10 things to remember as you get ready for the FINAL examination

By now, you might have got your exam Time Tables (most of the exams start on first week of March for Kerala and All-India Board Examinations, isn’t it?). Some of you may be anxious about the upcoming board examination. There are more than 30 days left. I would like to give you few tips in getting ready for the examination.

1. Get your study environment ready

The first step to get ready for an intensive revision is to set up a proper study environment, which includes a clean study table, chair, notebooks, pens etc. Here are few steps

  1. Clean your room and arrange the things neatly (A clean environment will boost your concentration and energy level)
  2. Set a proper time and place for study
  3. Let your parents and siblings be informed that you are preparing for the final exam, and you need privacy (ask your mom not to call you for help, while you are studying. You can help them after the exam. Kidding! :P)
  4. Preferably find a place/time where there is less distraction
  5. Avoid TV or computer or any gadgets which may distract you
  6. Get your textbooks, notes ready
  7. Take a print of the time-table and the syllabus
  8. Place a clock or a time piece on your table.
  9. Keep a bottle of water ready (some fruits, nuts or something to eat in between)
  10. Avoid going to friend’s house for combine study (If you really have revised completely, and have enough time left, then you go and disturb them :P)
  11. Take a good shower before you start your studies
  12. Do pray well, read Bible and ask God for wisdom, intelligence to prepare well (Remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom)
  13. Finally, a special request to you (Read my previous post here)

2. Don’t worry about the past

Some of you may be regretting over the past, that you were not able to prepare well over the last few months. But let me tell you, that you really don’t have to waste this time thinking over the past. Now you have 30+ days left. Still you can make it! Believe me, that this 30 days, if you really prepare well, you can get a good score.

3. Plan for the rest of the days

You might think, you will never be able to follow a time-table, since you have already tried many times to make a time-table and follow it, but failed! But let me tell you, that a proper time-table for these last 30 days will really help you!

Follow the below steps

  1. First calculate how many days are left for the examination
  2. Check how many hours you can dedicate for studies every day
  3. Multiply the days X number of hours per day
  4. Now you will get the total number of hours you have for studies
  5. Make sure, you give proper time for food, sleep, school model exams if any and for relaxation
  6. Don’t stress too much, set realistic plans
  7. Plan more number of hours for studies during the weekends.
  8. Now allocate the number of hours (or number of days) for each subject
  9. May be you can give more time for the tough subjects or the exams which doesn’t have a study holiday in-between
  10. Make sure you give proper time for revision (Revision is important! I’ ll explain below)
  11. Finally put this into a chart or calendar or take a print of the time-table.

4. Why time-table is important?

If you fail to plan, you are planning for failure.

I will tell you how time-table for revision will be useful. When you start planning, you will get an idea on the number of days left and the volume of syllabus to be covered in revision. This will give you a heads up on how intensively you need to prepare. The idea here, is not to follow the time-table strictly, but to help you get a clear picture on the way forward till the day of exam. This will help you to get back to studies, even if you get into some distractions in the middle of the month.

If you don’t have a time-table, and if you think you can manage the rest of the month without proper planning, by the time you complete one subject, you will find yourself too close to the examination day. It will be too late then, to start revising other important subjects.

Therefore, plan well in advance. Try your best to stick to the time-table. Even if you are unable to follow it, don’t worry. Something is better than nothing!

5. Prepare Formula sheets

As you are writing science subjects, you will have to remember lot of formulas and equations. So I suggest you to make a chart of all the formulas you need to learn by heart in a particular subject.

I will tell you how to make the chart of formulas.

  1. Buy a big chart paper (preferably different color sheets).
  2. Divide it into 4 equal pieces or 2 equal parts.
  3. Write all the formulas of a particular subject into one of the sheets. By doing this, make sure, you fit all the formulas of each subjects into various separate sheets respectively. Based on the number of equations/formulas, you can decide on the size of the sheet.
  4. Then, pin the charts to one set, make it like a calendar and hang it somewhere
  5. Revise the formulas every day or in whatever frequency you want to set.

After you are done with writing all the formulas from all subjects, your mind will be relaxed, thinking that, “Yes, I need to study only this much, say for example, 8 sheets”. Now the concept of entire textbook got reduced to 8 sheets. This itself will help you get rid of the stress.  During the examination, you will be able to recollect the image of the sheet in your memory.

6. Why revision is important?

Even if you study the whole syllabus once, if you don’t revise, it will be very difficult to remember the entire syllabus in the examination hall. Revision of the subjects already learned will help you to recollect easily, which will help you to perform well. Revision gives you a confidence to attempt variety of questions related to the topic you have learnt.

7. How to do revision?

Here are some things you need to make note of, while doing the revision (If you are already practicing some other form of revision, no need to read the points below. These are for students, who really need a help to get started with revision). Revision can be divided into two phases –Revision during the study holidays and Revision before the day of examination.

  1. When you revise during the study holidays, you can refer all the guides, textbooks, tuition notes etc and write the important notes into an A4 sheet or another special note-book (preferably long book- each page can contain a lot of information, which will help you get an idea of many topics at a single glance).
  2. Remember that we are making these short notes mainly for the previous day of examination, therefore it should be very short and precise
  3. When you do the final revision on the previous day of the exam, you can have a quick revision of these short notes, and in case of any doubt, you can refer the textbooks etc. Also, if you have already revised many times, then you can quickly go through the pages of the textbooks, guides, notebooks, which you have already revised.

8. While making notes

You can use color pens, RED for Headings, BLACK for writing points, GREEN for marking/underlining/drawing margins, again RED for marking important concepts, BLUE for additional markups. This will make your notes colorful and interesting to prepare. Use scale/pencil if you have time. Human brain captures colorful images easily.

Here is a snap of a page of the notebook of one of my friends :) [Biology]


9. Don’t worry about how others are preparing

There is a natural tendency to get worried by thinking how well your friends are preparing. But let me tell you, that there is really no need to be anxious about it. When it comes to board examination, there is no need for competition. If you answer a question correctly, you may get maximum score for that question. Unlike competitive exams, such as Entrance Exam, there is no negative marking. Therefore, it is not going to affect your marks, even if your friend scores more or less. Your only focus should be to do your best in the examination.

10. There is no need to worry about the ‘impression of the teacher about you’

Especially students who are not great performers in the class, will have a prejudice in mind, that the teacher would not give full marks, knowing that the student is not a good/bright student. This is a false assumption.

Also, you can be sure that, the one who evaluates your answer paper, will definitely not know you personally. So, it is purely based on how well you perform in your answer paper, which determines your score.

If, it was your class model exam, then there is a chance that he/she already has an impression about you, which can indirectly affect your mind as you write the examination. But, since this is a board exam, you can be confident that, if you perform well in your answer sheet, you can definitely score good marks, and there is absolutely no need to worry about the so-called ‘impression about you’.

During my 10th standard model exam for Mathematics, I scored 17.5 marks out of 50. I was not so good in Mathematics, also that question paper was very tough. My teacher scolded me and asked me to study well. So I decided to study well for the final exam, and worked really hard. Wrote all the important equations in a notebook, and practiced the model exam questions. And my score was 49 out of 50, in the final examination. Therefore, let me tell you from my personal experience, that your model exam marks has nothing to do with your final exam. Only thing which matters is how you perform during the examination.

And it depends on how well you write your answers. I will cover this topic on How to write the exam and how to impress the examiner? in the coming posts. Stay tuned!

All the best for your examination. If you have any queries, please feel free to send your questions here.

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