Board examinations are a rather stressful time for all students. These students are geared to score well, and prepare religiously as the marks often determine the next step. It is common for students to get stressed before writing their exams, and often even while writing the exams! Over the years, I have noticed some common mistakes that students make in their mock up exams leading to their boards, and often, even their board papers. I am noting them down here along with solutions-
1. Misreading and missing instructions – students are often in a hurry to finish their paper as soon as they get it. Every subject paper in a board examination provides choices to the candidates. I have come across so many instances where students have attempted an extra question thereby leading to a time crunch, or even left a question because they didn’t pay enough attention…or simply forgot to turn the page! It is very important to be completely alert and scan the paper during the reading time, and plan out all that you’re going to attempt.
Here’s how I approach the 10 minute reading time – first, skim through the paper quickly in a couple of minutes and read all instructions. Next, read each section carefully and see what you can attempt, and plan your answers out. Always check and understand whether you have to attempt all sections, or only a few!
2. Time crunch – Always keep a check on time! I’ve often noticed that students spend too much time pondering over answers, and sometimes too little time and thereby making mistakes. Balance it out – decide the amount of time you will take to tackle each section. Do not be anxious and hurry up – be patient. And if you can’t find a solution, skip to the next question and come back to this right at the end.
3. Following a hierarchy – It is essential for students to be mindful of the marks that each section and question carries. Look at where the long answers are, and look at where the short ones are and weigh it out in terms of time. Usually, short answers are attempted first before hopping onto the section with long answer questions. Be brief, and to the point, and don’t ramble when you don’t need to!
4. Copying the question wrong – this is another common mistake among most students. The only way to control is to not be anxious or in a hurry. Be patient, read every question carefully, and double check to ensure that you’re copying it right.
5. Diagrams – Diagrams are often marked on their neatness and how they are labelled. Make sure that you are not drawing and redrawing – and don’t get frazzled while attempting diagrams or geometry and graphs in your boards. Leave ample amount of time for your diagrams and make sure that they are neat, precise, and well labelled. The hack to being efficient is to once again, be patient and systematic while drawing diagrams.