It is that time of the year, when students in every class are getting ready for their final annual examinations. For those who are in the 10th or the 12th, this is the year of the Board examinations; an extremely anxious time for both students and their parents. We know of many parents who take leave from work and sit every day with their wards. Not because they can teach the subject, but just for moral support. Often the entire family adjusts their activities and schedules around the one who is giving the Board exams. Some pray. Some perform little and big sacrifices. All of this may help, but what matters the most is the individual student who is taking the test. Is he or she well prepared? Do they have the right approach to test preparations? Do they make continual improvements and improve on their errors?
A good preparation hinges on the following actions:
1. Understand the pattern of the examination, what kind of questions come and how are they to be answered.
2. Understand what the key concepts are. To understand a concept well, you have to be able to visualise it, maybe as a diagram, maybe as a process, maybe as a situation. Check your concept knowledge by solving application questions correctly.
3. Collect or make summary sheets and lists. They will help you remember important facts like definitions, formulae, and rules for every subject. It is important to revise these things periodically.
4. Look out for tricky problem variation, the ones that go wrong. Remember, there are only a certain number of variations in the questions that can be given to you. Every time you come across a question which looks different from what you have solved before, check if it fits the pattern of an earlier question. If it’s a new variation, make a note.
5. Test yourself and check where you’ve made mistakes. Focus on the kind of questions which you answered incorrectly and try and understand why that happened. Take care to ensure that you constantly strengthen your basic understanding of the subject.
This cyclical process will invariably get you good results. It is not necessary to solve every problem in every reference book and work all the time. Work smart. Focus on your areas of weakness and the gaps in your understanding.