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How English Literature Students Can Deal With an Overwhelming Syllabus

Over the years, I have found that the only thing which makes people extraordinary human beings is not their IQ or brilliant minds, but their ability to manage their time effectively.

Watch an interview of any UPSC-qualified candidate, and you will find that most of them were average students. They had neither topped the school nor did well in their academics, yet they could crack the most challenging exam in the nation.

Everyone has 24 hours a day, and the measure of success in personal and professional life can be determined by how good we are at staying disciplined throughout the day.

Before taking down the road of helping students crack UGC-NET English Literature, I spent ample time understanding why some people can move to the top of any profession wherever they put their feet. At the same time, the rest of the people remain stuck even after spending decades in their profession. 

One of the biggest reasons some students do exceptionally well in their studies and later in their profession is their ability to deal with the overwhelming syllabus.

Here are five ways you too can deal with an overwhelming English Literature syllabus and crack the exam sooner than other students.  

1. Make One Activity Your Priority

Most career success comes by performing one activity for weeks, months, and years repeatedly.

Every day, after waking up in the morning, I ask myself, “What one activity can help me reach more English Literature students.” 

The answer I receive from myself: 

“Write more blogs and create more YouTube videos.” 

That’s all. If I keep on writing and creating more videos, I will have more opportunities to serve more students over time.

Once you know the highly productive activities, keep repeating the same, and you will see how everything starts growing by taking little steps every day.   

Similarly, you can ask yourself: 

“What one activity can you perform every day to develop your knowledge of English Literature?”

It can be watching three movies/documentaries based on important novels every day, listening to three to four lectures, or spending three to four hours revising your notes.

I was good at watching movies and reading books. So when I was preparing, I watched three to four movies every day for two straight months. I also read 50 novels in six months.

It’s always about the compound effect. If you perform one activity again and again for a while, you will start seeing the results within a couple of months.

2. Avoid Irrelevant Information

One simple rule that will help you crack the exam is that you should be smart enough to study important subjects first, then less important topics and avoid not-so-important chunks of information all at once.

If you are new to competitive exams, it is better to invest some money in getting organized material or courses to avoid making the same mistakes that all the newcomers of UGC-NET make.

There are so many teachers out there providing coaching. You can check all of them on YouTube. You can also opt for the study material and guidance we provide to English Literature students. Check it out here.

3. Don’t Look At The Subjects Too Long

If you keep staring at the subjects for long, you will undoubtedly be overwhelmed by the vast syllabus. 

The key to completing the subjects is by working on them.

You must have a routine where you sit in your study for 4-5 hours and work on the subjects bit by bit. 

At the beginning of my preparation, I picked up William J Long for British Literature. For three months, I not only read the complete book but also made notes from it. 

I was not distracted by the chaos of important topics, promotional YouTube videos and boring live classes.

Similarly, every morning you can pick one activity/topic/subject and decide that you will stay committed to it for the rest of the day. 

Looking at the subjects for too long is the work of a lazy mind. You can train your mind to act, for actions bear the fruits of all achievements in life. 

4. Don’t Waste Too Much Time In Choosing The Topics

I talk to dozens of students on an everyday basis in our batch. One of the common problems is that many students waste too much time choosing the topics they can start their day with.

Even though we have provided the complete study material, an important list of writers, works, theories, and everything a student requires to crack the exam, many students are confused about which topic they should start.

Here are two simple steps to follow:

  • Spend no more than 20 minutes choosing the topic. 
  • Study only two subjects in a day and keep the rest of the material out of your sight.

Set a timer of 20 minutes every morning to plan out the topics you will study throughout the day. It will reduce a large amount of burden from your shoulders and keep you focused throughout the day.

5. No Rights

I receive long-long messages from the students about how they failed to crack the exam in their fifth or sixth attempt. 

The funny thing is when I ask them about how much they prepared for these five attempts. I receive no response.

Quite frankly, 50% of the students give attempts one after another for three straight years without even devoting at least six months to their preparation.

  • It’s not the number of attempts that help you crack the examination, but the number of hours you are investing in English Literature will create your future.  
  • If you are not giving enough time to your studies, you don’t have the right to feel disappointed at the time of the results.
  • The right to feel dejected goes to the students preparing for so long yet unable to qualify for the exams.

Every night before sleeping, you can ask yourself, “How many hours have I remained productive today?”

Your Ground

Qualifying for the UGC-NET English Literature exam is less about important subjects and more about discipline and time management.

You can have all the resources: books, websites, research papers, links to documentaries and movies, but if you don’t know how to manage your time effectively and complete the subjects one-by-one, you cannot go further. 

It is always wise to plan your days, weeks and months. The more you are in control of yourself, the sooner you will reach the destination.

As the exams are near, how many hours are you spending studying English Literature every day? Do let me know in the comments below.  

10 thoughts on “How English Literature Students Can Deal With an Overwhelming Syllabus”

  1. No words to express how amazing you are doing ur job how a motivational videos and valueable informations related to english literature ‘ Incredible ??


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Hi, I'm Nakul Grover.
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