Survive Exams!

It’s December and we are on the threshold of a brand new year…one with immense promise and potential. While many of us adults look forward to the New Year, there could be some of you students who want time to stand still! You guessed it right, exam seasons begin from now to March / April and these Board Examinations – be it in Grade XII or X will make or even mar your future.

Many in this part of the world at least do not want to take chances with a school based examination. I am inclined to agree with the parents of these students – with the veil of recession still enveloping and engulfing the gulf region, it is not surprising that parents do not want their wards to opt for a school based examination. They aver – what the future hold in store no one knows!

So how can you survive the onslaught of exams and still be a winner? These tips on handling the pressure of exams could hold you in good stead, hopefully and make you a SURVIVOR who can last the onslaught of examinations.

Start early. Well, easier said than done. And let me tell you only a handful of students ever do this!! You can’t turn the clock backwards. Besides it is futile trying to cram everything on the eve of the exam. So the thing left for you to do now is start from today. Now!! It is not late even now. Believe it and plan a schedule for yourself. And be truthful to yourself and to your plan.

Understand. Do you know the syllabus well? At least, are you acquainted with the topics and areas? Do you know the pattern of the question paper? Do you know the weightage as per the Board’s blue print of the question paper? If you don’t, go to  www.cbse.nic.in and click the examination link. You will find sample papers, weightage and blue print details there. Do you know to manage your time? It would be a good idea to do a full paper or two under exam conditions. Keep the phone off the hook, cut out distractions and disturbances. Seek the help of your parents and they will delightfully do it for you.

Routine – plan and keep to it especially during holidays / study leave. Set aside 8 -10 hours every day for study. You know your peak times and off peak times. Use time judiciously as there is no point in waking up early and dozing off and on if you are not a lark by constitution. You could be an owl; so sit up late. Look at what you have to learn and break it up into manageable chunks. And don’t put it off!

Vanish – from distractions. Select a place where you will not get distracted. I know, your friends mean a world to you. However, it is a truth that you will accomplish more if you study on your own. TV, mobiles, I-pads, blackberry, social media and internet … all are out there to demolish your concentration and shred your plans. Keep your balance; you need inner strength the most to say a firm NO to distractions.

Immerse – yourself in your studies. Condense, summarize, and make notes … do what you are comfortable with. Mnemonic devises are a great aid to memory. You know what they are right? Rainbow colours, for instance, can be remembered as VIBGYOR: Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. Create your own to memorize important information. Develop memory enhancers like flash cards, content / mind maps.

Vow – to get some sleep. Many students make the worst mistake by studying sleeplessly on the eve of the examinations. This spells disaster. You need at least 4-6 hours of sleep every night to function normally. Being sleep deprived will not help you face the challenges of an examination. In fact, you may even black out due to sheer exhaustion or blank out while sitting with the question paper in the exam hall.

Omit – cramming on the eve of the exam. This can only confuse you. Relax and take deep breaths before an exam. This supplies the much needed oxygen to the brain and enlivens the grey cells. This will also help you to focus.

Review the lessons. Do practice and work out past papers. Many websites provide them. This will also give you insight into the oft repeated questions which exam paper setters are fond of. Practice diagrams. On the day of the exam read instructions and questions properly, make good use of the reading time CBSE allows you. It would be good to answer easy questions first to gather momentum. But at the same time remember to write in sequence. Neat and clear presentation leaves the evaluator with a good impression. Don’t waste time on 2 mark questions when you have 10 mark questions to tackle. Don’t write too much – it is another time waster. Keep a time schedule and see that you have answered all questions.

So, be a SURVIVOR, & wish you productive study hours and successful examinations.

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