How to do well in the Board Exams
Over the last year, I have extensively researched what master teachers advise on the subject of cracking board exams. Here is what I have learnt.
Warning: All that follows is about the CBSE Board Exams, but probably it is relevant elsewhere too.
1. Make notes from NCERT books. Most of the questions will come from the NCERT books. Plus there are so many question papers, that the converse is almost true: Almost everything in the NCERT books is asked every year. Do every question at the back of the chapter. Make notes of all subjects through the year. Definitions, examples, theorems, derivations, diagrams, biographies, everything! Know the important "value points" of each answer--the important points which will get you the marks in the exam.
2. Do the Important questions. Some teachers we spoke to had master lists of important questions. These help student go over the material once more. We have included these lists of carefully selected questions in Educomp smartclass. The source of these questions varied from subject to subject. A very popular source was some booklets taken out by the Delhi govt. Others swore by materials collected by the Kendriya Vidyalaya teachers. Nobody recommended any of the mug books or guide books available in the market!
3. Attempt the Past year board questions. It's extremely important to become familiar with the kind of questions that come in previous years. While questions are not repeated that much, similar questions do show up all the time. These questions will tell you what all type of questions can be asked from a particular chapter. We have included many of these questions in Educomp smartclass.
If your students have planned well, then they can more or less complete items 1, 2 and 3 before the pre-board exams. Then in the last 2 months they can focus on revision and take lots and lots of mock tests.
4. Mock Tests. The more practice tests your students do, the better their performance and preparation in the Board exams. These tests help students focus their attention on revising chapters they have not prepared well. It also helps them to devise a strategy to deal with the exams.
Ideally, every day should consist of one mock test, some time to evaluate what all the student didn't know, and doing the choice questions they left while taking the exam. Ideally, you can grade a few of the tests and point out the common kind of mistakes they have made in writing the tests. Their marks will see a drastic improvement even if you analyze a few tests. Aim for a minimum of 10 tests in each subject (including English!) and 20 for Mathematics and Accountancy.
If your students have prepared well, the months of January and February should all go in attempting Mock tests. Mornings should be spent in taking the test, afternoons in self-evaluation and evenings in preparing for the next one.
Finally, remember to tell your students that its not only important to do the problems in the board exam, they have to prove to the examiner that they know the subject thoroughly. So it is important to underline important points, write neatly, do as much in order as possible, explain their reasoning, etc.