One of the key factors in attaining success in any field is the age old concept of “practice makes perfect.” Although some people might have an innate knack for a particular subject or skill, the truth is mastery takes time, repetition and pushing oneself out of his/her comfort zone – there is no shortcut. While author and public speaker Malcolm Gladwell suggests it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at a particular area, Josh Kaufman says it takes 20 hours of practice per month to go from “knowing nothing to being pretty good.”
Whether you look at the number of hours Michael Jordan put on the court to fine-tune his athletic skills, or the number of hours of riyaaz Mohammad Rafi put into his vocal craft, the bottom line is they all practiced hard and were never complacent – in fact they always searched for new aspects of their field to further fine-tune. The same concept holds true at an academic level, as well. Here are five reasons why practice is important for students –
1. Structured Practice Is Efficient
The better you manage your practice session time, the more targeted it will be and the faster you’ll learn in an organised manner. Learning is a time-consuming process – steady practice yields steady, positive results. And, there’s so much material to fully grasp in any field of study – for example, the difficulty level for mathematics in class 9 is very different from mathematics in class 12. The more effort you put in, the closer you’ll get toward your goals!
2. Practice Helps Internalize
While some skills are repeated at a conscious level – i.e. practicing tennis three days a week or taking piano lessons five times a week – some activities are internalized to a level you’re practicing them subconsciously. For example, when you walk or cook, these are activities you practice without even actively focusing on each task. When you practice your academic skillsets regularly, you’ll be surprised at how you end up internalizing information subconsciously during your downtime. In essence, practice helps a student apply knowledge or skills automatically, without having to dwell upon it too much. For example, when you were a five-year-old-kid, reading a sentence might have taken a lot of conscious effort, whereas today, reading this article feels effortless.
3. Practice Inculcates Discipline
Taking time out to practice requires focus, clear goal-setting and commitment – these are all skill sets that will come handy in the long-run, both in personal and professional areas of life. When you decide to sacrifice that extra hour of Netflix or playing video games with your friends for academic excellence, you will notice improvement, which will motivate you to stay strong on your path.
4. Practice Changes The Brain In Unique Ways
Research indicates short periods of practice can actually enhance the brain’s plasticity and change its structure. Brain imaging indicates that even a small lesson, on let’s say new words, can change the brain circuits and makes retrieval of information quicker. You can access more complex information stored in your long-term memory easily and apply it quickly through deliberate practice. Open-ended short answers tests are a great way to assess progress in this area!
5. Practice Sessions Act As Check-Posts
Academic practice sessions are not only an effective way to track progress in a particular area before a crucial milestone like a final exam, they act as useful check-points to flag weak spots in a timely manner so they can be addressed before it’s too late.
At SpeedLabs, our hybrid coaching platform incorporates a lot of practice sessions across NECRT, NEET, ICSE, JEE and more, which genuinely help students identify strengths and weaknesses so they can clarify their doubts with our seasoned instructors before moving on to the next level – we’ve noticed our students’ math and science performance levels increasing substantially, as a result.
To find out how our technology-driven hybrid coaching programs help students master subjects and excel academically through practice tests, AI and in-person targeted coaching, contact our team at [email protected]
Also published on Medium.