Gearing up for board exams with a precursor

Gearing up for board exams with a precursor

Practice tests Pre-board tests are like a dress rehearsal before the final act. They familiarise students with the actual board exams and test the effectiveness of their preparations. Aakash Chaudhary offers some pointers to help you sail through them.

Many students often question the significance of pre-board exams and the need to ace them. However, teachers and tutors would equally emphasise on the preparation for the same as it can be equated with a dress rehearsal before the final act.

Besides giving students ample time to get their revision done in time, pre-board exams also help students review their weaknesses, analyse their study methods and work on strategies to crack the eventual tests up ahead.

Instead of treating the pre-boards as another reason to pressurise yourself, plan effectively to tackle them. You can talk to teachers, peers and your seniors about what study plan they follow in the last days after full syllabus completion.

Getting assessed on complete syllabus viz-a-viz small unit tests is a totally different ball game. A student has to choose wisely between brushing his strong areas or giving a last slog to the weak areas.

The portion you are saddled with is huge number of doubts when it comes to each subject but also remember that if you time your preparation right and prioritise what needs more attention, you will be able to cover the syllabus without having to fret later. Realistically, take up each subject and go through all the topics and chapters in it.

You can also use unconventional tricks to plan your study. One interesting way to prepare for the exams is to start in the reverse order, that is prepare for the last exam first in a way that the preparation for the first exam begins two weeks before the date.

Another important aspect of preparing well for the exams is to study the textbook thoroughly. Going through the NCERT textbooks help to clear
concepts and sharpen your skills. There is very little chance of questions appearing beyond the prescribed textbooks. Do not skip studying diagrams, tables, graphs,
important formulae, notes and dates.

Solving the past year’s question papers is a very good idea to familiarise yourself with the exam patterns and the popular questions. Having a ready question bank  can further help you prepare the right questions beforehand. Writing certain important concepts and formulae on flash cards helps you during your last-minute revisions.

Specific attention
There are certain chapters in subjects like physics, chemistry and biology which need special attention. In physics, the key topics include optics (14 marks), electrostatics, electromagnetics and electronic devices. In chemistry, the physical chemistry, and organic chemistry generally marks the bulk of the question paper.

Students must make sure they are well versed with formulae in physical chemistry and the chemical reactions, processes and preparation of various chemical compounds as questions are sure to be asked from this portion.

In biology, genetics and evolution contribute to 18 marks and are hence crucial. Keep the achievable topics in mind while preparing for example, biotechnology can be learnt easily and has a 10 mark contribution.

Remember to go through the text as often as possible, not trying to memorise it but trying to understand the processes.

Here’s a dekko in to the analysis of the last board exams which will give students a fair advantage of knowing the exam

Although the paper was moderately difficult and balanced, it was lengthy which means students had to time their answers properly to be able to complete it. Optics and electrostatics were the most emphasised topics. All questions were from within the syllabus and were mostly a combination of current electricity, electrostatics, optics and magnetism.

The questions were based on the syllabus  but again the paper was found to be lengthy although easy. The paper comprised a lot of reactions and reasoning questions and was mostly concept based with some tricky ones. Organic chemistry covered a substantial part of the paper compared to physical or inorganic chemistry portions.

The questions again were found to be well within the syllabus and in fact, featured several predictable ones. Most students who had revised their NCERT thoroughly were able to crack it easily.

Apart from the subjectwise analysis, the examinations last year followed a certain pattern based on the marks and length of the questions. The question papers mostly had around 12 short answer questions with 4 marks each that summed up to 48.

Besides this, the question papers had around 7 long answer questions each valued at 6 marks that summed up to 42 which made it a 100 marks question paper. Meanwhile, the level of difficulty could be segregated into three parts – 15 percent of the questions were easy, 15 percent were average and 15 percent were difficult questions. 

Making a timetable that covers your syllabus subjectwise and identifying the testable material from it is very important for complete preparation. Prioritise studying the topics that are sure shot in exams every year and carry the most achievable marks. Do not get overwhelmed by the time required to study harder topics as this can be balanced by reserving less time for easy ones.

Adopt a positive attitude towards the impending exams and understand that the pre-boards are to help you build endurance and confidence in the long run.  Do remember, a step in time saves nine.

Your mental and physical preparedness for the pre-board exams will be the deciding factors to how you seal the board exams. So, take it sportingly and you will not regret your decision.

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