Exam Strategies: Tips to Remember Better

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If your exam is round the corner and you are not able to remember what you have studied, then this post is for you. This post is also for you if you have no exams but you generally find it difficult to retain information.

Firstly, ensure that you have a study schedule in place. One of the ways to do this is to go to the date of the exam and then make a backward plan of how many days you are left with and what is the portion that you need to study. Organise your schedule/ timetable accordingly. Here are few psychologically proven strategies that will help you remember better.

1) Get excited about learning:  If you take learning as something that you are dreading, it will be difficult to remember anything. Instead, if you get excited and interested, you will remember better. If you are in a good mood, you will remember better as well. So, do things that make you happy. For example, have a favourite beverage in a cute cup, or listen to a peppy song before you start to study.

2) Rely on visual memory: Memory is predominantly visual. So, try associating an image to everything that you need to memorise. Drawing it out in your mind would help too. Make diagrams, flow charts or just doodle in a way that makes sense to you and helps you to visualise the information.

3) Rely on Mnemonics: Turn the information in to a song, rhyme, acronym, image, phrase, or sentence. For example, try making a silly song about the historical facts and dates that you have to remember.

4) Break the information in to smaller bits: When we try remembering a phone number, we chunk them in to parts. Similarly, if you break the information in to boxes or groups of smaller information, you will remember better. One way is to make an information tree where the main branches spread out to smaller branches or leaves. You can assign a label (representing information) to each. This will help you organise the information in your mind.

5) Associate the new information with what you already know. Associating old with the new is a good way to remember. The more mental connections you have to a piece of information, the more successful you will be in remembering it.

6) Write it down: Write out the items to be memorised over and over again. Repetition is the key to remembering. Write on flashcards cards, note pads or on fancy paper.

7) Explain to someone else: The act of explaining to someone else helps us to remember better.

8) Summarise the information: Summarisation requires you to think about the information in a more engaged way. So, you can write a brief summary of a topic studied, either in the margins or in a separate notebook. That notebook can then become your reference point before the exam (instead of you having to study your entire notes again).

9) Be physically healthy: Stay hydrated, eat healthy and get adequate sleep. All these will enable you to retain information better

10) Stay organised: A clutter-free mind and and a clutter-free space will help you remember better.

Good luck with remembering and have fun!



A boy in a hoodie eating Skittles on the way home
gives you the jitters.

But the news reports on cold-blooded murders?
Those you’ve long been numbed to.

Kill the young trans girl-
who knows what kind of monster she’ll transform into next?

Shoot the woman playing with her nephew.
How dare she be seen in her own backyard

Gun down the children,
so they don’t have to run from the monsters

Blow up the streets,
so when the monsters break into your house, you’ll be long gone

Wipe the blood off your forehead,
It’s okay – every home houses its own nightmares

Live with him anyway,
because no one’s going to believe you

Don’t try to speak up,
your melanin does the talking for you

Cover yourself up, blend into the walls.
You’re never safe in your own skin

Arm yourself with pepper spray,
lest the ink of the night pull you in

Hold your purse close, your head low
Stay in the shadows

The monsters under your bed
Wouldn’t stand a chance against the ones in your head

Because these ones don’t scream “boo”
before they come for you.


This piece is written by Ayushee Roy. She is a first-year English and pre-Communication Studies major. Ayushee is a meme-enthusiast who firmly believes that pineapple belongs on pizza and that dark chocolate is the universal cure to a bad day.

To include your work/ voices here, write to us at ingrouphelp@gmail.com




Self Esteem in Teens


“Do you think they like me,” she asked.

“I am sure, they do,” I said, “but what’s more important is, do you like yourself?”

“Not really.”

This was a conversation with a teen today and that’s the reason for this topic yet again. I believe that before we decide to change our life for the better, we need to do a self-esteem check. Adults, kids and teens, us all. Unless, we have looked at our insecurities, our fears and self worth, we can not lead a happy, healthy and productive life. From chasing goals, to being motivated; from developing strong relationships to being resilient, a lot depends on how we see ourselves. So, here’s breaking down Self- Esteem

In psychology, self-esteem means a person’s overall sense of worth. In simple words it means what you think about yourself and how much you appreciate and like yourself. This encompasses your beliefs about yourself, your perception of your appearance, your emotions, and behaviors.

Self Esteem and Teens

A healthy self-esteem works wonders. It can change your attitude, perspectives and relationships with yourself and others. A healthy self-esteem allows teens to explore possibilities, take calculated risks and problem solve, skills that eventually help them to lead a successful and well-rounded life in the future.

Signs of Healthy Self-Esteem include:

  • Confidence
  • Ability to say no
  • Positive outlook
  • Ability to see strengths and weaknesses
  • Ability to bounce back from setbacks
  • Ability to express needs and emotions

Signs of Low Self-Esteem include:

  • Negative outlook
  • Lack of confidence
  • Inability to express needs and emotions
  • Excessive focus on weaknesses rather than strengths
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, depression, and anxiety
  • Belief that others are better than you
  • Trouble accepting positive feedback
  • Intense fear of failure

The good news is that self-esteem can be rebuilt.

What can you do?

  • Use positive affirmations.
  • Identify your strengths and competencies and develop them further.
  • List accomplishments and celebrate small and big successes.
  • Learn to accept compliments.
  • Eliminate self-criticism and introduce self-compassion
  • Practice positive self-talk.


What can parents do?

First and foremost, do not allow yout teen to go in to isolation. Communication channels should be kept open and it is important to find out where the source of low self-esteem is stemming from. If talking to your teen is not helping, seek the assistance of teachers, counsellors or mentors. Once the source of low self-esteem is established, parents can help by modeling self-affirming behaviors, practising positive self-talk, providing a non-judgemental space, and ensuring constant communication.

What can friends do?

Use positive affirmations to encourage your friend. Be encouraging and avoid judging. Offer emotional support. Do seek out professional help if your friend self harms or thereatens to do so.

Too Much Self-Confidence?

In most cases, knowing your strengths and having the assuredness are admirable qualities, but if your over-confidence makes you inflexible, opposed to trying new things, and incapable of listening to others, it can have a negative impact on your life as well. This can result in:

  • Missed opportunities, because you assume something to be too easy
  • Taking on too much, because you overjudge your capabilities
  • Alienating friends because you come across as, ‘arrogant.’
  • Relationship issues, as you might end up overly concerned with your own performance and do not pay attention to others.


A balance of everything is good. Same rule applies here. Start with positive affirmations and build yourself up, step by step.

“I like myself,” say it with a smile.

Or rather, “I like myself on most days. Sometimes, I like myself a little less, but that’s okay.”



(The writer is a teen- mentor/ mediator and conducts talks & workshops on self-esteem, positive communication and self-development).



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If you haven’t heard of ghosting yet, you probably should. Ghosting is common and the concept is not even new. However, it has become more pronounced lately due to the multiple channels of social media access that we give the people we get close to.

What is Ghosting?

Ghosting is when someone you care about (and thought cared about you too), disappears without any explanation, with no phone call, no email, and not even a text. They remove themselves from your life, ending all contact or communication. Ghosting may happen at any given point of time in a relationship (or friendship) and contrary to popular belief, it’s the girls who do more of the disappearing act.

Continue reading

Dear InGroup


(We received this note from a parent. As per our usual practice, the name has been kept anonymous. You can write to us at ingrouphelp@gmail.com).

Dear InGroup,

Your last post on bullying touched my heart. I would like to share my own experience as a parent. This year, my daughter went through bullying episodes in school. She’s not yet a teen. The eposodes were severe, and happened during recess, when people called her names and touched her and shoved her. We kept the school informed, but one day, we got a call from the school and from the police. My daughter had tried to take her life. Can you imagine!!! She is not even 10!  We were devastated and shattered. Actions were taken and the school suspended few students. But, even now my daughter is very scared and we are taking her for counselling sessions.

adult black and white darkness face
Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on Pexels.com

I would like to share this with the other parents and also with the other kids/ teens, going through similar things. I want to let them know that they are not alone. I also want to share this so that bullying episodes are not brushed aside as something that is inevitable or ‘just a part of growing up.’ Bullying is serious and should be taken seriously.


A parent


Parents’ Guide to Bullying

rear view of a boy sitting on grassland
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A pre-teen came back from school, upset. The reason was that she felt excluded during lunch. No one had said anything mean to her but she was ignored as the rest of the girls chatted away to each other, without replying to her comments. This happened again and again, and though there was no physical abuse, no verbal taunts and no fights, her friends chose to consistently ignore her. The result was that this otherwise bubbly girl retreated in to her shell and became reticent. Very often she would refuse to go to school.

This bullying story is not uncommon and this could be any school and any child. However, this should not go unnoticed. Bullying in any form has a negative impact. It not only affects the self-esteem of the one who is bullied, but it also creates an environment that is detrimental to general wellbeing of all. It is necessary therefore, to understand what is bullying. When parents and schools partner to create a bully-free environment, a supportive and collaborative community is created for all.

What is bullying?

Bullyinginvolves deliberately hurting or upsetting another person through hurtful words, actions or social exclusions. It is often an unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. It may not just be one incident, but a behavior that is repeated (or has the potential to be repeated) over time.

What are the different types of bullying?

Physical: Hitting, punching, pushing, shoving, grabbing etc.

Verbal: Insults, name-calling, teasing, threats and racial slurs.

Social: Gossiping, rumours, and exclusion from group activities.

Online: Cyberbullying through text messages, email and social networking sites.

(See Channel News Asia’s video on Cyber-bullying here).


What are the warning signs?

According to the Children’s Society, the warning signs of a child being bullied are:

• Unexplainable injuries and bruises
• Changes in eating habits
• Lost or destroyed clothing, books and stationeries
• Sleeping difficulty
• Frequent headaches or stomach aches
• Feeling sick or faking illness
• Declining grades
• Refusal to go to school
• Sudden loss of friends or isolation

What can parents do to help?

1)  Nurture a Bully-Free Environment

Empower your children to stand up against bullying, and to report if they see their friends being bullied as well. You can also talk to your children about the various ways they can support a bullied friend.

2) Stay calm and support your child

Dr Eileen Kennedy Moore, author of Smart Parenting for Smart Kids, suggests that parents should teach their children to keep their reactions neutral in case of bullying. This discourages the bully from picking on them again. Similarly, parents should stay calm themselves while supporting their child. Dr Jole Habel explains more. Watch the video here.

Other preventive suggestions include, regularly talking to your child about the things going on in his or her life, being in touch with the teachers to know how your child is doing socially, andlistening and responding to all complaints about bullying from your children (even if they seem trivial).

3) Nip bullying in the bud

It is not enough to talk just about being bullied. Have a discussion on being a bully as well. Talk to your child about empathy and trust to ensure that he or she does not engage in bullying behaviour. It is also a good idea to have a discussion on consequences and put certain corrective measures in place (if needed).

Read Parent Coach, Tina Feiga’s tips here


Where to Get Help?


Parents as Partners

Parents and school form the very pillars on which children’s developmental stages are based upon. Taking a united stand against bullying ensures that positive experiences shape their growth.

(This article was specially written by us for GIGIS)

The Silent World of Colours

#realstories #myvoice

How does it feel to be different?

Our post is about someone who found it hard to fit in. Everyone who struggles to fit in will tell you that they want people to notice what’s good, to acknowledge what one can do, and to try and understand the beauty of uniqueness. We all want to understand and be understood. Only sometimes we have to try a little harder.

Self Portrait by Ziyue Chen

Ziyue is a Singapore-based illustrator and a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design in US. She may not be able to hear the sounds and the words, but she sure knows how to translate the words in to emotions through her illustrations.

It all started with drawing on the wall as a kid,” she says. Art was a form of escape from the struggles, frustration and confusion of “growing up deaf.”  Her mum encouraged her to draw and continues to be her biggest supporter. When she was nine, her mum transferred Ziyue from a Hearing Impaired school to a mainstream school, so that she could fit into society despite her disability.

Anyone with a dream will tell you that it’s not easy. It couldn’t have been easy for her too. People grow disheartened when faced with challenges, and so did Ziyue. Somewhere down the road, Ziyue stopped creating art when she wasn’t doing well academically. Eventually though, she managed to complete her schooling and then completed her diploma in Digital Media Design, majoring in Animation. She worked as an animator for a Children’s Television Programme.

Today, Ziyue works mostly on Children’s Books, mural painting and print media from concept development to print. She says that she draws inspirations from life experiences, from memories, travel and people around her, which in her words, is “basically everywhere that comes within my senses”. Ziyue’s world is full of colours. “I’m happy to be an artist, working as a Children’s Book Illustrator and occasionally sketching in my personal sketchbook.”

Her story of colours and warmth is a reassurance. It reminds us of a rainbow after the rain, and of possibilities in a life full of challenges. An inspiration, not only to those who are faced with challenges in life, but also to those who would like to follow their hearts, Ziyue Chen makes it seem possible.

“I like that you emphasized on possibilities and my art, more than on my deafness,” said Ziyue when she read the feature our founding member had done for her. Read the feature here. We are grateful to Ziyue for allowing us to share her story.