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Study a maximum of 10 hours and a minimum of seven: Madhu Bhal, National CBSE counsellor

It is that time of the year when students of class 10 and 12 are busy preparing for their board exams, scheduled to start in March. Madhu Bhal, National CBSE counsellor, in an interview to Shub Karman Dhaliwal, talks about the nature of calls she is receiving and how the students should be preparing.

Written by Shub Karman Dhaliwal |
Updated: February 27, 2017 8:07:21 pm
CBSE, CBSE exam, CBSE counsellor, boards, board exams, education news Madhu Bhal, city-based CBSE national counsellor. Kanav Sharma

How many calls do you receive in a day?

In a day on an average, I receive 12 calls, most of which are from students and a couple from parents to enquire about details. Most of the calls come from rural areas.

What is the nature of calls you are receiving on your helpline?

The students and schools are both confused about the exams, as they are not aware that this year the 10th standard examination is not the compulsory board examination. This year, the CGP along with optional board exams system is going to be followed. Especially in the rural areas of the country, the schools as well as the students are unaware of the examination they are going to sit in and we help them understand.

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What do students enquire about most, and for which subject?

Mostly we get queries pertaining to subjects such as science and mathematics. Moreover, the students opting for non-medical are the ones who call us more frequently for problems. Students require clarification regarding a particular topic, like for example carbon and compounds is a chapter in which students are facing more problems due to the technicalities involved in the concepts.

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How do you clear the doubts of the students?

All the calls that we get are forwarded directly by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) office. So, in order to clear the doubts we have subject experts with us and we make conference calls which help clear the concept for the students, and they are free to call as many times they want.

Any other problem that students face before the exam?

Students tend to forget to maintain a balance between the subjects as they tend to focus more on mathematics and science. The students completely ignore subjects like English and other optional subjects which results in a severe drop in scored percentage, Sometimes students aren’t able to clear these subjects in the exam. So, our advice is that the students should always have a balanced approach.

What needs to be kept in mind to avoid stress?

The students should study a maximum of 10 hours a day and a minimum of 7 hours of study is enough for them to pass. We tell them to practice as much as they can through sample papers, and solving them in 3 hours by keeping a watch beside. This helps them to build confidence in themselves and avoid panic during the exam. Further, avoid group studies as it can be very discouraging for the student to study in a group. A timetable should be made by the student so as to give equal importance to all the subjects that are in the syllabus. They should have time for exercise, play and other extracurricular activities to avoid boredom.

What about the students who have not touched their books and start studying a few days before the exam?

There are many students who don’t even know the syllabus and rarely touch their books. Such students panic and don’t understand things, so for them we cut down the syllabus and tell them the important topics that they need to prepare for the upcoming exams, so as to score passing marks and save their year. Most important are the sample question papers, which students can look at to find out the important questions.

Any specific diet students need to follow during exams?

The students should avoid eating too much heavy food. Parents should prepare light and easy to digest food so that the child does not feel sleepy and lazy. Milk and food which gives energy should be taken only.

Any advice for parents?

The parents should not pile unnecessary pressure on the child at all, whether he or she is studying or not. Let the children study as per their convenience without any pressure. Days before exams, students are under stress and more pressure from parents regarding the securing of marks and everything is uncalled for, so the parents should let the child study freely to come out with their best.

With board exams beginning from next year again for students in 8th and 10th standard, do you feel it is the right decision to do away with the CGPA system?

Yes, the board exam system is a refined and a uniform way of doing things, as you have the half-yearly exams, pre-boards and then the final boards. This pattern helps students prepare properly and efficiently in a planned manner. Moreover, the ratio of the exam is also 80:20, with 20 is for practical and 80 for theory which is a more balanced approach than the CGPA system. The school authorities also concerned about their results would give higher assessments in the practical to show good results, which is not the case with board exams. The students are also left confused and unaware about the syllabus of the subjective paper conducted by the CBSE in the end.

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First published on: 20-02-2017 at 05:41:50 am

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