Tips to crack GATE - Whiteboard test
Lets continue our article series on Tips to crack GATE. If you think of it, teaching is one of the most difficult tasks in the world. It actually requires one to be thorough with the concepts and be ready to take on all possible questions from those concepts. For a teacher, the learning lies in these possible questions. I believe, the more the teacher teaches a concept, the better it becomes at it. Why so? The more a teacher tries to answer questions, he has to work harder in making the concepts clear.
Einstein once said, "If you cannot explain it to a six year old, then you don't understand it yourself". You must be wondering by now, what does a teacher got to do with preparing for GATE. I call it the beauty of the Whiteboard or blackboard. It is nothing less than a magical transformation that happens when you start explaning something using a whiteboard or any board for that matter of fact. It happens because when when you become responsible for someone else's learning and growth, you automatically become more cautious and refined in your thought process. Your mind starts to explore the possible answers to the queries made on a certain topic. The mind starts throwing different examples to explain a concept and sometime do a simple demonstration to explain things. So, taking the role of a teacher helps you take a holistic view of a concept or a problem.
How to don the hat of a teacher? When you are doubtful about a concept, go to the whiteboard and explain the concept to a group of close friends, may be your study circle. Once you start explaning, you feel your thoughts will become more clear and you will be able to spot your weaknesses and flaws. In this process, your friends will help you by asking questions or pointing out where you are wrong or incorrect.
One thing I do when I get stuck at some problem, is that I stare. I stare hard at the problem, prepare a lay out of the problem also called the free body diagram, any mathematical equation etc. and take a step back and stare at it all once again. Recognise what you know and what you need to know in order to solve the problem at hand. Go to the whiteboard and complete one step. Iterate like this and evaluate whether this approach is taking you forward or merely taking you round in circles with an ever increasing number of variables. You keep doing this, till you figure out what is wrong and you will definitely get immense learning from this approach.
CAUTION: This kind of activity might result in some sleepless nights.
So on that note, let us now move on to our next step towards GATE preparation and understand how to build your memory muscle.