Study tips, lifestyle tips, checklist and more to handle the challenge.
As March 1 fast approaches, thousands of students who are appearing for the Board exams are likely to become increasingly anxious and get stressed out. “Have I prepared enough? Is there something I have missed? Should I focus more on that particular topic?” Your mind would be abuzz with several such thoughts. No matter how much you study and revise the subjects, the feeling of contentment is difficult to achieve. What can you do to steady your nerves and keep your cool? “The Board exams are like any other exam. The only difference is that they are held in another school. So there is no need for students to panic and they should stick to the normal routine they follow everyday,” says CBSE spokesperson Rama Sharma.
Having a preparation strategy is crucial. With merely half a month left for the exams, how can you utilise the time effectively? “Students should divide their time for each subject. They should prepare for the first paper last and for the last paper first,” says Surabhi Gautam, HOD of English, Mother’s Global School, Delhi, who teaches Class X and XI students. “Early morning hours are the best time for revision as retention is better and the body and mind are fresh,” she advises. Note-making is an effective method that can come to your rescue. “Students should prepare notes of the main points because at the last minute, revising the whole syllabus from the scratch is not possible. Notes make it easy for them to recall from memory quickly.”
Another tested method is solving previous years’ question papers and sample papers. “Students can simulate the exam at home. This will give them an idea of how much time they are taking to solve the paper. Based on the result, they can improve their speed and accuracy. The more sample papers they solve, the more confident they will become,” says Rama.
Parents have an important role in play in their child’s success as well. They should be supportive and encouraging and help students develop self-discipline, self-confidence and a sense of achievement. This will go a long way in boosting his/her morale.
Group study is a popular mode of studying. But is it always effective? “Though it can help in getting the doubts and concepts cleared, it does not help in retention. For the final revision, self-study is the best,” says Surabhi.
During exams, the stress levels of students generally go through the roof. This leads to excessive eating, sleeping difficulties and so on. How can one deal with it? “Students should keep a light diet. This will keep them fresh and not feel sleepy while studying. Breakfast can consist of light food such as porridge or cereals. Fruits and dry fruits are rich in essential vitamins and proteins and their intake should be increased. Whenever students feel hungry or a little bit lethargic, they should go for a diet of fruit such as guava, apple, banana and so on. Also, in case you get an urge to munch something, dry fruits can be kept handy,” says Surabhi.
Several students take the support of coffee or tea to stay fresh. However, this might not be conducive in the long run. “We do not recommend coffee or tea to students as caffeine should be avoided. However, green tea or lemon tea can be taken,” says Surabhi.
To help students relieve their stress, the CBSE has started a helpline where school principals, teachers and trained counsellors have volunteered to guide the students. Students from any Board can connect with them and seek counselling. The toll-free helpline number is 1800118004 and is operational from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
This year 76 principals, trained counsellors from CBSE-affiliated government and private schools and a few psychologists will address exam-related psychological problems of the students. For online counselling, students can drop a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
On the day of the exam, it is essential that you stay calm and focused. It is natural to get butterflies in the stomach. To ensure that you don’t miss anything, prepare a checklist. Before leaving your house, ensure that you have the following items: Water bottle, extra pens, ruler, pencil, eraser, sharpener, watch and the hall ticket. Here’s a checklist of things you should do while writing the exam:
- There is a cool off period of 15 minutes in the beginning which excludes the time you get for writing the exam. Utilise this time for reading the question paper carefully.
- Although advisable, it is not necessary to answer the questions in same sequence/order. Attempt the ones you know first, but number them correctly.
- If you’re running out of time, write the answer in points rather than leaving the question.
- Label the diagrams properly.
- For updates: cbse.nic.in
- For academic resources: http://cbseacademic.in
- Online counselling: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Toll free helpline (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.): 1800 11 8004
In the end, remember that though scoring well in this exam is important, it’s not the end of the world if you are not able to achieve the marks you expected. There are endless opportunities waiting for you.