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Board exams: How to make the most of your revision time

February 08, 2014 10:07 IST

Board exams: How to make the most of your revision time

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Pankhuri Shukla, YouthIncMag

The finals are almost upon us, which is good enough cause for queasy stomachs and sleepless nights. 

Worry not. These expert tips will guide you to tackle the last leg of exam preparation and help you banish any anxiety related to the boards.

It's February already! The quivers are creeping in while the prep leaves are almost over.

There's a certain amount of tautness in the air, and the uneasiness never finds its way out no matter how well prepared you are.

Everyone has their own modus operandi for studying, but when it comes to revision, one is left utterly befuddled.

What is the key to making the last leg of exam preparation constructive?

Namrita D Bera, an English teacher, advices, "Revision is more about smart work than hard work, identifying your weaknesses and strengths and going through them simultaneously -- providing adequate time to both."

Health is wealth

Some common tips would include getting enough sleep and commensurate food in your digestive system.

Remember, you do not want to feel heavy and constipated on the day of the paper.

Making a to-do revision list with sufficient number of breaks can prove to be a viable start to your day ahead.

It will give you a brief idea of how to go about things and also make the process organised.

Courtesy:YouthIncMag.com

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Image: Make a to-do list of the important chapters you intend to revise and follow it
Photographs: Parth Sanyal/Reuters

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The traditional memory retention tactic

Simple techniques like random babbling of answers to peers and family members can help in memory retention immensely.

Reading the answer and then covering it with your palm while trying to bear it in mind is one of the most vintage and helpful 'mummy-ways' of studying.


Image: Reading aloud helps in memory retention
Photographs: Adrees Latif/Reuters
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Go anti social

  • Switch off your gadgets for a few days before the exams. Stay away from the Facebook and Twitter drama.
  • Keep away from people who are always panicky right before the exam. They may lure you into their own mess as well!
  • Do not solve or ask last minute doubts. They only lead to more confusion.
  • Do not give away books at the eleventh hour for 'photocopying' or 'going through'. You can only trust a friend so much.

Image: Cut down on social networking to stay away from overtly anxious peers
Photographs: Phil McCarten/Reuters
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The 'fun' way to revise

It is expected that you may not remember every single detail you rubbed your brain into for the past few weeks, so try a few fun ways of remembering them.

  • Make use of mnemonics. There is no better way than this to learn those convoluted biology terms.
  • Make up songs or dances whose lyrics are made up of important keywords from your lessons.
  • Parrot learning is handy for emergencies regarding important definitions, but remember, it should be your last resort.
  • Make colourful flash cards of facts you are likely to forget. Writing them down and associating those with a colour will help create an impression in your memory.
  • Try linking tough answers to some anecdotes or funny memories.
  • Start talking in technical terms one day prior to the examination; this may help you use the word easily while writing answers in the paper.

Mithila Malaviya, an A-levels psychology student speaks from experience, "Reading out answers tends to help me because I end up fumbling. And during the exam I tend to recollect the parts where I fumbled. I had also prepared a hand dance to remember the names of my psychology patients."


Image: Make use of post it notes or flash cards to memorise key information and facts


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The night before...

The night before exams is like a ticking bomb but giving in to your fears will not get you anywhere, let alone through the night.

Loosen up a little and go to sleep with serenity and hope in your heart. And don't forget to empty your bladder before taking your seat in the exam hall!

"The idea is to not be a spent force right before the exam by exerting yourself too much a day before. Instead, focus on rejuvenated energy without distractions. Personally, I think nature is a very good stress-buster," says Kalyani Patnayak, Principal, Hiranandani Foundation School, Mumbai.


Image: Avoid studying late into the night prior to the exam and be sure to grab a good sleep
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com

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Seven steps to an efficient study timetable

1. Take a good look at your exam schedule before preparing your study timetable. You don't want to land up studying for the wrong subjects.

2. Fix a tentative start date and an end date for your schedule so that you have a fair idea of how much time you have to cover your syllabus. Keep it flexible, but just enough.

3. Allot a cuisine of chapters from different subjects for each day in order to make it less monotonous.

4. Make sure to fix an hour for subjects like maths and science that need problem-solving every day. They are something you cannot do on the last day.

5. Keep it colourful. Use sketch pens and colour pencils.

6. Do NOT forget to include time for playing outdoors or just a walk. Health is wealth, remember?

7. Lastly, go public. Put the timetable up some place where all your family members can see. It’s always good to get some motivation every now and then and to know that you're not alone in anything.


Image: A systematic, well planned study timetable will help you manage time efficiently
Photographs: Reuters
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