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While the examination period has always been a difficult time for all of us. It’s that time when you need to study more hours that may make you feel like doing everything except studying. Well, at least most of us. Here are some things you should definitely avoid during your exams.

Top mistakes students make in a board exam

With barely some weeks left for the exams to begin, students must concentrate on utilising the time available at hand and avoid some common mistakes to score well.

There are students who spend more time preparing for the exams, but still struggle with time during the actual examination as they ignore the basics rules and commit some common mistakes.

Here are some common mistakes students make while attempting board exams and how to overcome them:

· Not reading the question paper

It is one of the most common mistakes that most of the students make when they not utilise their 15-minute reading time properly.

First and foremost, students should read the question paper carefully and thoroughly so as to organise their thoughts and manage their time well through the exam.

·  Time mismanagement

When it comes to exams, answering questions within time is important and time management plays a vital factor to ace the board exam. If you can't find time well then you will find yourself struggling to complete the paper that might create anxiety and a panic towards the last few minutes of the exam.

One startegy is to always stick to the word limit and time limit one allocates for attempting questions of different weightage. Generally, the paper is usually spread into these categories -- Very Short Answer, Short Answer  and Long Answer.

Devise a time plan on how much time you will dedicate to each question and category and always stick to it. Move on to the next question as soon as the set timelimit is over, and only return to answer if you have the time.

·   Not following the hierarchy

You need to remember a lot of things regarding the content of the answer. Always follow a hierarchy when answering the questions and remember never to answer essay type questions without properly planning the order in which various points are to be covered. Try out some points and ensure that the answers should be relevant to the questions and depending upon word limit, must follow a hierarchy of relevance, from the most important to the least.

Schools play a major role here and should usually give enough practice to students during internal examinations, so that they are clear about what value points, technical terms and keywords are required in the answers.

Teachers should use the same marking scheme for checking and analysing their question papers as well as analysing the model papers, and during internal assessments at least in classes 11 and 12.

Students will be in a much better position if they regularly analyse the content of their answers by keeping in mind the value points given in the marking scheme as well as compare their answers with model answers, during the internal assessments and  they will be able to develop the skill of determining the hierarchy of relevance of content and will able to score better marks in the Boards.

·  Copying incorrect data

Avoid doing so and especially in numerical questions it is found that students copy the data incorrectly from the question paper, or from one step of the problem to the next. Also ensure to convert the data into appropriate units.

· Diagrams

Use diagrams whenever required and diagrams  should be neat and labeled. Also, additional points are given to students who manages well to present an examiner-friendly answer script with legible and neat handwriting, sequential presentation of answers and their sub-parts, underlining/highlighting keywords and technical terms.

Never forget to re-check the answer scripts before submitting the same to the examiner.

Some Don’ts of exam technique

·  Never panic

This is one of the most important advise given to all students during exams. Even though it is easier said than done, but it’s important to try and keep level headed throughout the exam. Identified main reasons for stress at exam time is the lack of control. Normally the uncertainity and the expectations make the students get stressed since they don’t know what is coming up.

It is important to calm yourself by visualizing yourself in the exam hall. Ensure to read the paper and picking out the questions you are going to do early on that will help calm you as it removes the stress caused by the unknown of what’s coming up. 

· Never  worry about being penalized

It is applicable to all the students as most of them  worry about making mistakes and worry about spelling words incorrectly. Keep a mindset that you’re being marked positively not negatively so everything you write is getting you marks. 

· Never  leave out questions

It is important to attend to all the questions as from experience, one of the the main reasons student underperform in exams is not because they answer questions badly but because they leave out questions. Remember , every long question you leave out will lessen your chances of getting a good score and even drop you by a grade.

· Try not to run out of time

This is one of the most important factors even if you are prepared well for your exams. Managing your time in the exam is vital if you are not to leave out questions. You need to prepare a time plan  to  give yourself a breakdown of how much time to spend on each question.

One  good trick that works well is to write your question schedule with actual times onto the cover of your answer book while the papers are being handed out. In this manner, if you look at your watch and it’s say 10:05 you know exactly how much of your exam you should have done.  Always stick to your schedule as instead of  taking the time perfecting answers and gaining 4 marks maynot sound good at the expense of not doing a whole 50-mark question.

·    Don’t get tired

You need to give your mind a good rest before the exams and staying up late the night before an exam is not advisable. It will make you tired in the exam hall and worse you won’t be able to work anything out.  Ensure to keep a regular sleep cycle so that you’re fully awake and ready to work when the exams start each morning.

·   Don’t get stuck on a question

Never spend much time particularly on a hard question and don’t sit there panicking about it. It is best if you can have a quick think about it, mark it with a highlighter and move on to another question. There are good chances that by the time you come back to it your subconscious mind will have already set you up to make an attempt at it.

·  Never bother looking around the exam hall

Never spend time looking around the hall and this is one of the most common things students do, especially in exams they find difficult. They spend time in looking around and trying to check how their classmates are doing. This is a waste of time and there is really no point in doing this. You are mostly seeing others writing things speedily will only serve to stress you further. You need to concentrate on your own exam and get your focus on your own paper.

·  Don’t dwell

So you are done with your exams and the best thing to do it avoid spending half the day worrying about what went wrong and how you could have improved it. Avoid chatting to friends after every exam about finding out your mistakes and that will only fill you with frustrating regrets. Just try to forget about the subject and move on to the next exam schedule once you hand up your paper. You’re next focus is tomorrow’s exam.

·  Don’t leave an exam early

This is not to tell you sit through the exams but even once you' re done look back at your answers and try something to improve your answers. Keep on reading back over your work and make sure you’ve answered all parts of all questions. Take the place of an examiner and try to read your answers as you were correcting someone else’s work. It is a important thing as maybe  the changes you make in these last few minutes could bring you up a grade.

·  Don’t panic

We will repeat this tip again. If you encounter a really hard question or paper, there are chances every other student will find it hard too. Remeber not to panic as sometimes the marking scheme will be made easier for harder exams. Keep your mind focused and stay positive to give each exam your best and everything will work out.

· Leaving everything for the last minute:

Even though it seems unavoidable and possibly there seems to be no other way one can possibly be sure about everything before an exam. Ensure you are little prepared before exams. As an important tip, write down your syllabus somewhere and try to stick it up on the board. You will be able to focus on what you should be studying. Always try to read through things from before, so you have a brief idea of what you’re going to have to study before the exam. Just, try not to open your books for the first time, the night before the exam.

· Stop checking your phone continuously:

You need to concentrate while studying and it is important to switch off your mobile data and if required keep your phone locked in a cupboard to keep yourself from continuously checking through your news feed, talking to friends in a chat or tagging people in memes.

·  Cramming everything up:

This is the mistake most of us do and please avoid the mistake of leaving most of your work to the last minute. Avoid  to cram things up in your brain by learning everything just before the exam starts. Remember that your brain has a certain capacity and avoid to stress yourself and do things beyond your brain's capacity that will only make you forget the things that you do know.

So there’s no need to be the jack of all trades, learn how much ever you can, and learn it well.

· Never eat unhealthy:

Even this sounds frivolous and unavoidable. This tip is important as eating unhealthy leads to indigestion, lethargy, drowsiness, laziness and eventually wastage of time. Not only it will make you feel like sleeping at a time when you should be studying but will also affect your concentration level during exams. Avoid large amounts of junk food. Try to feed more on fruits, no matter how hard it is. Believe me, it helps. Also, eat at proper timings and try not to have a very heavy dinner. 

·Never  take SUPER-LONG breaks: 

It is important to set up break times and manage your breaks well. Ensure the breaks are not longer than you intended. If ouy study for like two hours and take a ten minute break, not the other way round. Keep everything under control and avoid doing anything time consuming during the break so that it does not stretch longer than intended. You may even set an alarm so you don’t forget when to start studying.

· Never procrastinate:

Make a plan and start off by making a list of all the topics you’re supposed to complete. Make a direction to allot a specific time to each topic and ensure that it is done by then.  You make take the help  of your friends or your parents to keep checking up on you at regular intervals.

·  Avoid  staying up late:

This is a bad habit and even though you may feel like you are getting a lot of work done staying up late hours but its not the case as it is  actually doing you more harm than good. Get to bed early and wake up early, especially during exams. You will feel more active during exams and it increases your productivity tremendously. Avoid pulling off all-nighters.

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