Finally, as youngsters, you are going to face one of the first biggest challenges of your life, (among the many other challenges that will be thrown at you later in life) the Board exams. This is the time of the year when you are under some immense pressure, busy attending long tuition classes and deactivating your social life. Even if that was not enough, there is pressure from the parents as well to perform well in the exams.
Thankfully, there is still some time left for you to pull up your socks and get everything right.
Things to DO while preparing for your exams
Since the results and performance determine the choice of college/university and with fierce competition, here are some tips and suggestions that might help you get better prepared for the challenge that awaits you.
- Plan smartly
Ensure you give the required amount of time to each subject based on your proficiency and the vastness of the syllabus.While planning, ensure you account for each chapter and each topic in that chapter. One way to plan your study could be to start preparing for exams in the reverse order, that is, prepare first for the last exam such that you start preparing for the first exam about 2 weeks before the date.
- Study textbooks thoroughly
There is very little chance of a question beyond your prescribed textbooks. Ensure you are well versed with each concept and topic in your textbook. Do not ignore diagrams, tables or graphs in your textbooks as questions can be asked on any chapter from the textbook.
- Time your efforts
Get an idea as to how much time you need to answer a particular question.This will help you know if you need to concentrate on speed or accuracy.Finding out how much time you spend on a particular question will also help you know your strengths and weaknesses.
- Study in a group, once in a while
It is always good to study in a group, say once a week.It will help you get your doubts cleared by your friends who might know how to solve a particular question you find it hard to solve.Studying in a group also helps you validate your exam preparation and efforts.
- Study early mornings
Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise'. The idea is to sleep early and wake up early to stay fit and fresh.
Studying in the early mornings is the best time as there is minimal distraction outside which helps you concentrate better.
- Stress on your weaknesses
It is not a good idea to ignore your weak subjects.The board exam result is an aggregate percentage of all your subjects.Give equal importance to each subject.In case you find a particular subject difficult, direct more efforts towards it -- practice more and more so that by the end of preparations you are comfortable with all the subjects.
- Take care of your health
A lot of students end up feeling sick due to pressure, sleep deprivation and improper diet. Ensure that you have at least 7 hours of sound sleep everyday and have 4 healthy meals every day.Drink a glass of milk before going to bed in case you are facing trouble getting sound sleep.
- Don't lose your peace
Comparing your pre-boards marks with your friends who have scored more or worrying about lacking behind in preparation is only going to make matters worse.Learn to concentrate on your efforts rather than others. Just Relax!Don't give up on recreation and hobbies. About 8 hours of dedicated study is enough to get you good marks.
- Solve past year's question papers
Try to solve at least 10 past year's question papers to get an idea of the exam pattern and popular questions.Having studied well and being exam-ready are two different things.Solving past year's papers help you to get exam-ready. You will find a majority of questions being repeated over the years.
- Stress on important points/formulae
Memorising certain formulae, notes and dates are essential for almost all subjects.Make sure you learn them by-heart well in time before the exam.Write down these points on flash cards that you can carry along with you in your pocket or wallet. You can read them every time you have a moment to spare -- especially while you are travelling.
Additional points to Consider:
- Know your concentration span, study with breaks
- Work out is best to enhance your concentration level
- Do group study for difficult subjects
- Do not let previous results discourage you, identify your weak areas from previous exams and work on them
- Make a time management plan for all subjects
- Choose a study place with minimum distractions and auto suggest to your self about your resolution
- Try to coincide the time of preparations with that of examination time
- If you are aiming for an average score, master what you know and find your comfortable areas
- If you score low, master essential information first
- Prioritise the workload. Give your best time, focusing on the toughest subjects
- Repeat the completed subjects again, so that you can recall in exam easily.
- Try to plan your revision time by drawing up a timetable. Build in time for the things you enjoy - like watching your favourite TV programme, going out with your friends, or going to play football in the park
- Give yourself a few treats - pamper yourself with a long hot bath, or listen to your favourite CD for an hour after you have finished your revision
- Relax with what you know before entering the exam hall
- Do not get anxious about the result, there are many options beyond it.
Important Things To DO for Your Exam Day:
- Get your timings right
One of the biggest challenges facing students every year is getting the timing right so that you have enough time to answer all questions you need to. Come up with a clear time guide and write it on the front cover of your exam paper showing the actual time you should be starting each question. Then, in the middle of the exam you will be able to look at your watch and easily see how many questions you should have done at that time.
- Bring everything you need
It may sound simple but a lot of stress can be avoided by making sure you’ve everything you need to do the exam the following day. Make a check list the night before each exam. It’s a good idea to bring some snacks in to the exam hall. Bananas and cereal bars are good. Avoid bringing noisy foods such as crisps that will distract everyone else!
- Get the basics right
Okay, you’ve heard it a million times before but make sure you get the basics right. Read the questions carefully, underline key parts, and put your exam number on your answer booklet. Get familiar with the layout of the exam paper. Some papers are tricky and complicated instructions could throw you on the day. Know the meanings of the key question words.
- Do the easiest questions first
There is no reason to do the questions in the order they are printed in the exam. There are a couple of reasons for this; firstly, getting the first question done well will help calm you and get you focused for the rest of the exam. Secondly, Often you will get an easy question done quicker so you will be ahead of schedule form the start. It also means that by the end of the exam you will likely have more time to spend on the more difficult questions.
- Jog your short-term memory
The night before the exam is not the time to be trying to get your head around new concepts. You should be cramming keywords to jog your memory. Hopefully you will have distilled your notes into a couple of summary sheets. Go through these and try and tie the information together.
- Prepare your body
Two 3 hour exams a day, day after day will leave you feeling drained both mentally and physically. You need to prepare your body as well as mind for a lot of activity. Stuffing yourself with high sugar drinks and sweets will be fine for the first hour but you’ll be completely out of energy by the middle of the exam. Instead, try to eat slow energy release foods such as bread, pasta, porridge and fruit.
- Ask the invigilator
If you’re stuck on the meaning of a word or can’t understand what a question requires you to do. Put your hand up and ask the invigilator who is supervising the exams. More often than not they’ll help you or point you in the right direction.
- Look at the marking scheme
Keep an eye out for the marking scheme that shows how many marks are being awarded for each part of a question. If there are only a small amount of marks going for a part of a question then there is no point on writing a long answer, your time is better spent on parts with higher marks.
- If you’re running out of time
Supposing you find yourself with the time for only one question but two questions are left to do. The best thing you can do here is to do the first half of both questions. You gain way more marks in the first half of a question than at the end. Also if time is tight bullet points can be a great way of getting the information down as quickly as possible.