“Every weakness contains within itself a strength.”
― Shusaku Endo
Academically, we all have some subjects in which we excel and others in which we are competitively less successful. We tend to focus more on those subjects that we are already good at, as it makes us feel confident, and we consider them to be safety nets. In the process, we neglect even more those subjects that we are not so good at, assuming that if we devote time to these, we would have little time for the subjects in which we are good, and as a result, we will be unable to perform well in any of them. However, this is not the case. Working on our weaknesses is important.
This blog will discuss some ways in which you can prepare for subjects you are weak at.
- Acceptance of the truth.
“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”
— JK Rowling
Accepting your weakness in a subject indicates that you are aware of it; it does not imply that you should feel bad about it, but rather that you should be motivated to overcome it. Accepting it would also help you to find reasons as to why you are not being able to perform well in it. Acceptance does not come in a day or two. So be patient with the process.
- Knowing why you are weak at it.
“True success lies in knowing your weaknesses and playing to your strengths.”
— Sophia Amoruso
As you have accepted the truth, you will embark on a journey to find out valid reasons for the problem. Some possibilities can be – you might have a weak foundation or weak fundamental knowledge about the concepts involved, you might have neglected that subject, or have had a delusional opinion like, “As I don’t really like it, I’ll not be able to perform well in this subject.” These are very generic reasons, and there is a possibility that the actual reason is deep rooted due to some personal experience. So you must introspect, talk to your parents, and try to figure out the right reason.
- Believe in yourself
“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.”
― Roy T. Bennett
To make any weak subject strong, you must first have confidence and faith in yourself. If you don’t believe in your potential, you won’t be able to overcome your weakness. You should refrain from using statements like I can’t do this, I will never be able to perform well etc. Don’t feed your subconscious mind the negative words. Always say to yourself things like- I can do this, I will be able to perform well, I have the potential to do wonders, etc. This way you will prepare your mind to help you work on your weakness.
- Work on making your basics strong.
“Respect the building blocks, master the fundamentals, and the potential is unlimited.”
— PJ Ladd
If your fundamentals are weak, you will undoubtedly run into problems as the subject advances or you proceed to higher classes. It is important to ensure that your fundamentals are strong, since this will enable you to better approach questions in exams. The more passionate you are about the subject, the better your outcomes will be. Take regular breaks to ensure you don’t get mentally exhausted.
- Try different learning styles
“You will have to experiment and try things out for yourself and you will not be sure of what you are doing. That’s all right, you are feeling your way into the thing.”
— Emily Carr
Experiment with different learning approaches to see what works best for you. Because everyone learns in different ways, you might not enjoy how the material is taught in class. You may despise those long, dull lectures. Look for different ways to get information about a topic. To make learning more interactive you can watch a video and listen to an audiobook. Learning is made simpler, easier, and more effective through e-learning. You can also use mnemonics, flowcharts, drawings, or any other creative way to understand and remember a concept. Just make it simple for yourself.
- Arrange for a group study session with friends.
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
— Helen Keller
If you’re having trouble studying on your own, consider joining a study group with some friends. It is beneficial to collaborate with others who are having difficulty with the subject’s topic so that you can help each other and together find answers. It also enhances your learning by providing enjoyable experiences.
- Make time for revision.
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
— Robert Collier
Don’t wait until the last minute to get things done. Even if you were really strong in a chapter a few months ago, if you don’t review it frequently, you risk forgetting it on exam day. All of your hard work will be rendered meaningless if you forget your topics on the examination day.
Always keep in mind that there is always a scope for improvement, it’s fun to infuse some creativity into your study methods, and that a fresh perspective can do wonders. It’s fine to not be great at everything; just be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be overly critical and don’t undervalue yourself; instead, strive to improve. Albert Einstein has rightly said – “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”