1. Make a proper plan before you actually start the preparation. You should be mentally clear about how you are going to do the preparation.
2. Theory type questions and proofs don’t come for CET exam but, revise the theory and chapters and theorems to be thorough with the concepts.
3. After revising the concepts thoroughly , make a list of formulas for each section and topic .After this try to solve MCQs and previous years question papers keeping time into consideration so that you have a check on your speed.
4. Maintain your calm as losing your calm may have an adverse affect on your preparation .
5. Be focussed and determined.
6. First solve topicwise questions and then go for solving mixed questions .
7. Take mock self tests. These will give you a feel of the real exam and when you take the real exam you won’t feel you are doing something new or different.
8. While solving maths questions make use of stop watch.Start the stop watch as soon as you start solving the question and stop as soon as finish the question.Use it for every question you do.This way you will come to know how much time you are spending on each question and slowly start increasing the speed.
9. Don’t leave the portions as all topics have a weightage.
10. Take out some time for physical exercise as this will help release tension.
You can go through the following information and choose which ever board suits your needs
CICSE(Council for Indian School Certificate Examination) versus CBSE(Central Board of Secondary School Examination)
•All the national level entrance exams such as IIT-JEE(Joint Entrance Examination),AIEEE(All India Engineering Entrance Exam),AIPMT(All India Pre Medical Exam) are based on CBSE syllabus while international level exams such as SAT,TOEFL are based on CICSE syllabus .
•In higher classes children find it difficult to shift from CSBE to CICSE while shifting from CICSE to CBSE is easier.
•CBSE has more compact syllabus as compared to CICSE. It is seen that number of subjects for which exams are conducted is more in CICSE than in CBSE.
For eg. A child who took 6th standard CICSE exam wrote 13 subjects-English, Environmental Science, History+Civics , Geography , Physics , Biology , Chemistry , Mathematics ,Hindi ,General Knowledge.
7th standard CBSE student wrote 6 subjects: English , Sanskrit ,Hindi , Science , Mathematics ,Social Studies.
(History ,Civics ,Geography fall under Social Science while Physics, Chemistry and Biology fall under Science. ) Environment study is optional in CBSE.
•CBSE has more objective type questions and is application based and prepares children for national level exams.
CICSE has more of projects in curriculum which helps to develop analytical thinking.
•CISCE- conducts three examinations:
Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE-Class 10th)
Indian School Certificate (ISC-Class 12)
Certificate in Vocational Education(CVE-Class 12)
CBSE – conducts two exams
All India Secondary School Exam AISSE(Class 10)
All India Senior School Certificate Exam, AISSCE ( Class 12)
•Most of the parents in earlier classes put the children in CICSE so that their base becomes strong and then in higher class shift them to CBSE or State board so that they are at an advantage and get better scores.
•CICSE syllabus is recognised in many foreign schools and universities while CBSE is well recognised within the country.
•In CICSE more emphasis is laid on English as compared to CBSE.
•If the parents have transferable jobs then it is better to put the children into ICSE or CBSE .If the transfers are restricted to metros or urban areas then any of the two boards will do. But ,if transfer involves tier-2 cities it is better to choose CBSE syllabus as CICSE schools are rare.
Students should concentrate and make the most of their study holidays or the preparatory holidays.
•The best way to prepare themselves for exams is to solve previous years question papers as though they were attempting at a real exam. This gives them confidence of attempting the exams and they don’t feel that they are doing something different while appearing for exams.
Note: This activity of solving previous years question papers should be done only after the child has covered all the syllabus and has revised all the concepts otherwise it may cause more harm than benefit.
•They should make a detailed plan as to how they are going to do the preparation. They should first target at preparing the chapters that have been marked important by their teachers and carry more weightage in terms of marks distribution in their exams. They should make time-table for themselves and maintain a checklist of the things they have already covered . Checklist will give them an insight into as to how their preparation is going on.
A word of caution: The time tables they make should be realistic and doable (it means they should be able to do things as per timetable). While making time tables they should not be overenthusiastic to overcommit themselves otherwise time table may create unnecessary stress for them.
•Students should take regular breaks while studying. Breaks can be in the form of listening to music or doing some yoga exercise or pranayama or going out for a light walk or indulging themselves in any activity except watching television or playing video games that they enjoy doing (as video games and television are addictive and once they are on it they don’t get up at the stipulated time period).
•Student should ensure that they keep stress under control , keep themselves hydrated and take appropriate diet (check on the article “ What kind of food a student should be eating” ) especially before tough exams.Students should not give up on human interaction completely as interacting with others is de-stressing.
•Students generally tend to study late hours or don’t sleep well just before the exam. This practice is not good as they may feel fatigued during the exam and may not be able to concentrate fully or use their mental energies fully during the exams.
•Students should avoid learning new concepts or chapters at this moment. They should concentrate their energies on revising all the chapters and concepts they already have done so that they are thorough with them.
•Students can take help of parents or other siblings while revising especially the important points or formulas or chemical reactions. The helper can quickly go through the material where help is required during revision and help out.
•They should be giving themselves positive affirmations such as –
“Yes, I can do it”
“I am well prepared”
“I am focused”
“I am going to do Well”
Understand the working of cramming-it is the result of child resorting to last minute preparation for the exam with no time left to understand the topic or is lazy to use his mental energy to understand the topic or needs help to understand the topic
Most children resort to cramming as a method of memorizing at the time of examination. But cramming is an example of non-reproduce able memory (it means child is unable to reproduce what is relevant at the time of examination). As long as questions are straight and expected the crammer does not have any problem attempting them and he can attempt with ease. But if the question is twisted and requires reproduction of the material crammed by the child in different way the child is unable to attempt. His memory goes blank . For instance , if the child crams A is the father of B and B lived in 19th century and that C lived in 18th century . If the child who has crammed this information is asked who lived earlier A or C .He will go blank and won’t be able to attempt this question as he is memorizing the information without understanding the interconnections between the data and has not integrated the data.
Moreover, it is important to know whatever material is being crammed is easily forgettable. In cramming there is no relation or organization of data. The Only link is the continuation of words (i.e. this word comes after that word).If that path is blocked (i.e. if any one word is forgotten) whole memory crumbles down.
Encouraging children to take down notes helps them to retain attention in class and stops their mind from wandering. In fact, when children are taking notes they are taking note of or paying attention to what is being taught in class. Taking notes is different from making notes .Making notes is an activity in which the children make notes to answer specific questions for the exams and is an activity associated with self study. When your child is taking notes he is in fact taking note of and paying attention to what is being taught in the class and is thinking and assimilating the information in writing.
When your child doesn’t takes notes there are greater chances of
• his losing interest in the class
• him loosing on the intricacies of the topic taught by the teacher
• him loosing track of the topics that triggered his thought process
• him being able to keep track of the topics that interested him
• him not being able to keep track of the topics in which he thought he might be delving into more details later on
• loosing on important points which he thought he needs to remember
When taking notes the student adds various add-ons such as question marks , exclamation marks, some figures that trigger his memory of the class when he goes through it later. Sometimes some thoughts get triggered during the class that need more clarification .Taking notes helps your child to keep record of such thoughts and points that need more explanation or clarification from the teacher’s side so that he can go to the teacher later and discuss and get more information and better explanation on it.
This discussion will help your child to attempt exams in a better way and get rid of unnecessary phobias.The process of attempting exams can be divided into three logical steps:
1. Evening before the exam
2. The exam day
3. After the exam is over
All these steps are discussed one by one
1.EVENING BEFORE THE EXAM DAY:
Tell your child not overload his brain just one day before the exam. (Note: The preparation for exams has to take place throughout the year and in structured manner). Encourage him to move out in fresh air and do some physical exercise eg . walking, running etc. Physical exercise and fresh air helps to rejuvenate the mind and enhances its working.
Your child should be aware of the examination hall and if possible should have visited it once before. This will remove the unnecessary tension from the child’s mind.
2.THE EXAM DAY:
(A)PERIOD BEFORE THE EXAM
Things and steps to follow normally and especially if your child feels tensed up in the examination hall:
1.Tell him to do some deep breathing exercise in the morning in the fresh air and he may also do some physical exercise.
2.Tell him to check for necessary things- pens , pencils ,eraser ,sharpener ,scale, calculator, geometry box if required and may be hall ticket if required etc.
3.Tell him to boost up his morale by giving himself positive affirmations.
Affirmations can be of the form:
“Yes, I can do it today , I have put in lot of hard work”
“Yes, I will do it, it is my day today”
“I am well prepared for this moment, I have put in a lot of hard work , I will do it”
You can also boost up his confidence levels by giving him positive affirmations.
4.Encourage him to reach the examination hall before time, relax, familiarise with the surroundings and atmosphere and do some deep breathing exercise in order to relieve tension if any .
5.Tell him not to compare his preparation with that of others.
(B)ONCE THE QUESTION PAPER IS RECEIVED
(a)Read the question paper carefully and thoroughly
(b)Note the timings, number of questions to be attempted, time allocation
(c)Plan how to answer the paper.
GOLDEN RULE TO DECIDE WHICH QUESTIONS TO ATTEMPT FIRST:
The important rule to follow while attempting the question paper is that first attempt those questions that the child knows well and is confident of. This helps to boost his morale and gives good impression to the examiner who is correcting his paper. First impression matters a lot.
POINTS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF WHILE ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS
1. Make a plan of how he is going to answer his question.
2.Be concise and precise.
3.Presentation of answer should be attractive.
4.As far as possible repetitions should be avoided while answering the questions.
5.Tell him to not to use of slangs and short forms.
6.Tell him not to unnecessarily try to exaggerate the same point – he needs to remember examiner is not going to weigh his answer sheet but he is going to mark it for correct and precise information.
7.After completion of the writing tell him to scan the question (check for spellings etc.)
(C) AFTER THE EXAM:
Tell him not to discuss the paper with his friends after the exam especially if he has exams on the days to follow. This can dampen his morale if he has made some silly mistakes or not done well .This can create a ripple effect and affect his performance in the next exams also.
[An effective memory enhancement technique]
If your child is not performing up to the mark a very effective technique is to revisit his day in the school/college as well as self study periods. Even if the child is performing well the technique of revisiting will help enhance his memory and help him maintain his performance.
Steps for guided revisiting: (Revisiting school /college hours)
Tell your child to
1. Close his eyes.
2. Take deep breadth 5 times.
3.Tell him to go to the time when he entered the class in the morning .Tell him to feel the entry of his teacher. Tell him to quietly go through what she taught today (what ever he can remember).
4.Similarly go through each period till the last period and revisit each and every period .
5.Tell him to slowly open his eyes.
Make sure revisiting becomes a habit for your child and is inculcated as one of his daily routines. Tell him to do it everytime he comes back from school/college. It takes not more than 10 minutes of your child’s precious time. Believe me these 10 minutes can do miracles for him.
Precaution or point to remember: Revisiting helps if your child has been attending the class with interest and concentration and has been listening to what his teachers have taught with concentration.
Encourage your child to be attentive in class and listen to the teacher with interest and concentration.
Revising self study hours:
While your child sits for self studying tell him to follow following steps:
1. Take deep breadth 10 times.
2. Close his eyes and remember whatever he had studied last time in the topic he is going to cover.
3. Slowly tell him to open his eyes.
4. Now he can start with his work.
5. At the end of the study session tell him to revisit his study session in the same way and summarise in his mind whatever he has studied.
Self study sessions should start and end with the revisiting exercise.
The whole exercise takes 5-10 minutes of your child’s precious time on either side (starting of the session and the end of the session.)