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Preparing for competitive exams often puts preparation for board exams on the back seat. The government has been dabbling to fix this by introducing weightage for board exams but even if that’s not the case with the exam you’re aiming for, you should seriously study for your boards. Doing well in board exams is a safety net to fall back on, doesn’t take a lot of time and effort and gives you a moral boost or feel good factor. Including board exams preparations in your schedule now will help you be more calm and focused in March, right before the competitive exams. Here are a few major characteristics of board exam preparation that you could adopt to suit your own schedule:

  • Take stock of new topics not covered in competitive exam syllabus

Competitive exams are ideally supposed to be based on 12th grade syllabus but often the different exams tend to focus on very different topics. So look through the index of your textbooks and check for topics you’ve never heard of before. Study those first so that you have a decent grasp on the entire syllabus. Unlike competitive exams, board exams tend to try to give equal importance to all topics and so completing the syllabus is really important.

  • Tackling the non PCM/B subjects

Most students would be comfortable with PCM/B content because of the competitive exam preparation but board exams have at least two more subjects. One of them is generally English. English exam patterns don’t vary too much from 10th to 12th and so sticking to your school English studying habits should be enough.  For the other new subjects, start by reading the textbook like a novel every night to get a grasp of things. Make sure you do the practice problems and understand or memorize all the formulae and definitions.

  • Understand the types of questions like long answers

Once you’re comfortable with the content you should focus on applying it to actually answer the papers. You would have gotten used to answering multiple choice objective questions and so writing subjective answers again will take a little getting used to. Trying to answer the questions in the textbook after every chapter is a good place to start. You could also try to make bullet points for every topic. These are words/phrases which will have to appear in an answer about that topic. Understand what is required in a long answer by talking to your teachers.

  • Find and study the important topics/questions

Unlike competitive exams, board exams papers have questions which repeat over the years. There are some favorite topics which are bound to appear. Even if your preparation isn’t up to the mark, studying these important topics and questions is a good way to optimize. You’ll find these important topics by looking through old question papers or talking to teachers at school.

  • Solve papers

Last but most important, board exam papers are corrected by humans, not machines. So, small things like presentation of answers, handwriting, clear flow of ideas, highlighting the important keywords go a long way in putting the examiner in a better frame of mind. These things take practice. So you should attempt writing at least three mock papers in each subject. This also helps you gauge the amount of time you take for such paper patterns and will thus help you manage your time in the exam effectively.

December is a good time to start studying for board exams – you can set a comfortable pace and it won’t affect your normal schedule very much. But, do remember that none of your schedule or preparation is going to work out if you fall sick and so make sure you take care of your health and relax as well. Good luck!

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