Sunday, January 23, 2005

Story and Revision Tips 2

Inspirational Story from the East

An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you."

The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!"

One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by--still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed.

Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful--in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try."

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!"

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"


If you plant honesty, You will reap trust
If you plant goodness, You will reap friends
If you plant humility, You will reap greatness
If you plant perseverance, You will reap victory
If you plant consideration, You will reap harmony
If you plant hard work, You will reap success
If you plant forgiveness, You will reap reconciliation
If you plant openness, You will reap intimacy
If you plant patience, You will reap improvements
If you plant faith, You will reap miracles
But
If you plant dishonesty, You will reap distrust
If you plant selfishness, You will reap loneliness
If you plant pride, You will reap destruction
If you plant envy, You will reap trouble
If you plant laziness, You will reap stagnation
If you plant bitterness, You will reap isolation
If you plant greed, You will reap loss
If you plant gossip, You will reap enemies
If you plant worries, You will reap wrinkles
If you plant sin, You will reap guilt


So be careful what you plant now, It will determine what you will reap tomorrow,The seeds you now scatter, Will make life worse or better,your life or the ones who will come after. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits,Or you will pay for the choices you plant today.


REVISION GUIDELINES Part 2

4. Get used to the time pressure you will be under in a real exam. A common complaint for exam students is running out of time. The truth is you will never have enough time for the exam, you just need to manage better the time you do have!
5. Realise that the amount of time spent on an exam needs to be in proportion to the marks it is worth.E.g. In a 3 hour exam Question A is worth 50 marks, B 25 marks and C 25 marks. Spend: A 50% x 180 mins = 90 mins
B 25% x 180 mins = 45 mins
C 25% x 180 mins = 45 mins
6. Be more time efficient as you become more familiar with the subject you are learning, especially if you are redoing the questions a 2nd time after doing them all.

Unless you are doing exam questions or mock exams don’t study for more than 50-60 minutes at a time. This is because your concentration lapses, keep taking these regular breaks.

Identify your strong and weak subjects and mix them up on your study plan. You don’t want to become de-motivated by lumping the difficult ones together or overconfident by putting all the easier ones together.

I had a tendency myself to take the relax last minute type approach for exams.

Only when I saw the biggest dosser on my course staying behind late at the library to revise 3 months in advance for final exams that I realised it was time to act. I wrote out the dates for the next 3 months on an A4 sheet of paper and next to them I put the number of days left to my first exam. Realising that time is shorter than I had thought I set about revising daily and I would start after Fajr, studying 50 minutes and then a 10-minute break. By midday I had done 6 sessions. I would take a reasonably long break for lunch and Zuhr and then would sit down again. The evenings I would spend for my own time to relax. Using this technique and by the grace of Allah (without whom nothing would be possible) I managed to get a upper second class degree while most of the others on my course got a lower second class degree.

Despite adopting the means one must recognise that only Almighty Allah can grant success and in your duah to Him this should be acknowledged (if the asker is not sincere in asking then how can he expect to receive that what he asks?).

My last final piece of advice but the most important ‘NEVER NEGLECT YOUR FARDH’ no matter how important anything else may seem.