Education

Gear up with a game plan

While preparing for the upcoming exams by working on practice papers and mock tests, it is equally vital to keep in mind changing exam patterns to maximise scores

Exams can be a tricky affair for some, but a cakewalk for others. With the exam season fast approaching, the time for revision is getting shorter. Reviewing conceptual subjects in particular, such as accountancy, chemistry and math is essential, but can be difficult without the right material and direction.

Due to the vast syllabus and peer pressure, students also tend to feel that their life revolves around exams and become stressed. A few years ago, a children’s mental health group received 6,332 calls to its helpline. Of these, 884 were by youngsters between 16 and 17, and 39% were about school problems revolving around exam stress. In order to address this situation, CBSE has recently issued some new guidelines and revised the exam pattern with an aim to:

Decrease the over-burden of syllabus and exam stress upon the students.

Discourage students from rote learning.

Develop analytical skills and reasoning abilities among students.

Produce better results and improve the academic quality of institutions.

The new exam pattern which will be implemented from this year’s board exam, and the new revised question paper will include a reduction in the number of subjective questions to lessen the burden of writing a lengthy exam. This will be coupled with several creative, innovative and critical thinking skills questions. For example, 20 marks dedicated to MCQ’s in an 80-mark question paper will encourage students to study every topic to cultivate an in-depth understanding.

Revised exam format prep

In line with the new changes, it is also important to equip oneself with the right tools and study material which can help preparation. Following a strict timetable and devoting equal attention to every subject can also be helpful. Other than that:

Practice well: Practice papers are a great way for you to simulate the real feeling of writing an exam paper. Besides, practice papers are essential to help you manage your time well and develop a sound exam-solving strategy.

Periodic review of progress: Reviewing one’s progress periodically and keeping revision up-to-date material is necessary when preparing for a subject. With the right material, you can boost your analytical thinking and anticipate important questions, thus allowing you to prepare outline answers for each, ahead of time.

Memory aids to retain information: It is psychologically proven that it is always better to write something down when wanting to retain information. Flashcards and mock question papers are popular memory aids for you to test your knowledge and understanding of difficult subjects, such as math and physics.

Assessments and mock tests: Sample question papers and mock tests not only put you in real-life exam scenarios, but also encourage you to explore various avenues when answering questions, finding solutions as well as vastly improving your critical and creative thinking.

Customised and personalised learning: It is also important to understand that every student is different, and one should customise one’s method of learning keeping in mind one’s potential and capabilities. For instance, a student who is good in accountancy might not be equally proficient in economics and vice-versa. Hence, a customised approach towards preparation is critical.

Teachers and educators to the rescue: The need to understand a subject does not just rest with students. Teachers are valued as the most essential resource in determining the learning capabilities of students. For this purpose, schools and educators must step up and host regular workshops, which keep teachers abreast with changing learning patterns.

Appropriate study material: Apart from the above preparation tips and techniques, using the right study material for revision is and always will be the secret to exam success.

Choosing the right study resources and learning material is extremely crucial so that students can go about preparing in a more efficient manner. Today, many books are available in the market which offer various benefits and advantages to students while preparing for their exams. They should be mindful of choosing a resource which is based on the latest 2019-20 CBSE curriculum and includes a multitude of previous year papers, practice questions, self-assessment corners, detailed marking scheme, performance cards, and so on.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 12:03:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/gear-up-with-a-game-plan/article30650837.ece

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