10 things you MUST do while preparing for board exams
With board exams just a month away, Mohit Gundecha, CEO, YourNextLeap.com suggests ten things you must do to ensure that you are better prepared for the D-day. Illustrations by Uttam Ghosh
As a youngster, board exams are probably the first challenge you will face among the many other challenges that will be thrown at you later in life.
Thankfully, you have ample time to be prepared.
With just a little over a month left for the exam, here are some tips and suggestions that might help you get better prepared for the challenge that awaits you.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 (formulae, theorem, definitions)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.
You can write down these notes in bright colours on chart papers and stick them around your study place or pin them on to a board in your room. Every time you pass by, you will take a look at the notes which will also help you in memorising them.
5. 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.
Once you find that out, stress more on your weak areas.
6. 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.
Say, you have left out some portion of the syllabus purposefully; your study group can tell you if it's a good idea to do so. Spending time with your friends will also help you feel refreshed.
7. 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.
Having rested well, your mind is also in a better state to grasp what you are reading.
8. 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.
Ignoring even one subject can lead to a dramatic fall in the aggregate percentage. For example, when you have scored about 90 marks in all five subjects while you managed to score just 65 in one, it will reflect on your overall score in a bad way and will also pull down your percentage to 85.
9. 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.
10. 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.
Spend the rest of the day doing things you like or best, pursue a hobby. It will keep the exam pressure from getting the better of you.