Try the structured approach: Sangeeta Kain

Delhi Public School, Jaipur | February 25, 2016


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.


It's that time of the year again when the visits to the places of worship see a manifold increase, when television sets in homes are watched on lower volumes or better still are completely switched off and when there are books and notes strewn all over and God save those who touch them! Yes, it is Board examination time and we are stressed!

However, the important question is, do we need to be stressed?? In my opinion, a little worry is expected and is good to keep us on our toes but to be stressed and let that stress affect our performance is not. We are now in the last hundred meters of a marathon and whether our feet have blisters or all our energy is drained out of the system, the marathon has to be completed. We must put strategies in place to complete the marathon and complete it well.

So what do we do??

First and foremost, make a schedule. Having a son who took his AISSCE in 2011, I understand that this task is easier said than done. However, once done, it is the best thing that can happen to a child taking his first public exam. Sit with your books and assign number of hours needed to revise every chapter of all the books of all the subjects. This will give you a fair perspective of what needs to be done and the kind of time it will require. Now, understand your daily schedule, keeping aside time for some fun during the day, which must include physically moving away from your study station, divide your day into self-study hours. Once you have the number of self-study hours, assign chapters to those hours. You will have a clear idea of how much syllabus you will be able to cover and by when. Once you do this exercise (which I must warn you, will take about 3–4 hours), you will have greater clarity on how many kilometres are left of your marathon and how much time is left to complete those kilometres. Depending on this exercise you will have to see whether you can afford to spend that extra hour on FB, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, etc, etc and, if you can, please go ahead by all means….

Secondly, understand your own strengths and limitations and work according to them rather than looking at other people’s strengths and forever cribbing why you do not have them. A classic example of this is your study pattern. Just because your friend can study till 1.00am and you feel sleepy at 11.00pm does not make him better than you. You need to work according to your peak time and maximize that. Just because someone can study late into the night does not make him/her better or worse than you. If studying during the day is your thing, by all means, go ahead and maximize those hours and sleep after having done justice to the day.

Thirdly, understand your needs and work around them. Many of us need a break after every 40 minutes or so which is perfectly fine as long as you get back to your study table after the stipulated break and stick to your schedule.  The key to a stress free road to exams is sticking to the schedule you make. Please remember, at the end of the day, it is you yourself that you will be cheating and nobody else if you do not stick to your schedule and it is your result that will be affected and nobody else’s.

Fourthly, keep in touch with your teachers. Your teachers know your strengths and weaknesses. In most cases they have spent two years teaching you, monitoring you, assessing and reassessing your work. They know where you need help and what kind of mistakes you are most likely to make. Have faith in their judgment and work on the feedback that they give you. Never hesitate to get in touch with them to clarify all your doubts. Believe it or not, they are as concerned about your result as you are.

You must have bullet points on chapters that you can quickly refer to on the day of the exam. Please remember that it is the day of the exam and you just cannot possibly revise everything in the morning so do not stress over it.

Never enter an exam hall with a doubt lurking in your mind. However, small it may be, clarify it from a friend, a teacher or anyone who is in a position to help you. On the other hand, if you are the type who likes to have some quiet time before an exam – please give yourself that time.

Ensure that you have a good sleep the night before your exam. Your mind should be sharp and clear when you sit down to take the exam.

Tell yourself that you are prepared. A positive attitude is the best thing that you can carry with yourself in to the examination hall.

Close your eyes, collect your thoughts and tell yourself that you will do well.
Read and understand the question paper carefully. Do not try to understand a question based on what you think it is. Read it carefully and understand.

Please, please avoid careless mistakes. Do not attempt questions not meant for you. Do not make silly calculation errors and do not ever forget the steps in which to write the answer. Remember, each step has marks assigned to it. You miss one and you lose marks.

Pay attention to the presentation of the answer. Underline the important points to make correction easier for the examiner.

Once the question paper has been attempted and answer sheet submitted, there is no point in going back to it and discussing it threadbare. The mistakes made have been made and since you cannot correct them, no point in crying over spilt milk.

Take some time off, do something that relaxes you and get on with preparing for the next exam.

At the end of the day, remember, if you plan well and stick to that plan, there is nothing that can stop you from doing well. Be positive, have faith and do your best.

Good luck and God bless....

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