of these interdisciplinary courses.
Students, who have done these courses have actually stood out in their workplaces. This happens because being taught through different perspectives and lenses, they approach problems from various vantage points. They also end up having strong interpersonal skills and these all are attributes of a strong liberal arts education.
The students improve upon their soft skills, leadership skills, communication skills and gain a more holistic lends towards life. With the focus being more on the expression of ideas – in the form of academic writing, ethics, and environmental studies.
Top Universities Offering Liberal Arts Courses
Now, let’s have a look at some of the top universities that offer Liberal arts courses in India.
Ashoka University, Delhi
Ashoka University is a unique institution in India. It is largely a philanthropic institution with over 40 founding members. Also, One of the most promising institutes for higher education in India. It is largely famous for its Young India Fellowship (YIF) program, which we covered in an earlier post.
But there are other courses in this university, especially Undergraduate and Graduate courses focusing on Liberal Arts. The structure of the course is similar to courses abroad, with having three elements: minor, major and certain foundation courses.
Students have options to pick from a range of subjects – from maths to political science, sociology and much more. The focus is on flexibility for the students. There are courses on History and International Relations, B.A. in Politics, B.Sc. in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship and much more. The annual cost comes around 6-8 Lacs. For more details: www.ashoka.edu.in
FLAME University, Pune
Another famous university is in Pune. FLAME or Foundation for Liberal and Management Education is one of the oldest institutions focused on liberal arts in India. It is an autonomous university and offers a multidisciplinary course similar to Ashoka University.
The unique thing about this university that it offers courses on music, dance, entrepreneurship, film and tv studies and much more. The average cost comes to around 5-6 Lacs. For more details: www.flame.edu.in
Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, Delhi
This is a very recent school and is part of the OP Jindal University in Haryana. At present, its intake is very focused and hence not that many get admission in this place. The curriculum covered are all the fundamentals of a good liberal arts course.
It offers a range of interesting range of courses from the political economy of and natural resources to the course on desire, law and popular culture and to urban space and much more. They have also started a unique program of residency, called ‘artist-in-residence’ program for their students.
The students also have the option to finish the second half of their 4-year degree program in Florida. The average cost comes around to 6-8 Lacs per year. For more details: www.jslh.edu.in
Azim Premji University, Bengaluru
Azim Premji University or APU was initially set up in 2001 as part of the Azim Premji Foundation with a purpose to enhance learning. Its objective was to help students becomes outstanding professionals in the domain of development.
To realize this, the institution has taken an interdisciplinary approach in the makeup of its courses. Apart from standard Undergraduate courses, the university offers courses on combined humanities. The students also have the option of selecting minors from sciences, economics, development studies, and data sciences.
The key objective of the university is to contribute towards making India a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. The average cost comes around to 2-4 Lacs per year. For more details: www.azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in
Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, Pune
Another very famous school of Liberal arts is the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts or SSLA. The school offers the students to do a four-year fulltime Bachelors in Liberal Arts. It is a structured program and based on international models.
Its main is to bring to students a wide range of courses to pick from and choose minor and majors according to their liking. For example, a student can have a business major with an anthropology minor and various contrasting combinations.
The average cost comes around to 2-4 Lacs per year. For more details: www.ssla.edu.in
There is a changing trend in Indian education and these universities have taken a step towards initiating change. By focusing on interdisciplinary courses, the trend is now towards a more holistic environment. So, if you want to do a more comprehensive Undergraduate course then these are some of the most lucrative options. Till then cheer and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits.
ASER report is published by NGO Pratham. The annual report presents the state of education in India. The report focuses on education and quality of education which is provided in India.
ASER 2018 has covered about 600 districts. In its report, it has found that overall enrollment has increased up to 96 percent. However, the study has revealed that the learning deficit is increasing. Due to this learning deficit, it reflected in adulthood making people less capable.
The report’s findings,
- Slightly more than half of all children enrolled in class 5 can read at least a standard 2 level text.
- Gender Gaps have been reducing over time.
- About 44% of all children in standard 8 can solve a 3-digit by 1-digit numerical division problem correctly.
- In basic arithmetic, boys seem to hold an advantage. Nationally, 50% of all boys in the age group 14 to 16 can correctly solve a division problem as compared to 44% of all girls.
- Government school children in some states are doing significantly better, with an increase of 3 percentage points or more over 2016.
- Only 27.2% of class 3 students were able to read the textbook for class 2 students.
- Only 50.3% of class 5 students were able to read the books prescribed to class 3 student.
The report presents findings that paint a sub-optimal image of education in India. Especially, focusing on learning outcomes where children were not able to do simple math and reading the text. Many children were unsuccessful in performing tasks which were meant for students of primary level. What is problematic is learning deficit seems to be widening.
In India education is a fundamental right. The state has even amended the constitution and enacted legislation to provide for education that is free from 6-14 years of age. This means that up to 8th standard education is free. However, the very same education is suffering from quality. In all the education provided can make or break a child. A good education will reflect on the capability of a child when he/she becomes an adult, ready to join the workforce.
Education is important for overall development and better decision making.
Regression happens when we are reading. To explain it simply it means when we are re-reading the text. I am sure almost everyone has gone through regression. It reduces both our reading speed and efficiency.
Imagine if it happens to you when you are giving a test and you get stuck with that text/para/lines. Then what will you do? Often what I have observed is that people when reading either
- Read it loudly
- Would frown
- Bring text closer to the eyes.
Both of the methods prove to be inadequate.
Being a voracious reader. I am a daily newsreader. I have extensively read art, literature, nonfiction, meteorology, law, Macro Economics, and politics.
Problem is trying to hard or focusing more through facial expression will not help.
There are many reasons for regression
|Mental Fatigue||Poor Comprehensibility||Distraction|
|Stress when reading||Disturbances
|Not much of Reader|
One of the basic reasons for you regressing is either the topic which you are reading seems tougher to comprehend or you are not much of a reader.
So, you must read as much as you can fighting the regression as it comes along. Progressively, you will tend to regress less than you used to. It is a fact.
Some hacks that I use whenever regression happens,
- If you are reading for a long time and you start to regress/reading the same lines again, then you should probably take a short break, probably a tea break.
- Regression may happen when your text is very closely written and is comprehensive. A textbook with long paragraphs and shorter font should be avoided. Since reading requires eye movement closely placed text and shorter font will make it likely that you will regress.
- Usually what I have noticed is that eyes tend to vacillate between some lines or a para, re-reading it. This is costly when you are giving an exam. If you notice yourself stuck in regressing, Jump to the next most suitable lines, which your mind is able to comprehend easiest. Skip those lines if required and come back to them after reading whole text/chapter.
- Most important, consciously make an effort to understand whatever you are reading. Let it be slow at first (if it is). Reading is a skill. Any skill takes time to develop, you have to put in practice into it.
Regression is not necessarily a bad thing. It might be indicating something, for example, distraction, lack of concentration, boringness with respect to text which you are reading, and disturbances.