Students come out of exam hall after appearing in class 12 Economics re-exam conducted by CBSE in New Delhi on April 25, 2018. Image Source: IANS

New Delhi: Students come out of exam hall after appearing in class 12 Economics re-exam conducted by CBSE in New Delhi on April 25, 2018.

With board examinations fast approaching, most students take a whole lot of  time studying and overlook the revision part.

Exam time. Maybe there is enough study done, maybe not.

The idea is to max the performance, and revision has a potent impact on the performance we register.

If you want to ace the exam with flying colors, these  strategies will help you and enhances your time management so hat you can make the most of your revision time ahead of the exam. Some of the tricks that will help to get top results in the class. 

Tips that will give you ample time to prepare and revise before your board exams:

  •  Start from scratch 

Doing everything, from scratch easily takes 10-15 days. You don't have that much time before an exam, esp. if you have 4-6 exams over 2-3 weeks. So the only way is to refer to condensed notes. Take an A3 sheet or a big chart, and compile all key formulae, terms etc on it. Scan this chart many times in your run up to the exam. 

  • Test your memory

Now that you've scanned your chart, why not make the whole chart again, from memory. Writing, pressuring mind to come up with details, helps anchor all stuff deep and solid. This may take 2-3 hours, but this exercise is extremely beneficial. 

  • Speak

You know what, take any term or formula, and try speaking on that for a minute or even 30 seconds. Do this speaking for 10 terms/ formulae -- what do you realise? It exerts pressure, it makes you confront your depth of grasp on the issues. In case any term is not clear, you can review it from your book. Keep on trying this speaking on 10-15 items at a trot, many time in the day (waiting, watching TV, driving). 

  •  Revise and keep a track of important items on your list

You shall discover that every exam has around 50-150 items that form the entire syllabi, so to say. You can go to Glossary of the subject to identify these 100 items. You can go to index at back of a good book, to better identify this list of 100 items. In fact this way, whichever word you aren't clear on, you can cross-reference the page of the book that item appears on and get it brushed up. 

  •  Do Some learning activity

This may sound crazy, but some guys out there have tried this. Run 50 metres, return as fast, and then speak on 4-5 terms/ formulae someone throws at you. No time to catch breath -- just rattle off as asked. Maybe it is the unnaturalness of the setting or what, things begin to stay stuck in mind more easy. 

  • Revisit the toughies

Over the period of preparation, always keep on recording the tough difficult questions you encounter.Over revision, special time should be allocated to revising these. This aces you up and allows facing the tough questions set on the exam you would sit through. 

  • Warm-up

On the day of the exam, it is useful to try a 10-15 minute not seen before mock exam, some 2-3 hours prior to the commencement of the actual exam. This is just to loosen the mental muscles. Do not, repeat, do not evaluate your right or wrong on this warm-up. Take it in a fun mode.

  • Try a novel

Distraction is probably the nicest way to get primed up for an exam. Too much of exam based content makes life monotonous and brain cells tired. It is always a good idea to pick a novel, a thriller preferably, 2-3 days before an exam, and looking at your mood, browse 2-5 pages at a time. Never more. The idea is to keep the mind in a state of mild tease. 

Enter the exam whence the novel had not been completed, you can always finish it over after the exam. Magical things happen this way to your neural networks. 

  •  Form your own questions

This exercise is truly worth it, in case you are really focused on excelling on your exam. It entails setting up your own version of a full exam paper. You study the expected format/ pattern. You choose most fitting questions from here and there, of course after adapting them with due changes. You make your own creative questions. In case you are short of time, making a small part of the full exam paper also helps immensely.

  •   Exchange

You can swap the paper you set with a friend's and try each other's mock exams.  Great fun. Maybe a few questions are wrongly designed, but that's ok. After all you aren't a professional in exam framing. Believe me, the happiness you get on cracking your friend's set is heavenly.

Some additional tips that may help you with revision and enhance concentration during study time:

  •  Try to solve as many previous years' papers as you can. Not only will it help you understand how prepared you are for the examination, but at the same time, it will help you improve your writing speed in the actual examination.
  • Never try to mug up new concepts or chapters in the last few days. This is futile as it will add to unnecessary stress. Instead use the time to revise what you already know. Visual aids can be really helpful when revising. At the start of a topic, challenge yourself to write down everything you already know about a topic - and then highlight where the gaps lie. Closer to the exam, condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams. Getting your ideas down in this brief format can then help you to quickly recall everything you need to know during the exam.
  • Make sure you have enough space to spread your textbooks and notes out. Have you got enough light? Is your chair comfortable? Are your computer games out of sight?
  • Try and get rid of all distractions, and make sure you feel as comfortable and able to focus as possible. For some people, this may mean almost complete silence, for others, background music helps. Some of us need everything completely tidy and organized in order to concentrate, while others thrive in a more cluttered environment. Think about what works for you, and take the time to get it right.
  • Give yourself enough time to study. Don't leave it until the last minute. While some students do seem to thrive on last-minute cramming, it's widely accepted that (for most of us) this is not the best way to approach an exam. To help sort out your time management, set up a timetable for your study. Write down how many exams you have and the days on which you have to sit them. Then organize your study accordingly. You may want to give some exams more study time than others, so find a balance that you feel comfortable with.
  • If you're weak in certain areas, you must take the help of a friend or teacher to help you understand where you're going wrong. If you have good batch mates or friends who you know will not distract you, you can create a study group. Studying with like-minded friends help you break the stress and makes studying more fun.
  • Remember to take small breaks. Listen to music and read self help books every few hours. If a certain subject was too stressful, take a break and solve objective questions from previous examinations -- fill in the blanks, English grammar questions etc.
  • While you may think it's best to study for as many hours as possible, this can actually be counterproductive. If you were training for a marathon, you wouldn't try and run 24 hours a day. Likewise, studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, taking regular breaks really helps. Everyone's different, so develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, start early before taking a break at lunchtime. Or, if you're more productive at nighttime, take a larger break earlier on so you're ready to settle down come evening.
  • Try to start two months ahead of the exam to cut down on junk food and replaced it with home cooked food. If you had to step out, carry a lunchbox or biscuits and a bottle of water. It is important to use the last few days to revise what you already know. Many students feel overconfident and do not feel the need to revise old chapters that were taught at the start of the academic session. Your overall percentage could jump decimals with the addition of a few marks.
  • As a final tip, remember that being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. Make sure you keep drinking plenty of water throughout your revision, and also on the exam day. 

Never compare your performance with another friend or senior you know. Each one is differently-abled. Compete with yourself. Try and improve your individual performance.

Things to do on the day of the exam

  • If the exam centre is new, then aspirants should visit the centre more than once and understand the route well. Accompany your parents to the centre on the first day as it will help to get to the right centre  and reach the centre 10 minutes without getting late for your exam. As getting late may not allow you to complete the paper on time and dimnish your chances of getting good score.
  • Also it is important not to be hassled by the stress and pressure around you. On the day of the exam, use the last one hour before the exam to relax. Try to think about everything else but the examination you are going to appear for.
  • Request your friends also to avoid talking to you about the upcoming exam in the last one hour. It is very important to relax so that you can concentrate better at the time of the examination.
  • Believe in yourself and do not let others tell you what you are incapable of. Your determination and perseverance will help you ace the exams and emerge a winner.

Naturally, you would be keyed up with all these initiatives, and surely score well on the exam you take.

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