My last year of high school (it’s called XII standard here) finally finished and I fared well with good marks (Best four- 96.25%). However, Boards/Final exams being the main target because it determines our admission to college, the year was full of exams for our preparation.
It was tough. It really was.
Anyway, I feel now, that after spending my year trying to come up with the best strategy, I have come to these things that one must keep in mind to handle the high school well-
- Consistency is more important
You cannot be done with all the syllabus months ago and expect that you’ll remember it by the time exams come. The key is to do small amount of work but everyday. The strategy for studying months before exams and the strategy for studying in the last months should be different. Why? Because of a lot of factors- stress level, motivation level etc. So, small consistent steps will give you more returns later when you’ll finally reach the last months.
- Use the earlier months to finish files, written work etc
Trust me on this. One thing is for sure- you have to make your practical files, you have to make those notebooks whether you want to or not. So, use the earlier months when there is no pressure for exams to complete the written work so that you have time to study with intensity in the last six months when you really need to be studying with intensity.
I didn’t have my Psychology practical file completed. Around November, when I wanted to and needed to focus all my energy on studying and revising, I had to give time to making the file too. It made everything difficult and stressful.
So, get done with these things when you really have time.
- Either follow the school or follow your own plan
When you have exams ahead of you that are not for evaluation, you might not feel that motivated. Whether you prepare according to school exams or according to your own strategy, the main purpose is to do good in the Boards (final exams).
Just know the pros and cons of both. While preparing according to school won’t give you the freedom to work as per your pace, it would make you feel confident as you score well the whole year in the school exams. It is specially good for your state of well being.
If you’re someone who likes to make his own strategy and work according to it, then realise that you still have to give those school exams and since you’re preparing according to your own plan, you’ll be prepared for another set of chapters than the one school is taking exams for. So, what I’m saying is that if you don’t score well in school exams, don’t let it lower your confidence. Remember your main goal and that you have a plan for it.
- Think about long term benefits
I advocate making notes. It may seem in the earlier months that it’s a wastage of time and how will it help you in the last months. But trust me it does. More than the notes themselves, it’s the actual process of making notes for yourself that helps in the learning process.
When I got the schedule for my final exams, it said- 11 preparatory holidays for maths and after that just 2 for history. I had three complete books of history to revise. If I hadn’t made notes of half of the chapters, I don’t know how I would have revised the whole syllabus in two days.
So, notes somehow make revision a LOT quicker!
- Anything can happen in the last minute
Here, we spend the whole year preparing and get the schedule of the final exams just a month before the actual exams. That’s when we get shocks,
11 days for maths but just 2 for history!! Damn, I’m not that strong in history right now. How will I deal with this?
Then, sudden change of plans. Tension.
So, be balanced between subjects. Sure, CBSE Board is generous enough to give preparatory holidays of 25 days for a subject but sometimes for some subjects you don’t get any holiday. If it is one of your weak subjects, you get in trouble.
So, don’t leave a subject for the last. Be balanced. Give time to all of your subjects.
- In the end, it’s the prescribed books that matter
I spent the whole year studying various reference books along with the prescribed books for Maths and Economics but in the end, if you’re thorough with the prescribed books, that would be enough.
- Don’t leave your creative pursuits
Sure you have a goal but don’t leave your creative activities completely. Instead of making proper paintings, you can continue to make small sketches. That way, you can manage both studying and painting. Same goes for other activities. But don’t leave them. They are a part of you. And they are important.
If you’re having really great ideas for something creative but you can’t manage to do it at the moment, note down the idea in a small diary to work on it later like I’ve shown in this post.
Hope it helps.