With the board exams right around the corner (only a few days left *gulp*), it is natural to experience healthy levels of stress, however, one must not let that stress transform into crippling anxiety.
Am I doing everything I can?
How do I make the best use of these last few days?
Is there something I am missing out on?
These must be the questions that are inundating your mind right now. Much has been said and heard about the board exams, and this exacerbates the situations for students. We at Mindler want to suggest tips for board exams that will help you remain afloat in this critical time period.
The first thing to know is that “board” exams are just another set of exams. Yes, they’re certainly momentous, however, you must not allow yourself to be daunted by their significance. This is one of the best tips for board exams—embrace positivity and don’t let the stress levels debilitate you. With the right efforts, time-bound practice, effective planning, and a composed attitude, you can not only take the board exams head-on but also come out with flying colours. The following tips for board exams will help you optimize your performance at this crucial stage.
Plan your day well
It is important to identify the subjects/concepts you struggle with. You must budget your time in a wise manner and ensure that you spend enough time working on such grey areas. Having said that, you should also strive to maintain high performance in your stronger areas. Revisit the basics, and make sure you go through examples and illustrations. This is one of the most handy tips for board exams that will help you develop a good work ethic.
Write mock exams
Attempting sample questions and mock exams based on previous tests will not only provide valuable practice, but will also instill in you a flexible mindset which will help you tackle the complex questions that might you might be asked in the real exam. There are two key aspects to practicing mocks:
Try to create an exam-like environment: This tip for board exams will only be effective if you make a conscious effort to simulate a real exam. Only take the permitted breaks and ensure that you don’t get distracted. Also, attempt your mock between 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM (the time when board exams are usually conducted), so that you get used to the timing and are able to focus during those hours.
Don’t overdo them: Writing mock exams enables one to engage in systematic practice, and also identify concepts/areas that need a little more revision. However, it is not recommended for you to go overboard with mock papers. If you’ve completed all your coursework and are confident with all the concepts within your syllabus, then you may attempt two mocks a day to sharpen your understanding. However, if you are still preparing and learning new concepts, then attempting one mock a day should suffice.
Take care of yourself
This is unquestionably one of the most important tips for board exams. You can only perform when you are in good physical and mental shape. Don’t let the exam pressure get to you; get at least 6 hours of sleep every day and have healthy, balanced meals. It is recommended that you take regular breaks between study sessions and keep yourself content.
Prikshit Dhanda, Lead Career Coach at Mindler, expounded on more such tips for board exams in a Facebook live session about stress, motivation, last-minute tips, preparation strategies, and lifestyle. The crux of the session was how one can make the most of the final 2 weeks before the board exams commence.exams.
Here are some of the questions, students asked us during the session.
— EDITED EXCERPTS —
Keeping Yourself Motivated
Anuj: I have revised my syllabus, but I am panicking at the last minute. What should I do?
Prikshit: Motivation dips are common among students these days. However, if you’re confident about your understanding of all the concepts, do not allow yourself to get demotivated. Amongst the best tips for board exams is this one: revise well and thoroughly, but do not engage in any last-minute hustle. I’d definitely recommend you to relax at this stage; take a walk or listen to your favourite music, talk to your parents or someone you are comfortable with. Essentially, just relax and believe in yourself. Know that when you have prepared well, nothing will go wrong. Just take it easy, and look forward to your exams.
Dealing with Distractions
Rekha: How do I develop concentration? I get disturbed very easily.
Prikshit: The first step, of course, is to identify what breaks your concentration. Is it family or a sibling, or the constant ringing of the phone, or the distractions in the surroundings, or just the thought of how much syllabus is left. Being aware of what is it that disturbs you, and taking care of it is the key to avoid any concentration gaps. The less surrounded you are by the distracting elements, the more focused you will be. Another tip for board exams is that studying for shorter but regular durations and taking small breaks will help you retain more information.
Managing syllabus at the last minute
Ankit: I haven’t studied much throughout the year, and fear, I don’t know anything. What should be my strategy now?
Prikshit: Ankit, if you’ve landed yourself in this situation, please know that only you can bail yourself now. I suggest that you should engage in smart, selective study. Understand the format of the examination, identify topics that are more scoring than others and prioritise them. It would also help to go through the date-sheet in detail and identify the subjects for which you have shorter prep times. You should spend more time on them before the examinations begin. Attempting a few mocks should also help you gain some confidence through systematic practice. Under no circumstance should you try and attempt completing the whole syllabus. What takes a year to complete, may be difficult to be completed in 15 days.
“Act smart, be selective”, should be your strategy at this point.
Formulating A Plan
Pratul: What is more important, revising the syllabus, or solving mock exams?
Prikshit: That’s quite a subjective question, Pratul, one that depends on what stage of the preparation you’re at:
- If you haven’t finished your syllabus, or haven’t done revisions, then writing mocks may not be that great an idea, because you will be unprepared to do so. This may lead to the development of anxiety and pressure. It is more advisable to revise the syllabus that you have already completed.
- If, however, you’ve done the syllabus a couple of times, then all you need is practice. Mocks are exactly what you need to be doing now.
Ideally, there should be a balance between the two. You should give a mock, spend time evaluating it, identify your weak areas and revise those concepts. Finally, attempt some practice questions.
Managing A Weak Subject
Sakshi: I am stressed. I have never scored well in Chemistry. What if I don’t score well?
Prikshit: This is the case with many students; they find a particular subject to be exceptionally stressful. What’s probably worrying you is that you have never performed well in this subject and therefore you will not be able to score well in the upcoming exam. This is an example of a negative mindset that you should not espouse. You can’t be worrying about factors which you have no control over, for example, how examiners evaluate your paper. Studying harder and in a smarter manner is, however, very much in your control. If a particular subject is troublesome, spending a few more hours on it is a good idea. Look at more questions, write a few more mocks, and then just give it your best shot. In addition, if you’re consistently scoring low on one subject, you may work harder on the others, so as to get your aggregate score up.
Board exams are not a hassle, it’s the hype surrounding them which is. Just stay calm, prepare well and keep your head high at all times! Perceive this as a positive and transformative period in your lives, and ensure that you make diligent efforts in completing your coursework. We will be glad to discuss with you any tips for board exams that we spoke about in this piece; please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries about the upcoming board exams. Thank you and we wish you the best of luck!
See the full video here.