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And now the final act

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CONDUCT MATTERS: Once inside the examination hall, follow the instructions properly. - Photo: M. Moorthy
CONDUCT MATTERS: Once inside the examination hall, follow the instructions properly. - Photo: M. Moorthy

The concluding part of the series on preparing for tests and examinations. Here are the things you need to get right in the examination hall.

Last week, we listed out what you should do as part of long-range preparation and also the tasks to be undertaken just before the examination. Now you are in the most crucial stage. What should be your approach while you are in the examination hall?

In brief

- Be calm and composed.
- Seat yourself comfortably.
- Strictly follow all the
instructions of the invigilator.
In case of doubts on
procedures, get clarifications
from the invigilator. If a
question paper cover is to be
opened only after a green
signal, adhere to the directive. - Confirm that you got the right
question paper. If it is a wrong
one, get it exchanged through
the invigilator.
Read the instructions on the
question paper carefully. Do
not assume anything based on
precedent. There can be
changes. If you do not know
the number of questions to be
answered, or whether certain
questions are compulsory,
you may be swimming in the
wrong stream.- Copy your roll number in the
answer book, referring to your
hall ticket. Do not write it
from memory. - Do everything with ful
concentration. Never
daydream in the examination
hall.- Decide the questions to be
answered and the sequence to
be followed. You may make a
mark against the selected
questions and add another
mark when you have finished
answering each question.
- Your first answer should be written very well.
- Before commencing to write the answer to any question,
think well and decide your
approach. - Leave a margin of roughly
three centimetres on the left
side of each page of the
answerbook. - Mark the question numbers
correctly in the left margin of
the answer sheets. You should
follow the question numbers
as given in the question paper,
and not your serial number.
An error on this count is
possible, since it is usual for us
to select the sequence of the
questions to be answered to
suit our convenience. - Use reasonably large size of
letters while writing. So also
draw sketches of a reasonable
size.- In essay-type answers, write
out clearly all the relevant
points and then start writing
the essay. Allot a paragraph
for each point. Give an
introductory paragraph in the
beginning and a concluding
paragraph in the end. - Use simple language and short
sentences. If you go for
complex construction, the
possibility for errors is high.
Never attempt to show off
your vocabulary.- In subjects such as science or
engineering, draw sketches
wherever possible. - While solving numerical
problems, write out the
relevant steps to show that
you know the mathematical
logic involved.- If you get stuck with a
problem, do not waste too
much of time struggling to
solve it straightaway. Leave it
there, go to other questions,
answer them and then come
back to try the unfinished
problem.- Frequently check and confirm
that you are following the
time schedule. If you are
behind the clock, accelerate
your pace or shorten your
answers so that you get time
to finish the required number
of answers. If you find that the
time available for answering
your last question is totally
inadequate, restrict your
effort to noting down all the
relevant points. This is better
than explaining just one point
in detail. - Do not resort to too much of
underlining, capitals,
highlighting using
transparent ink, etc.- Never write instructions to
the examiner. (e.g. For the rest
of the answer, go to page 13.
Do not forget to read the
points added in the margin of
page 14.). Tendering excuses
such as parent's demise for
poor performance, and
beseeching special favours
from the examiner should be
avoided. - Do not worry about your
neighbours finishing more
pages in the answerbook, or
someone leaving the hall
before time. You should
confine yourself to your plan.
- If you cannot remember a
term or formula, do not waste
time try to recall it. Go to
another question and answer
it. When you feel free
mentally, the elusive bit of
information may come to your
mind. Note it down quickly,
finish the answer on hand,
then go back to the answer you
had left midway, and
complete it.- If you find you do not have a
question to complete your
quota, do not brood over it. If
you do not know the answer to
a few questions, nothing can
help you. Answer the other
questions well.- Never resort to any dishonest
means such as copying from a
smuggled slip, or consulting a
neighbour. To be on the safe
side, avoid eye contact with
other candidates during the
course of the test.- If you could finish all the
answers before time, do not
leave the hall. Instead read
your answers, correct errors if
any, and improve the answers
if you can.- Never write anything after the
final bell.
Do not worry about any error
you committed in an
examination. If you have
another examination the next
day, prepare for it. Any
detailed analysis of your
performance and
improvements for the future
may be contemplated after the
last day of the examination.We have discussed in some detail, the wise steps to be followed for obtaining the best scores in school / college examinations. These principles may be applied, after making any modification you feel necessary to suit individual tastes or special circumstances. These will certainly help any candidate facing an examination. He who knows most may not score the highest marks. Strategies are also significant.B.S. WARRIER


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