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As you prepare for the Class 10 board exams for the year 2007-08 -- the exam that will determine which college you attend and the career path you choose -- you must focus on ways to ease the stress and attempt to formulate a strategy to crack the exams. To help you, rediff.com in collaboration with Top Careers & You will be publishing a series of features to help plan your strategy and ace the exams.
By now you should be done with the syllabus, and have had revised each chapter -- however, it is understandable if you still do not feel confident enough. This is a typical situation that most of tenth graders face during the last months of their academic year. At this point, it is very important to analyse the real cause of this ill feeling and root it out before you sit for your board examinations.
Let us analyse the situation and see how you can overcome it. The three possible reasons are:
~ When your peers discuss a question with you and their answer is not quite convincing to you.
~ When you try to solve some problem and suddenly realise that you are not able to do it.
~ When your teacher initiates a discussion on a topic which you know very well and you suddenly discover that there is much more to it than what you know.
So what's the REAL problem?
In all these situations, the real problem is that although you have assimilated the knowledge, you don't know how to use that knowledge to your advantage. This could, most probably, be due to lack of in-depth understanding of the concept.
The problem arises when you read through the concepts to gain maximum knowledge about the concept and the knowledge you could actually gain is just superficial. To reinforce knowledge and to understand it correctly and completely, you need to practice by solving the right kind of questions.
The Solution: Choosing the RIGHT Questions
Now that we know the underlying problem and its solution, the next job is to ensure that the questions identified by you are the right ones. In fact, there are three sources from where you can get the 'right kind of questions'.
(a) The NCERT textbook
The NCERT textbook contains certain understanding-based questions after every concept dealt with in the book. Basically, the book has been structured in a way that ensures step-by-step learning and assessment of the sub-topics rather than focusing on overall understanding of the topic.
Try to solve these questions on your own and get your answers checked by an expert. Identify the questions that you have got wrong and revise the relevant concept before you attempt them again.
(b) Question bank
A question bank indexed topic-wise or concept-wise can help serve your purpose. Go to a good bookshop and browse through the question banks available. Choose a book that presents the questions concept-wise. Consider the listed question as a mini test on the concept and take it. Get your answers checked by an expert. Look for the concepts you are weak at and work on them.
(c) Online resources
Although presented in a structured way, the NCERT questions are not comprehensive and very probing. You can only identify the larger chinks in your preparation from it. The types of questions in the question bank may not be application and understanding-oriented.
Another difficulty is that it may not be easy to get your answers evaluated by somebody every single time. This is where online resources like www.tcyonline.com can give you an edge. The tests appearing on www.tcyonline.com are free and evaluation is done at a more advanced platform than that provided by any other available online sources. The main advantage of the tests available on the web site is that they are completely NCERT-based and are very detailed.
The tests are designed to identify even the minutest chinks in your preparation. A detailed advisory, pinpointing the areas that you need to focus is automatically generated at the end of the test.
Identifying the chinks in your preparation is just the first step but perhaps the most important one towards a perfect score. It is equally important that you fill in these chinks with the help of your teachers, peers and adequate practice material including your text book.
The author is an examination and assessment expert in Mathematics and Science and is a senior trainer with STEPS, the school division of Top Careers & You.
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