And now the final act

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

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

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