— Aakash Chaudhry
By December or January, most schools organise pre-board examination for class 10 and class 12 students to check their board exam preparation. Depending on their performance, one can judge whether they need to buck up for their exam preparation or continue at the same pace.
Here are some ways by which you can step-up your pre-board preparations:
Analyse syllabus and exam pattern: Knowing the syllabus well and understanding the exam pattern is a crucial part of preparation. Unless you do not know what you are going to be tested on, you simply cannot start preparing for it. While analysing the syllabus and exam pattern, make note of the chapters that are of maximum weightage, important topics, number of questions asked and their pattern, and difficulty level, etc. Additionally, understanding the question paper pattern, syllabus, difficulty level, etc. can help you implement effective strategies to handle your pre-boards well.
Focus on CBSE and not NCERT syllabus: While most of the CBSE-affiliated schools recommend NCERT books, the board in a recent notice stated that students need to follow CBSE and not NCERT syllabus. In class 10 and class 12 (NCERT) books, at certain places, it is mentioned that a particular part of the book is not for the purpose of examination or assessment, however, it might or might not be applicable as per CBSE syllabus.
Writing skills matter: Often students are in a rush to complete the paper in time and jump into writing the answer without planning it first and end-up missing on important information. A well-planned and structured answer, on the other hand, ensures all the necessary information is included. Practice writing your answers strategically and to the point. You can highlight the important keywords or underline important words to attract the attention of the examiner. Wherever asked, draw the diagram and label it well.
Additionally, practising writing skills also helps memorise the concepts and builds the confidence level. It is as important as learning concepts to get good marks. No wonder, CBSE has introduced creative marking. Read | CBSE exams: What is ‘creative marking’ and why should you care?
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs): With a change in board exam pattern, this year the question papers will have a few objective type questions under the category of ‘very short answer type questions’. Although the number of multiple choice objective questions may vary from one subject to another, the MCQs will push students to study each and every topic in detail. These questions may test analytical skills and reasoning abilities of students which would demand a clearer understanding of the concepts. To answer such questions with accuracy, you need to practice a couple of such questions.
In-text and exercise questions in NCERT: Chapters in your NCERT textbook consist of both in-text questions as well as other exercise questions. These questions can be your key to success in pre-boards. By solving these questions, you can test your knowledge of the chapter and find out about your strengths and weaknesses and improve on them.
Disconnect from social media: If you are still using your Instagram or Facebook or WhatsApp, it is time that you get rid of these distractions. Social media can adversely affect your learning and cost you your future. This is the time to focus on your preparation for pre-boards and prepare in the best way. It is, thus, advisable to disconnect from social media and concentrate only on your preparation.
Practice previous years’ papers: Solving previous years’ papers is of utmost importance. Not only it familiarizes you with the important topics but also helps identify your weak areas. Additionally, you should solve as many mock tests as possible. This will improve your speed and accuracy, make you confident about your preparation and aid in better time management during the exam.
Further, carefully go through the topics covered in your unit test papers and term exam papers. These are important topics and may be asked again, even if the syllabus is changed a bit. This will also help you analyze the mistakes you may have committed and improve on them.
— The author is Director and CEO, Aakash Educational Services Limited