Education

Relax, stay positive

With the right preparation and head-start, you can stay stress-free through the upcoming exam season

Exams are a way to test the cognitive and analytical skills of a student. This formal method of evaluating knowledge, skills and aptitude of students enables the education system to assign specific grades on a few well-defined criteria. The advantages of the system are quite obvious. The students can use the common grading system and marks obtained in class X or XII to get admission to reputed higher education institutes. This in turn can empower them to get meaningful jobs in a domain of their choice.

However, the marks obtained in the board exams should not define you. It may so happen that you are faced with a difficult/unavoidable situation during the time of your exam which may prevent you from performing to your potential and secure the grades you deserve. There is no need to lose heart. Bear in mind that with a positive attitude, you will always get a second chance in life.

Prep tips

If you are feeling tense about the board exam, here are the 10 most important preparation tips:

Start now: Every student is different with unique learning capabilities. So, there is no generalised rule for deciding when a particular student should start his or her preparation. However, the most effective approach is to start learning, practising and revising at the earliest. Do not procrastinate.

Understand the exam pattern and syllabus: Go through question papers from the previous years and talk to teachers to know about the class X and XII board exam pattern, as well as syllabus. You need to be clear about the type of questions, the number of questions, marking scheme, sections covered and duration of the exam well in advance.

Analyse the pattern of the question papers and get familiar with the format and nature of questions beforehand. The scheme of marking, as well as, criteria for writing answers can also tell you a lot about how to approach the board exams well in advance.

Prepare a timetable and stick to it: Prepare a proper study schedule allocating different time slots to each subject. Make it a habit to adhere to the timetable. Rank the subjects in order of importance — you can prioritise the courses in which you may be lagging behind or the courses you want to ace.

Realise the importance of self-study: You may still be going to school or coaching classes prior to your board exams, where your teachers will help you revise topics in different subject areas. However, self-study is important as well. Studying on your own can help you internalise the topics learnt and positively impact your grades.

Prepare notes, study smart: Do not study hard, rather study smart. Create study notes; break down the subject matter into different topics to create revision notes. You can mark important concepts in bold which would be helpful when you are revising the topics.

When you are revising a particular subject two days before the exams, it would not be possible to go through all the concepts, properties, definitions and theories. A better practice would be to have all the important formulae, diagrams, definitions and theories of different subjects on a paper with you. This would help in quick and easy revision.

Solve sample papers: Start solving sample papers a couple of months before the exams. That way, you would have covered most of your syllabus. In all likelihood, you would be well-versed with the content and topics in each subject.

Take regular breaks: Do not study for long hours at a stretch. You can take regular breaks every one hour to relax your mind and re-energise yourself. This way, you can get yourself ready for the next study session. This simple practice can help you stay focused.

Revise regularly: Go through the notes you have prepared chapter-wise for various subjects. Reading these subject notes regularly will help you internalise the myriad concepts and increase your comprehension with every revision.

Take care of your health: Eat healthy, drink lots of water every day, and exercise for at least half an hour to stay healthy during exam time. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body; you would need to have an alert mental faculty during exam time. Get sufficient sleep so that your body and mind are fully energised.

Seek guidance: Talk to parents/teachers in case you are feeling overwhelmed about the upcoming exams. The positivity and reassurance derived from them can encourage you to do better.

No good has come of fear. Stress, anxiety and fear can only come in the way of your exam preparation and adversely impact your performance in the final exams. Practise mindfulness or meditation, listen to soothing music, or take a walk in your neighbourhood. Do all that it takes to keep your mind relaxed before the boards and you would be pleasantly surprised at what you can achieve once you are stress-free.

The writer is Principal, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Shaheed Path, Lucknow.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 9:28:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/relax-stay-positive/article30650826.ece

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