9 Tips To Get 95+ In Your CBSE Board Exams
12th CBSE Boards can be really crazy and I was in the same position a year back. When I tried to google ways to do well in boards and search for various tips, I got nothing. I felt weak, demotivated and most of all seemingly caught up in the vicious conundrum of school and family expectations. I did not want any child to feel this way, ever. Hence, here are my hacks, candid, about everything and nothing I learned about this hellhole of an experience. Dig in, folks.
You do not need to completely detox yourself.
Yes, you heard that right. Heard of the phrase ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ ? I was told to give up my phone up starting January and only study. I became a wreck since the day it was taken away. Giving away your phone is not really required. After studying for a few hours, all of us need our eyes to go through something else other than the dreary books lying all around. Going through Instagram, chatting or calling someone up or maybe even watching a 20-minute episode is not at all harmful. Do not be that harsh on yourself.
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP x 10.
I cannot stress on this enough. I heard many of my peers saying ‘Sleep is for the weak’ but let me add onto that ‘Sleep is for the weak and those who actually score’. Many students I know decide to do an ‘all-nighter’ and not sleep before an exam. The truth is, you will always feel like something or the other is left to study. You can never be truly satisfied. There should come a time when you decide that you must let it go and wish for the best. More importantly: you have done ENOUGH. A minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep is a must. I noticed this in myself and in others that a lack of sleep actually leads to blackouts and forgetting what you have done the entire year. The logic is simple, yet powerful. Studying for 4 hours more a night before will completely make your entire year of efforts a complete waste simply because you did not get enough sleep to let your mind get recall everything the next day.
Here are some articles to stress upon this more:
Make use of the morning time on the day of the exam.
There is a reason the Board exam is conducted at 10:30 AM and not early morning. They expect you to wake up early around 6-7 AM and revise whatever you think is essential. I can tell you with complete surety that whatever you study in the morning will be extremely fresh in your mind. This will help you in the exam later.
Eat and drink in the morning before your exam.
Make sure you eat a good and a healthy breakfast before you take your exam. Going with only a glass of milk will definitely make you feel pukish and not eating anything will worsen it. Eating food makes your mind fresher, and provides a boost to your body for the next 4 hours to come. A useful advice is: eat foodstuff which you have been having habitually. Do not introduce anything new into your diet during a month prior to boards. Eat food which is heavy, but not so much that makes you dash to the washroom in the last moment.
Negative motivation and radical methods are not harmful, they might actually work.
One thing you will always feel during boards is lack of motivation. It may come in various forms. Not eating, not wanting to study, desperation for sleep etc. It is extremely important to keep yourself up and about so you can study. If you listen to music while studying, go ahead! If it contributes to your output, go ahead. You talk to your dog while studying, do it! As long as you are happy and don’t waste time. Do not look to others to know how to study. Experiment with what works best for you. I found some pretty radical ways to motivate myself, and I do not for once regret them.
Whenever I used to feel low and just done with boards, I looked up at my wall. I had put up post-its of names of people who were in competition with me, people who in my life have pulled me down, people who made me feel I could not do anything in life. I used to stare at their names long and hard, remind myself what I have to prove to everyone and that was enough for me to open up my textbooks again. Find that kind of motivation in yourself.
Take all your school tests and exams VERY SERIOUSLY.
You may feel that the school is a huge burden on you. You want to establish your own pace of studying for the entire year, but schools just keep on holding all sorts of exams and tests which makes you feel insanely burdened. It is okay. As much as you might feel right now, each and every exam you take is important. You do not need to complete the syllabus for each test, but make sure what you study is with full confidence. Test yourself on what you studied. Later, when you get your answer sheet back, sit down and analyze your mistakes with your teacher. Save the answer sheet. When the boards are approaching, open all your sheets to know where you made a mistake so that you do not make it in your actual board exam.
You do not need to study 8-10 hours a day.
During the months of December and January, I was SUPER STRESSED. And one of the major reasons was that I always felt I studied less than I thought I did. I supposed there were 24 hours in a day, which meant I should at least study 1/3rd of it, right? When I actually made a log of how much I did the study, I realized it was not even 6 hours every day, compared to 8 I must do. I was so scared to know of this discovery. Others used to say “ I studied only 9 hours today” or “ I woke up and slept for 4 hours only and studied 12 hours. Man, it was tiring”
What the hell was I actually doing the entire day? Do I have 18 hours in a day or what?????
If you ever feel like this, you are not alone. See, do not measure how much you study by the number of hours, but by how much you think you are capable of, Some people may get an output of 2 hours studying for 5 hours, while some may study for merely 2 hours but it is worth 5 hours of work. Everyone has a different pace and comparison is futile, in the least. Find your own pace, and do not worry about time. It is mere unnecessary mind space and stress on your already stressed life. Relax.
Do not study one subject the entire day.
I had Humanities. Out of my 6 subjects, three of them were purely theoretical in nature. If I were to study one subject all day, I would go bonkers. I always studied three different subjects every day, usually 1-2 chapters from each. This reduced my monotony of studying and actually made me feel more productive than I thought. Keep shifting every hour to different subjects in a day. If you have a mix of theoretical and practical subjects ( Like Economics, Maths etc) do those when you want to feel less heavy. It always leads to greater output.
Give as many mock exams in actual settings as possible.
In the end whenever you revise, always consult books which have been prescribed to you. Preferably, rote learn the language given. This helped me enormously in fetching marks. Also, consult each and every paper, whether it is the actual question paper or sample question papers of all the years, going back to 2003. It is true that many questions are repeated.
Moreover, I made sure I took at least 5 papers of each subject in a real-time setting i.e. with an actual invigilator (my mother) who timed me. I used the actual answer sheet paper, sat in a quiet environment with no breaks whatsoever. This helped me a lot when I actually gave my exam as I was used to sitting down for long hours.
So, these are some things that one must keep in mind while you take the biggest joke of our Indian education system: Boards. I’ll give you some cold hard truth. You need to know that 10% of your result is completely dependent on your luck. Completely. You cannot control it. Which center, which teacher, how she/he checks, everything. Trust me, these marks may feel like the end of time and death but they do not test you on so many parameters that are required in this world today. You are much more than what these boards make you feel like.
P.S. Here are some CBSE rants I did during my boards to make myself feel super duper better and not hopeless all the time. Enjoy!