Pre-board exams are not to be taken lightly. Here are some tips that can help you use this chance to perfect your strategy for the board exam.

What is a reasonably accurate indicator of whether you are going to do well in the board exams? Yes, you guessed it right — your performance in the pre-boards.

Pre-boards are the dress rehearsals for the grand finale in March for Class XII students across India. Pre-boards assess you on the basis of how well you have understood the topics, whether you can complete the paper within the given time and deal with the related anxiety associated with an important exam, whether you can apply all that you have learnt to the case studies given in the paper.

Pre-boards for Class XII begin in January. It is believed that if you do well in the pre-boards, (which are usually tougher than the actual exam) you will be able to do well in the board exams!

If you don’t do well for some reason, don’t lose heart! This is only the dress rehearsal remember? You can use the results of this exam to find out about your weak areas, identify the chinks in your preparation and talk to teachers and experts to help you gain confidence in those topics.

General tips

In addition, here are some simple tips to help you achieve success in the pre-board examinations:

Read the NCERT textbook thoroughly.

Make sure you have read and practised all the examples and are familiar with all possible ‘angles’ and ‘twists’ to a concept.

Two heads are better than one! Discuss questions with your study group. This way all of you can solve each other’s problems and help each other understand the tough concepts better.

When in doubt — try to solve the question yourself before finally asking the expert for help.

Practise till you succeed — If you don’t have enough questions in the NCERT textbooks to practise a new problem, you can always go to other study resources available to you where you can get plenty of practice to perfect the topic.

Rev up the routine — Study according to a time table and divide your time equally between reading, testing your knowledge, taking breaks and sleeping well. Do not neglect this routine.

Time = Marks Try to solve the previous years’ question papers and mock papers within the duration of the time allotted for the exam.

Divide and Score — Distinguish between easy-scoring questions and tough time-consuming questions. Grab the easier ones first but remember to give enough time to the tough ones too. Also, remember to get your question numbers right. Keep in mind that you have to do all the questions. The tough looking ones usually have a little twist that needs to be untangled with logic. Sometimes, reading the question carefully is enough for you to get your ‘A-ha’ moment.

Understand math

Stop trying to memorise the formulae! You need to understand them and learn how to apply them in a given situation.

The best way to practise maths is to solve the questions in a time-bound manner.

Class XII students should focus on being thorough in chapters like calculus as it has the highest weightage. Other important topics are probability, vectors, three-dimensional geometry and algebra. Focus on these to get all the easily scoreable marks in the exam. These are formula-based and can be usually solved within a short time frame. This exercise will help you score the basic 60 per cent in the paper and will let you have more time to solve the bigger and trickier, more time-consuming questions without feeling the time crunch. Now for some tips that can help you excel in commerce subjects.

Meticulous approach

Long, practical questions can be expected from any of these topics in accounts — admission, retirement/death, dissolution, share capital, issue and redemption of debentures, cash flow statement. Make sure that these chapters are on your finger tips, and that you are acquainted with the different patterns and types of numerical problems asked from these topics. Particularly from the partnership chapters, be thorough with the accounting treatment of goodwill, different reserves and funds (such as workmen compensation fund, investment fluctuation fund, employees provident fund, etc.), past adjustments and guarantee of profits. Once you have mastered these chapters, be assured that you have easily earned 20 to 25 marks.

Chapters relating to company accounts, shares and debentures carry 25 marks and are pretty easy if studied thoroughly. Be well versed with the journal entries, particularly that of the share allotment, forfeiture and reissue. Carefully work out the ascertainment of the number of shares allotted or applied for the defaulters and show the working notes properly.

The chapters of ratio analysis and comparative and common size financial statements carry 12 marks and are straightforward but do require a good command over the formulae.

Lastly, for the chapter on cash flow statement, memorise the format — particularly for the adjustments, prepare the adjustments related to fixed assets account well, as also provision for depreciation account, provision for taxation and proposed dividend. Students generally do not pay due attention to the theory portion. However, the theory part can help you score.

Illustrate answers for economics

Neat and labelled diagrams are a must for certain questions ( like equilibrium questions, relationship between AC, MC and TC, relationship between TR, AR and MR and similarly other relationships), practise as many diagrams as you can. Diagrams convey what is there in the written text, instantly.

Be thorough with formulae particularly for the estimation of national income (via gross value added method, Expenditure and income method), to ascertain elasticity of demand and supply, tabulated questions based on the relationship of TR, AR and MR, ascertaining various costs — AC, MC, TFC, TVC, etc.

A question on deflationary gap or inflationary gap, difference between final good and intermediate good, stock vs flow variables, factors affecting demand and supply, implications of fiscal deficits, measures to avoid double counting, functions of money, etc. are some of the most popular topics.

Illustrate your answers with real-life instances. For example, if a question is asked on the law of demand, you can supplement your answer with the example of rising petrol prices and falling demand. Similarly, you can find hundreds of examples relating to various topics which can enrich your answer and fetch you extra marks.

Business Studies is a high-scoring subject despite being theoretical in nature. Nevertheless, students often face a common problem with regard to time management while writing their papers. In this regard, one just needs to stick to the prescribed word limit.

A few important chapters are marketing management, financial management, directing and organising. If a question is on types, functions, features, etc. then supplement your answers with flow charts and branch diagrams. This will help the examiner take a quick glance at all the points covered by you in your answer.

Most students tend to take pre-boards lightly, thinking “I will make up for this in boards”. By doing so you are losing an important opportunity to practise and are putting yourself at a disadvantageous position. Study regularly and you will not feel the pressure.

The author is a career expert with