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Overcome exam fear, be confident

By Prakash Sharma

It was December 2017 and 18-year-old Devyani, a Class XII student of science stream in a private school, was nervous about her pre-board examination a week later. She was nervous and afraid of what we may call the ordeal of the examination. Her parents too were anxious about the stress that their daughter was going through.
However, she kept preparing for the examination with guidance from none and wrote the papers which seemed to be nothing less than a nightmare. The result day for Devyani proved to be embarrassing and menacing as she had even failed to score pass marks in more than half of the subjects.
She kept crying for the entire day and tried her best to find out what actually had gone wrong. The reason for her abysmal result was not surprising. She confessed to those mistakes and repented.
She failed to plan and prepare strategically for the pre-board examination. Also, she confessed to not taking the pre-board examination very seriously.
Devyani is not the only student who has faced similar fate due to sheer indifferent attitude and haphazard way of studying.
There is no denying the fact that preparation and performance in the pre-board examination play a vital role in the making of results of the final board examination. So this examination is considered as the full dress-rehearsal of the ensuing board examination.
So from this perspective, students need to take the pre-board examination very seriously and plan meticulously in keeping with the following flawless strategies in mind.

Brush up on the syllabi thoroughly
Before the commencement of the pre-board examination, syllabi of all the subjects of the course get completed in schools. Now what remains is revising them seriously so that lessons learnt in classroom and self-study get reinforced and permanent.
Moreover, students must have the perfect knowledge of syllabus of each subject which helps in fixing the road map of responsibilities and setting the mood for serious and focused study. While revising, students must have the exact knowledge of the following points —
1. Details of marks allotted to each chapter of the subject
2. Chapters with high and low weightage of marks and types of questions asked from those chapters in the examination. Each chapter must be thoroughly studied to find out the number of objective or multiple-choice, short and long-answer type questions and, most importantly, numerical questions. 3. Choose long-answer type questions in each chapter very carefully and prepare the answers rationally. The long-answer type questions are usually 6-8 mark questions and from this point of view they do play crucial role in scoring good marks.
4. Make ready-reckoner like notes of important facts, figures and formulae in each chapter and paste them at a vantage point in your study room.

Be clear about objective & multiple choice questions
These questions are of one-mark each but they are asked in a sizeable number in the pre-board examinations. To prepare for the answers of these types of questions, you must study each chapter intensively. Keep on jotting down important concepts, theories, inventions, rules, laws, formulae, equations, and step-wise methods of measurement or calculation, units, year, date and a lot of other facts and figures while going through the chapters.

Prepare plan on day-to-day basis
Since the time period for the pre-board examination is very meagre so you need to make a plan on day-to-day basis. Identify the various chapters which you find hard and spend time on them. You may even take a few chapters altogether for the preparation over the period of a particular day. This will accelerate the process of preparation. But we must mind to make all these plans very realistic with the resources and time available. Avoid burdening your day with the tasks which you cannot accomplish and handle. This sort of plan is tantamount to wastage of time and efforts.

Do not fear or panic
When time runs so fast and the tasks to be mastered are so immense, students start panicking and finally succumb to mental disturbance and depression. Stop worrying for the examination because it is only the assessment at the school level and not at the board level. Despite poor performance in this examination, you must understand that you still have another big chance to prove your mettle. So there is no use worrying for what has already gone. So it is essential to keep patience and maintain the confidence level high.

Manage time rationally
Keeping the key role of time management in the success of all endeavours of life in mind, it has now become a proven fact that rational time management is also a prerequisite for success in examinations. Every student has a favourite subject which he or she loves to study and finds easier to prepare than others. On the contrary, some of the subjects seem to be tough. For such subjects you need to allot relatively more time and resources.

Always be positive
It is said having a positive attitude means asking how something can be done rather than saying it can’t be done. Always believe in your ability and stop underestimating yourself. Academicians and subject experts have come to the conclusion that the final board examination results are only plus and minus 10 percent of the pre-board examination results. It means how much you get in the final board examination is either 10 percent more or less than what you have achieved in your pre-board examination. So labour hard and stay passionately confident.

(The author is principal,
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya,
Dinthar Veng in Mamit district, Mizoram)

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