Question Papers are ready, Are you?

Karanvir Gupta

With exams already being started for some and yet to for others, it is important you brace yourselves up and get set for the marathon. Getting ready for exams doesn’t only mean perfecting your knowledge and mugging up the whole stuff. Night outs, which so many kids love to do these days is a big No-No. (Ok, by kids I meant youngsters, happy?) Keeping your phones, tablets on, net connected and updating/checking status and newsfeed is actually a huge monster distracting you from doing the productive work you can actually do in fewer hours than you actually take. As aptly said by someone, with technology comes distraction; free, free, free! So I humbly request you to surrender your phones/tablets/phablets for some time, the very first suggestion I would like to give you.
While class X students (who have opted for Boards) fear the first time boards, class XII students have to face the double whammy of both boards and entrance examinations. So it becomes quite natural for you all to freak out at times and lose control. But guys trust me; the basic thing you need to understand is the scenario is all same for everyone. Everyone’s sailing on the same boat. So shed that fear of you lagging behind. Let bygones be bygone. The time that has been spent bird watching and matching your nail paints to the dress you are wearing and curling down your hair into choicest dos, is all gone. Let’s not cry over the spilled milk. What is important is how we make most of the time and resources available to us now. After all, Life is what you make it!
So let’s talk business now and get down to what needs to be done. I am jotting things in points so as to make it simpler for you. You can just cut this piece out and stick in your wardrobe or wherever you come across it more often.
l Maintain calm and compose: Where most of us, even the ones who are fully prepared for exams, falter is we get panicky. Overboard by so much of stuff that our brain needs to interpret, memorise and retain just makes us run out of energy. Or we get mad over something we are not able to grasp. The first thing that needs to be done now and throughout exam period is to maintain calm and composed mind. Whenever you feel things are running out of your hands, sit straight and take few gasps of long breath. Relax down. It has the key to all the problems.
l Healthy Diet: Though parents keep telling us but we are “smart” enough not to listen them. But it is the time you follow some strict diet regime. Eat fruits, optimal breakfast (no oil dipped paranthas anymore), intermittent snacks in form of cookies, tea or juice. It acts as energy booster. Lots of water to keep your body toxin free. Say NO to junk and oily food to prevent any hassle.
l Back to basics: It is very important that you are well versed with basics of any subject. At the end, all the questions play around with your basic understanding of subject matter. Just repackaged to test your analytical skills. Do not go for rote learning and “mugga-fication”. It just doesn’t work!
l Nothing like practice: Subjects like Physics, Chemistry and Maths can not be done without practice. If you are lazy to pick pencil and paper to practice, probably teacher would feel the same while correcting your answer sheets. With less time in hand, pick up questions randomly from different topics and check if you can do it or not. Formulae should be on tips.
l Stop banging your head for topics you are weak at: Do not get flummoxed if you are not able to grasp that one topic or concept. Just make sure that you have a rough idea about it. And if at all there are any formulae associated with this concept, mug these. (Here is where you should cram things. Make notice of the symbols used and it can save you grace of some marks)
l Adequate Sleep: It is generally found that major reason why we are not able to reproduce things at the exam hall is because of inadequate sleep. Sleep recharges our torn out cells and rejuvenates grey cells. So, it is very important that we sleep well during the days of exams. Learning 80% of the stuff and able to reproduce 100% of that is any day better scenario than learning 100% stuff and able to reproduce just 50% of it. Simple maths, isn’t it?
l Go, Get a Life: As an old adage goes, “All work and no play makes one a dull chap”. So make sure you avoid long hours of sitting. Rather than ordering your moms a glass of water or a packet of cookie, get up yourself and do the needful. If you are tired of studying, spend some time with your parents. Chat a little or have a quick nap. You can also listen to a fast peppy numbers (no romantic and slow hummed songs!). But out of all these options, I suggest chatting with parents or going on long drives with parents or a visit at the nearby restaurant again with your parents the best ways to get a life. Please make note of the word parents here. Rest is all unnecessary distraction. Trust me, I am speaking out of my experience.
This is what you primarily need to do before and throughout the period spanning the exams. Now what needs to be done while exams are on the go:
l Make sure to have DATESHEET pasted on the area most frequently sighted or keep it handy lest you want to prepare Chemistry for an English paper.
l Ample stationary to be in buffer stock even before the first exam starts to avoid last minute rush.
l Do not change your bag to examination hall now and then. You run the risk of forgetting hall ticket and useful accessories.
l Avoid getting into unnecessary discussions or brawl. They drench energy out of you and keep you disturbed.
l What couldn’t be done in full eleven months will not be done in few days. So focus on stronger areas of subjects with a decent see through of weak areas.
l When confused about any topic, swear by NCERT books. That’s authenticated!
l Too many cooks spoil the broth. So too many books at this moment is just NOT a good idea. Follow one book zealously. It will suffice the purpose.
l It is good to plan your time effectively and keep some room for revising important things at the end. (for the ones who have done their preparation once before). For rest stay focused.
l Everyone has his/her own style of studying and memorising things. So Be Yourself!
l A glass of milk and a few almonds are always recommended for everyone.
l Lastly, do not carry the hangover (either exhilaration or disappointment) of one exam to the other.
On D-Day: On the day of exam, make sure to be there at the centre fifteen minutes before the exam commences. Sit on the right desk allotted to your ID. Check your pockets and keep unnecessary stuff in your bag. Remain calm and settle down. Make sure you enter your details on the answer sheet as directed by the examiner there. Once you get the question paper, read it carefully so that you can have a rough assessment and attempt accordingly. It’s good to be fast but at the same time legible too. It’s a good practice to tick mark the question once attempted. You will avoid missing questions unnecessarily. Number your answers correctly at the answer sheet. Space them adequately. Do not overwrite or strike off things horribly. Strike the wrong or unwanted part smoothly with one neat line and then write. If at all you are not able to recollect things, do not panick. Give yourself some time. Understand the question and write to the best of your understanding. At the end of it you should have 10-15 minutes to go through your answers. It reduces the number of mistakes considerably.
These are no toe-the-line points given to you. But you can take them as a word of caution for all that we tend to commit unknowingly during our exams. Out of my own experiences and reminiscent of what my parents used to tell me, I thought of sharing these golden rules with you all. And trust me fellas, they all work. There is nothing that can compensate for hard work but this little nitty-gritty can prove to be of great help.
At the end believe in yourself. It doesn’t even matter how hard you are hit, what matters most is how you bounce back. Success is after all 99% perspiration and 1% luck. And we all know luck helps those who help themselves. Stay energised, Stay optimistic! Boys, you can have your bike rides, gaming sessions and “fun” after a while and girls please stay away from mood swings. Lastly, GIVE YOUR BEST and **** (read Leave) THE REST.
Wishing you all dear friends ALL THE BEST! ROCK ON!!
(The writer is a Software Engineer by profession.)


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