This is the season of exam preparations in terms of syllabus completion, planning for the pre–boards and then boards. Here are some tips to work with during this season.
The most important aspect of exam preparation is confidence. This comes from preparedness which comes from clarity of concepts and clarity of your efforts so far. Though there are about 70 days left for the boards to start, you are in the last mile that will last the next 90 days. There are few steps to be taken to ensure safe passage through this last mile.
Three key focus areas during the last mile are Speed, Health, and Results. Let us look at each one carefully.
The speed of study depends on the amount of content you can consume in 90 minutes. Divide your day into 90-minute slots. Plan to study a specific subject/topic in each slot, 90 minutes at a time.
Before beginning, it helps if you know what you know and what you don’t know. This is with respect to the content you are preparing for. This information decides the speed of your study.
If you are starting from zero, then speed needs to be high. In this case, select the parts of the syllabus that carry maximum weight-age of marks in your final exam. Use sets of question papers or curriculum study guides for information on marks weight-age per chapter. Check your preparedness for these topics.
Then use the appropriate technique to study the chapter. Keep in mind the pre-board schedule and apportion the syllabus to be completed for the pre-board exams. You can set a target of 60% for your first pre-board and then increase the expectations gradually. This will give you some breathing time and keeps the burden off your preparation per day.
Overall, your aim is to get well-prepared and confident in the topics that will help you achieve your target marks.
This is a crucial time to remember that a healthy body hosts a healthy mind. Practice healthy eating habits. Try regular relaxation techniques that can keep stress under control. I generally prefer meditation between study sessions to keep the mind focussed and calm. Find the technique that works for you to stay relaxed and focused.
Avoid TV during study time as it adds more distractions, which is neither healthy nor helpful for studies. Indulge in regular exercises or a daily walk to freshen your mind. Choose an appropriate time for you to work without distraction for 90 minutes. Drink a lot of water and keep yourself hydrated during the exams. This time (February – March) is the beginning of summer in the states of South India.
In a nutshell, ensure the well-being of your body and mind.
Focus on the result of your weekly preparation according to your plan. Gather evidence of the success of your preparation. Every Sunday, take a mock test for the topics you studied in the previous week and the subject that is difficult for you.
Assess your performance in these weekly tests and identify the mistakes you made. Focus on rectifying these mistakes.
Keep a goal for the pre–boards marks and achieve these goals. Every time you achieve your short-term goal in the pre-boards, it will boost your confidence. This confidence will be your progress towards achieving the final goal of your target marks in the boards.
At any point in this last mile, do not lose sight of the results. The significance of habits is realised in this juncture of preparation. Build the habit of achieving small successes every week during the preparation. Use Mindmaps regularly to increase the efficiency of remembering key words necessary for answers. Mindmaps have helped me in every exam that I have written. They help in recalling the necessary keywords that the evaluator will be looking for in your answer sheet.
Summary of tips:
For Maths specifically, during your preparation focus on the steps for every problem. The results of Maths problems are achieved through the systematic execution of the steps involved. In this sense, Maths is the easiest subject because if you stick to the method, your result is obvious. This is not so straightforward for other subjects.
Focus on languages as they build your understanding capabilities and help you get a better aggregate percentage. When it comes to results, every student should focus on every subject with equal importance. I have come across students who neglect the languages and put all effort into Maths and Science.
As a student of Science, I can tell you with a lot of confidence that every subject you learn at school will help in your understanding of the world. So, learn it right the first time. Create a meaningful learning experience for yourself by focusing on the results of every effort you spend your energy on.
It is your life, make it count.