Exaltation-Debilitation A planet is in an extremely happy condition when he is exalted and is in an extremely miserable condition when he is debilitated (It is not always true, But this fundamental principle is useful for prediction). When and upto what degrees in a sign is a planet exalted is the first lesson you learn.
Note : Except Mercury who is exalted in Kanya no other planet gets any exalted status in its own house. All exalted planets get debilitated in the seventh house from their points of exaltations. For instance the Sun is exalted in Mesha. Now count in this way. Mesha first, Vrisha second, Mithuna third, Karka ending with Tula which is the seventh house from Aries.Moolatrikona The second best condition for planets is called as the Moolatrikona. Remember it. Sun in Simha upto 20 degrees Moon in Vrishabha upto 27 degree Mars in Mesha upto 12 degrees Mercury in Kanya upto 20 degrees Jupiter in Dhanu upto 10 degrees Venus in Tula upto 15 degrees Saturn in Kumbha upto 20 degrees