Your Guide To 90+ In Board Exams
As an Educationist with work experience of more than three decades, there are some questions which students continue to ask - even today, across all streams, and across various boards. Let me first address these questions.
Will everyone be able to score 90+?
No. Nor is it possible! The Board exams and the Competitive exams are a culmination of years of study and hard work, for which there is no magic formula! But, having said that, you can make a quantum jump in your expected result even in a few months. Provided the realisation is genuine, hardwork is intense, and the commitment is one hundred percent. It is never too late for hardwork and success in life.
CBSE Evaluation process – What role does it play in my result?
You may not realise this but the evaluation process plays a very important role in how much you score! CBSE has recently introduced Digital evaluation where the answer sheets are scanned and sent to evaluators across India for evaluation, but this process is very recent and still quite limited.
Bulk of the checking is still done manually. Each teacher/evaluator checks more than 40 answer sheets in 6 hours daily; for a good month or two! Imagine the sheer boredom and ennui of these teachers. Very soon they stop noticing the silly mistakes and minor errors committed by students. What they do notice is – format, presentation, value points, handwriting etc.
So do not be a victim of the evaluation process and follow these simple guidelines. (And these are the easiest points to score, whether you are a brilliant student or an average performer.)
- Make it neat, clean and a pleasure to look at. (Make the examiner’s day!)
- Use beautiful, beautiful, beautiful handwriting! (I cannot emphasise this enough!)
- Underline the important points. (Make it easy for the examiner.)
- Leave appropriate gaps between questions. (Presentation and structure matters!)
- Pay special attention to margins, formats, diagrams and general layout of your answer sheet.
TIPS TO SCORE MORE THAN 90%
Play a game between your Present and your Past. Defeat your Past at any cost. (Otherwise, you can forget the 90%.) More than anything else your target should be to beat your previous percentage. Keep a table (as shown below) of your marks. That will help you to know where and how much you need to work. (Same applies to Commerce or Humanities.)
Ist Term – 50% Total
Maths/ Bio: 30/40
2nd Term – 55% Total
Ist Pre-Board – 60% Total
2nd Pre-Board – 70% Total
3rd Pre-Board – 80% Total
Board Exam – 90% Total
- Stick to your Syllabus Books
Don’t underestimate the syllabus or NCERT books in the case of CBSE. The key to scoring well in the Board exams are your syllabus books. Know your concepts well and understand the topics covered in your syllabus book thoroughly. And then practice, practice, practice. Bulky reference books are for Competitive exams (more on that later.) But for the Board exams make it a point to solve all the questions in the syllabus books.
- Work on your Weak Points
Take a deep look at your Class Tests and your Answer sheets. Find out your mistakes and make a List of these mistakes, subject-wise. Where are you losing marks? Is it handwriting and neatness? Is it Organic Chemistry? Now work on this list. Small improvements in each area will add to your total marks. Make it a mission to – Learn it, Read it, Make it Happen!
- Time will kill your Marks
Very few students take Time Management as seriously as it should be taken. Some tips of Time Management for Board exams during the final three months of your preparation are:
- Know the Marking Scheme for each chapter. Give more time and attention to chapters/topics with greater weightage.
- Create a two-hour window in the morning for additional study time.
- Study subjects like Chemistry, Biology, Economics etc in the morning since they require more memorization.
- Create small pockets of time during the day to practice logical subjects like Maths, Physics, Accounts etc.
- In the last 3 months put all your focus on your Board syllabus and put any coaching classes on hold until after your Board exams.
- Divide equal time between all subjects, even English, Hindi, etc. because they can boost your final percentage too.
- Finally, study at least 8 hours a day if you truly want to score 90+ in your Board exams. (It may sound crazy, but 90+ achievers do it!)
- Solving Previous year Papers is not that Boring
Previous Year Papers are your key to success. And they are all available online! So no need to buy bulky, expensive hard copies. Solving previous year papers is like giving the Board exams again and again. Give each year’s paper seriously and don’t go directly to the answers. Solve the paper within the time limit and then be an evaluator yourself. Go to the solutions and check your performance. This will greatly increase your confidence because you will:
- Know the difficulty level
- Know the repeating sequence of questions
- Know your true level of scoring marks
In addition, you can also solve sample papers and guess papers too.
- Don’t Underestimate ENGLISH
Most students focus only on technical subjects and do not take English seriously. But it can lead to an overall drop in percentage when the final result is declared. Instead, subjects like English can be a huge booster to your percentage. All you need to do is study it, at least one day in the week.
Also, give special attention to handwriting and presentation in English. This alone can fetch you an additional 5 marks!
- Make it look beautiful, neat and presentable
Practice on making your answer sheet look beautiful and neat. And it will not happen overnight. You have to work at it! Underline important phrases, make boxes around answers in Maths, give proper spacing between questions. These simple fundas can add up to 10 points to your result, so why not try it?
- The Night Before
Yes, approximately 10% of your marks depend on this one night. Make use of it! Not by studying, but by taking rest. Sleep early, relax your mind and get full 8 hours of sleep. This will help your brain to remember better and more accurately. Most importantly, don’t panic! You have worked hard and done your best. Now is the time to trust in yourself and in God.
Be fully prepared with extra pens, pencils, erasers, scale, etc.
- The Exam Day
Sleep early and get up early, fully refreshed. Do a quick, brief revision of the main points. If you find something that you do not know, leave it. (Now is not the time for new stuff. Focus on what you already know!)
Do not let your confidence come down. Leave your study material at home. Go with a free mind. Do not discuss the topics with your friends. Instead stand alone somewhere and wait for the exam to begin. This will make you stronger and more confident.
- During the exam
Most important, before reading the question paper, pretend that you know every question and know the answer to each and every question. Thinking positively can double your performance!
Ok, now in the first 15 minutes, read every question completely; understand it, and plan how you will answer it. There will be some questions where you will be stuck, but do not panic. (You will be able to figure out a way to solve it later.) Continue with the rest of the questions because other questions are important too. After reading all the questions make a strategy as to which questions you will answer first.
Attempt 5 mark questions first, because these cannot be answered in a hurry whereas 1 mark or even 2 mark questions can be answered in a short time. Do each and every question with the same focus, with similar handwriting, formatting and neatness. Use pencil and scale to make diagrams wherever possible. Your diagrams will make a great impression on the evaluator’s mind!
- You are not done yet!
Don’t leave the examination hall too soon. Wait till the last moment of your exam time. Cross check your answer sheet twice, thrice, if need be. Find your silly mistakes and correct them. Add more lines/points to important questions. Add to the presentation of your answer sheet if you have time.
- Bonus TIP
During the last three months disconnect yourself:
- Put your Facebook account on rest
- Pack up your mobile phone
- Say goodbye to close friends and play pals
Getting 90+ in your Board exams is not a joke, you really have to work hard at it. Follow each of these tips and I’m sure you can score more than you expected.