Smart Work vs Hard Work: What Do Toppers Follow for Competitive Exam Preparation

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Smart Work vs Hard Work: Exam preparation necessitates a great deal of effort on the part of students. Giving up their social life, avoiding all of the things they enjoy doing with their leisure, sitting in the confines of their houses with a book in hand, and so on. It does become monotonous after a time. The repetitious, apparently unending practice that students are required to perform in the name of ‘working hard’ makes it even duller for them.

It’s a need of the hour for aspirants to understand the difference between working hard and working wisely. To maximise efficiency and get the desired result in the exam, a perfect balance of hard work and smart work is required.

Hard Work vs Smart Work

What is Hard Work?

Hard Work is defined as just doing a task without planning ahead of time how you will do it or using any means of reducing your efforts.
Hard work requires- 

  • Commitment
  • Persistent
  • Resourcefulness
  • Time
  • Focus
  • Farsightedness

What is Smart Work?

Smart work is developing a strategic approach to the task and identifying tasks that must be completed.
Smart Work requires

  • Life management skills
  • A proper built strategy
  • Keeping pace with the work
  • Innovation
  • The need of the hour
  • More creativity

Are Smart Work and Shortcuts the Same?

No, there is a clear difference between Smart work and Shortcuts.
Sure, shortcuts might make our work simpler, but smart work is not synonymous with shortcut-finding. Smart work means generating alternatives and simpler ways to accomplish things, but this does not necessarily imply that the people following smart work are lazy or unreliable; rather, they are smart enough to sort through the alternatives and discover the better way out.

Smart Work vs Hard Work

Smart Work Hard Work
Saves a lot of time Time-taking
Evaluated based on results and quality Evaluated based on the quantity of work and Time invested  
Smart work is done with innovative methods to maximize the result within the least time Hard work is done in a traditional way with the same old ideas and methods

Smart Work or Hard Work: What Do Toppers Follow?

Smart Work + Hard Work = Selection

Well, Toppers follow the right balance between smart work and hard work. In other words, toppers do study for 8 – 10 hours daily which is a characteristic of hard work, but they make sure that they invest their time smartly to get the maximum results. While preparing for SSC exams, where the competition is so tough, aspirants must use their time smartly to get the final selection. Every aspirant has 24 hours time to themselves, it is up to the individual how he chooses to use his time in order to get ahead in this competition. It is not possible to get a selection with only hard work or only smart work. There has to be a balance between these two. 

Let us understand with the help of an example. Look at the following picture 

Smart Work vs Hard Work: What Do Toppers Follow for Competitive Exam Preparation

Here both Aspirant A and Aspirant B are doing the hard work as both are studying for 8 – 10 hours but Aspirant B is also allotting the time based on the nature and priority of the subjects. 

Subjects like Reasoning and Quant need more time as they require a lot of question practice. That’s why Aspirant B has allotted more time to quant and reasoning. On the other hand, Aspirant A has not considered this fact. 

How Can You Do Smart Work in SSC Exams Preparation?

Smart Work vs Hard Work: What Do Toppers Follow for Competitive Exam Preparation

  • Prioritize the topics based on their question weightage in the exam
  • Consider the parameter like the nature of the topic, your strong and weak areas, etc.
  • Allot more time practising the weak topics
  • Use more charts, diagrams, infographics in the study notes to revise better
  • Instead of referring to 10 different sources to study, try to minimize the sources and use the extra time for revision
  • As the Current Affairs and General Awareness is the part of Tier-1 of the SSC CGL, give time according to its weightage. Do not give the whole day to this subject
  • Follow Smart revision tips
  • Do not waste your energy on irrelevant issues like social media. 
  • Engage yourself in refreshing activities. 

All The Best !!!


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