And now the final act

FACE IT: Your approach to the examination can considerably lessen your stress and anxiety. Photo: V. Seenivasa Murthy

FACE IT: Your approach to the examination can considerably lessen your stress and anxiety. Photo: V. Seenivasa Murthy  


The concluding part of the series on preparing for tests and examinations. Here are the things you need to get it 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 onprocedures, get clarificationsfrom the invigilator. If aquestion paper cover is to beopened only after a greensignal, adhere to the directive.
  • Confirm that you got the right
  • question paper. If it is a wrongone, get it exchanged throughthe invigilator.
  • Read the instructions on the
  • question paper carefully. Donot assume anything based onprecedent. There can bechanges. If you do not knowthe number of questions to beanswered, or whether certainquestions are compulsory,you may be swimming in thewrong stream.
  • Copy your roll number in the
  • answer book, referring to yourhall ticket. Do not write itfrom memory.
  • Do everything with ful
  • concentration. Neverdaydream in the examinationhall.
  • Decide the questions to be
  • answered and the sequence tobe followed. You may make amark against the selectedquestions and add anothermark when you have finishedanswering each question.
  • Your first answer should be
  • written very well.
  • Before commencing to write
  • the answer to any question,think well and decide yourapproach.
  • Leave a margin of roughly
  • three centimetres on the leftside of each page of theanswerbook.
  • Mark the question numbers
  • correctly in the left margin ofthe answer sheets. You shouldfollow the question numbersas given in the question paper,and not your serial number.An error on this count ispossible, since it is usual for usto select the sequence of thequestions to be answered tosuit our convenience.
  • Use reasonably large size of
  • letters while writing. So alsodraw sketches of a reasonablesize.
  • In essay-type answers, write
  • out clearly all the relevantpoints and then start writingthe essay. Allot a paragraphfor each point. Give anintroductory paragraph in thebeginning and a concludingparagraph in the end.
  • Use simple language and short
  • sentences. If you go forcomplex construction, thepossibility for errors is high.Never attempt to show offyour vocabulary. In subjects such as science orengineering, draw sketcheswherever possible. While solving numericalproblems, write out therelevant steps to show thatyou know the mathematicallogic involved.
  • If you get stuck with a
  • problem, do not waste toomuch of time struggling tosolve it straightaway. Leave itthere, go to other questions,answer them and then comeback to try the unfinishedproblem.
  • Frequently check and confirm
  • that you are following thetime schedule. If you arebehind the clock, accelerateyour pace or shorten youranswers so that you get timeto finish the required numberof answers. If you find that thetime available for answeringyour last question is totally inadequate, restrict youreffort to noting down all therelevant points. This is betterthan explaining just one pointin detail.
  • Do not resort to too much of
  • underlining, capitals,highlighting usingtransparent ink, etc.
  • Never write instructions to
  • the examiner. (e.g. For the restof the answer, go to page 13.Do not forget to read thepoints added in the margin ofpage 14.). Tendering excusessuch as parent's demise forpoor performance, andbeseeching special favoursfrom the examiner should beavoided.
  • Do not worry about your
  • neighbours finishing morepages in the answerbook, orsomeone leaving the hallbefore time. You shouldconfine yourself to your plan.
  • If you cannot remember a
  • term or formula, do not wastetime try to recall it. Go to another question and answerit. When you feel freementally, the elusive bit ofinformation may come to yourmind. Note it down quickly,finish the answer on hand,then go back to the answer youhad left midway, andcomplete it.
  • If you find you do not have a
  • question to complete yourquota, do not brood over it. Ifyou do not know the answer toa few questions, nothing canhelp you. Answer the otherquestions well.
  • Never resort to any dishonest
  • means such as copying from asmuggled slip, or consulting aneighbour. To be on the safeside, avoid eye contact withother candidates during thecourse of the test.
  • If you could finish all the
  • answers before time, do notleave the hall. Instead readyour answers, correct errors ifany, and improve the answersif you can.
  • Never write anything after the
  • final bell.
  • Do not worry about any error
  • you committed in anexamination. If you haveanother examination the nextday, prepare for it. Anydetailed analysis of your performance andimprovements for the futuremay be contemplated after thelast 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.

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