Rewa Phansalkar
on 27 November, 2013

Just Another Examination Survival Guide


I know what you are thinking. It's almost December, and the examination season is looming closer, like a big, ugly, watchful bird of prey. After reading countless preparation tips in the newspaper and yet more from that nose-in-the-air distant cousin of yours who has always stood first in his class (and his mother), the last thing you need is to read is yet more preaching from some unknown person over the internet, right? Wrong. Because what you are about to know now, is a sure mantra to not only crack those tricky board questions, but compel your examiner to add that one extra mark for good handwriting. So here's presenting; The Fool-Proof Guide To Producing A Beautiful Board Examination Answer Sheet.

1. I'm going to quickly brush over the easy part that everyone knows about: Drag your ass to the study table. The hardest part is summoning the will to start, once that is achieved, there will be no stopping you.

2. Study smart: There are a lot of pages in that book. No examiner expects you to know all of them. Learn to identify what is important. Pay attention to 'key-words', words and phrases that your teachers will most often use in class while explaining, and those that are highlighted in your book. Underline these keywords for quick revision later, and also write them down while studying. Writing helps you remember. Use these fancy terms in your answers and impress the examiner!

3. Get creative: If you are artistic, or remember things better when viewed graphically, make your own flow charts to remember processes. Know how the diagrams are in subjects like biology, and you know the text by default. Find your own way to represent information in your notes.

4: Take a teensy bit of Interest: Nobody loves to study. However, people who have designed our curriculum must have thought its beneficial for us to know the things textbooks rant about. Give them the benefit of doubt, and try and find out a bit more about the seemingly drab digestive system, annoying atoms and ridiculous rotational motion. Turns out that textbooks do an excellent job of making things appear a hundred times more boring than they actually are. See videos on the internet, read educational books from the library. Broaden your horizons, and the answers will come effortlessly.

5: Leave little for last minute: Last minute revision is unavoidable, and sometimes beneficial. But be sure that you will forget anything you memorize five minutes before entering the examination hall.

6: Write a beautiful paper: Neatness matters. Out of the million papers an examiner corrects, a clean, neat paper in good handwriting sure stands out. space out words, do not scribble or cut. Give neat headings and underline keywords. Break your essays into smaller spaced out paragraphs. And make diagrams wherever possible, even if not asked for.

7: Learn to improvise: Attempt everything. You have no clue, no matter! Pick up hints from the question, make desperate attempts to remember what your teacher said in class. Use fancy language, and write whatever your gut tells you. It cannot possibly get worse than zero.

There are a million other nuances associated with the art of submitting a perfect answer sheet, but this pretty much covers the broader part of it. Once you have studied, it is confidence that can tip you over the thin line between acceptable and downright outstanding. So buckle up, and prepare to get confident. Happy Exam time!


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Rewa Phansalkar


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