The dreaded Boards are at hand. And you are tensed, anxious. ScooNews brings dynamic principals of reputed schools on board with their wise counsel and practicable tips on coping emotionally and academically with the mother-of-all-exams.
The first thing to remember about the Board exam is that it is not very different from at least 10 similar exams you have taken in the last few years (SA 1 & 2, class XI promotion exam, the pre-Boards, half yearly). Except perhaps that you never had as many days between papers as you do this time. So you're going to have plenty of time on your hands even after the nth revision. Like 10 days between business studies and mathematics! Thirteen days between accountancy and economics! Eleven days between chemistry and biology!
Use the time well. Sleep, eat four square meals a day, go for a walk, watch some cricket, play Holi. And when you get back to your desk after any of these activities, tackle your studies with confidence. You've got plenty of time to read and re-read your textbook. You know the detailed pattern of the question paper: there is nothing there that is unpredictable or unexpected.
What will not help: negative thoughts. And negative people. Banish them completely. Meditation helps.
Talk to your friends but don’t compare notes on who has studied how much or how long. To each his own.
Ration TV/ internet/ texting/ gaming time. Especially if it makes you feel guilty later for having wasted time that could have been spent reading your books.
Keep track of what's happening with others in the family. The best way to do this is to eat at least one meal with the family, and carry on a conversation while you’re eating. A conversation that is not about the exam.
Don’t do all-nighters. Remember, the paper starts at 10.30 am, so get your body clock attuned to being wide awake and alert by 9.30 am every day.
What works well: a neatly written paper, answers clearly numbered and in sequential order. That ‘Unknown Examiner’ does not know you. He or she is going to judge you based on what and how you write your answers.
Attempt all questions, even if you think you don’t really know the answer. Try, and you'll be able to recall something from the time it was taught in class.
Once you’re done with one subject, forget about it. No point brooding over what you could have done differently. Instead, get on with the next subject.
And a last word: however strong the anxiety or the temptation, don’t even think of 'unfair means'. It is simply not worth it, and come on, you’re a better person than that.
—The author is principal, Maharani Gayatri Devi School
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