Practice Does Not Pay You Always And Every Time

We practice many things with many a purpose. We practice to master any skill e.g. driving a car, to learn how to play a musical instrument, how to cook a dish, how to write on a typewriter (a qwerty keyboard in modern parlance). The wisdom behind practice is – Practice Makes You Perfect!!

The assumption is that the mistakes (or the incorrect responses) reduce on successive efforts and the desirable response (whatever is intended to be learnt) strengthens. This form of learning is called as the TRIAL AND ERROR FORM OF LEARNING. In other words the learning progresses on successive trails.

SSB Interview Practice

This form of learning i.e. `practice’ helps us in many fields. We learn the mathematical tables by practice. We mug up the model answers and practice to write (recall). We practice to play games including games like chess and the cards. We practice to cook dishes. We practice the steps in dance In short many psycho-motor and even cognitive skills are mastered through practice. A doctor `practices’ medicines and diagnosis and so does a lawyer. Here practice means APPLICATION of the LEARNT KNOWLEDGE.

[themify_quote]Through practice we refine our skills and firm up our recall. Practice in a way has become the mantra for our success in exams and in many fields wherever our performance is put to test.[/themify_quote]

And…under the influence to this PRACTICE mantra, most of the SSB aspirants start practicing. They practice to write the stories, to write the WAT sentences and quite a many start practicing even the Individual Obstacles and the short lectures as well. And this is the context I wish to say that practice has got it’s own limitations. It doesn’t pay you always.

Please be informed that in certain forms of learning (especially in the higher forms of learning) practice does not help at all. Learning is not progressive always. Let’s understand this point with an example:

Consider a question of rearranging the jumbled spellings. You have to rearrange the jumbled spelling INRUCTA into a meaningful word. Some of you got the answer instantly while quite a few are still struggling. The correct answer is CURTAIN. Now tell me frankly- how you got the answer? Did you get the answer by successive trials? Not at all.

The GESTALT SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY has explained how the HIGHER COGNITIVE learning takes place. GESTALT is a German word that means WHOLE. The Gestalt school of psychology prescribes that learning (certain form of Higher Cognitive Functions) is ALL or NONE affair. It is NOT PROGRESSIVE. Practice does not have a role. It HAPPENS ON A SINGLE TRIAL or IT DOES NOT HAPPEN AT ALL!

According to Gestalt School of Psychology LEARNING IS SUDDEN and COMPLETE/WHOLE on a single trail. SUDDENNESS and COMPLETENESS are the two attributes of learning (of certain contents without any dispute). And let’s have an example to elucidate this.

Lord Buddha sat in meditation under a tree (The Bodhi Tree). He attained the enlightenment SUDDENLY. And this was TOTAL. He has not attained enlightenment with PRACTICE. It came to him in totality and just at one time as a WHOLE. It was not PROGRESSIVE.

How does such learning happens? The Gestalt School explains the process of such learning as the PERCEPTUAL REORGANIZATION. The process of reorganization of perception happens at the processing level. One does not have any control over the level of perceptual processing.

[themify_quote]There are many elements of Service Selection Boards preparations that need UNDERSTANDING and without any dispute this would happen only with PERCEPTUAL REORGANIZATION.[/themify_quote]

Before you start preparation you must understand the macro objectives of SSBs, methodology, rationale, how it evolved, the psychological faculties associated with various techniques and the sub-tests therein…Either this understanding IS THERE or JUST NOT THERE!! Any Practice without understanding these would be simply futile.

And that is why in my personal Guidance programme I devote almost a full day to explain those points that underlie the various tests. Then it is so simple to go further. Without creating the fair understanding of this—any guidance, coaching or mentorship is simply futile- infructuous.

Service Selection Boards are primarily the tests of your COGNITIVE ABILITIES and PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS. You will never be able to raise your abilities by practicing the answers and mugging up the stories etc.

You can not increase your abilities nor it is possible to showcase your needs if you don’t have them.

[themify_quote]Abilities can be honed and needs can be shifted. But for that you need a mentor who can profile you and advise you in one-to-one situation after diagnosing your Entry Level Behavior.[/themify_quote]

That is what I do in my PGP and that is what is missing in the coaching centres.