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10 last minute tips for board exam aspirants

Last updated on: February 20, 2012 10:37 IST

These are 10 things you must do to reduce stress and perform better in the upcoming board exams. Illustrations by Uttam Ghosh

The Maharashtra State board exams for class 12 will start tomorrow, February 21, 2012.

The board exams will decide the fate of lakhs of students who will be appearing for the exam.

A single mark can earn you an admission in a reputed college and a stream of your choice, thus reminding you how important it is to perform well.

In the last one year, you have done everything you can to prepare yourself for this big day.

Suddenly you realise that while you were busy getting some things right, you ignored something else and now you feel that there is something amiss about your preparation.

Do not worry at all. This is a phase that most of us go through and it's not your fault.

You must understand that this is not the time for you to realise what you haven't prepared for, this is the time to make the most of what you have prepared for.

Here, Prof Chitra Jaykumar of Cathedral Vidya School, Lonavala tells us about the 10 things you must do before and during the board exams so that you avoid stress and make the most of your time and abilities.

1. Rest adequately

No matter how stressful the preparation phase may be, it is important that you get adequate rest for your body before the exam.

Your body needs at least 6-8 hours of sleep to recharge itself. It is advisable to go to bed on time and spend early hours of morning for revision.

If you spend time studying the whole night, chances are you will fall asleep in the exam hall and your entire preparation will be futile.

2. Eat a balanced diet

Most students prefer eating junk food after the exam since they are hungry and want something that is readily available.

However, one must realise that junk food is unhealthy and can affect your health during exams. It is advisable to eat home cooked food especially during exam time to avoid falling sick.

Do not skip breakfast and dinner. Avoid oily foods because they will make you feel lethargic and affect your concentration.

Carry your lunch box or a packet of biscuits with you to avoid unhealthy binging after exams.

The exam timings are between 11 am and 2 pm and given the scorching heat, it is advisable to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.


3. Solve past question papers

No matter how much you study, there will always be some parts of the chapter that will be left uncovered.

However, this is no time to learn new concepts.

Instead practice as many past question papers as you can so that you understand the exam pattern, the mark scheme for each section and can strategise your time during the actual exam.


4. Visit the exam centre in advance

This is something of us tend to ignore.

For most students who are writing the exam for the first time, the exam centre could be a new experience and given the pressure of the exam, it is bound to make the child nervous.

If the exam centre is outside the school, it is advisable to visit the centre a day in advance so that you are aware of the surroundings, the time taken for travel, and can plan accordingly.


5. Answer in points

Examiners usually prefer to read answers in point format, except for essays and report.

Read the questions and understand what the answer should contain.

Sometimes, the examiner may want to know about an incident. Other times, the question will be about the cause of the incident.

So, you must read and understand what is asked in a given question in order to answer them correctly.

Writing in points adds value to your paper presentation and leaves a good impression on the examiner.

Tags: Examiners

6. Have an unusual start

In essay writing, it is good to have an unusual start for your beginning.

You can use a proverb, a famous quote or a story to introduce the idea.

The first line should draw the attention of the examiner to your essay and make them stay on it till the end.


7. Ask the examiner

There is an old proverb: 'Too many cooks spoil the broth'. Similarly, too much of information can be dangerous.

If you realise that you are not clear about how to approach a paper, it is advisable to confirm with an examiner first.

Read the instructions on your question paper and answer sheet carefully before you start writing. Do not rush.


8. Stick to the order

Many students are advised by professors to start with the question that they are most confident about.

While there is no rule which says that this is wrong, there are chances that while doing so, you may wrongly number the answers thus missing out on few questions or losing marks for wrongly numbering the answer.

The best way to avoid such confusion is by following the order.

If you are not sure about the first question, leave some space and start with the next question. You can come back to answer this question later.


9. Do not discuss a paper after it is done

90 per cent of students discuss the paper after an exam.

While they see this to ensure that they have performed satisfactorily, this could also be depressing for those who find out that they weren't upto the mark.

This happens particularly with Mathematics paper where students derive the wrong answer due to silly calculation errors.

You must remember that although your result may be wrong, examiners do give marks for method and application of formulae.

It is advisable to avoid discussing a paper immediately after an exam.

While poor performance can have negative impact on your preparation, overconfidence could be equally harmful.

10. Parental support is important

As parents, it is natural to put pressure on kids and motivate them to study hard.

Making them realise about the importance of their performance is a good thing, but only if it gives them confidence.

At the same time, it is unreasonable to have expectations beyond the limit of your child's ability.

If your child's capacity is 60 percent, you can motivate them to score 70 percent, but an expectation of 90 percent is highly unreasonable. It will only urge the child to go into depression for fear of not living up to your expectations.

You must extend every help for your child to ensure that they feel optimistic about their capabilities and perform to the best they can.